Props have a beautiful way of getting kids attention and are helpful when starting a new class, near the end of the school year when it may feel like you’ve done everything there is to do, or just when you want to have some fun.
I have used many different props, simple to extravagant, and my favorites tend to change based on what I am doing on my personal journey. But there are a few that I use all the time, with every age range and every year. So here are…..
My 3 Favorite Props
- Mr. Moo Moo: In case you haven’t guessed Mr. Moo Moo is a cow. But he is a very special cow because he loves yoga. He’s a black and white puppet that I’ve had for about 10 years.When I introduce him he hides his face in my neck (he’s shy). He often whispers things in my ear and then I’ll ask the kids, “He wants to know if you are kind?” “He’s wondering if anyone will grab him, he doesn’t like that.” If people are sitting quietly he will come over and whisper in their ear. If they are doing a yoga pose he may sit on them, under them, or go through them. He likes to wake kids up from their relaxation too.If they are not quiet or doing the pose he doesn’t come. Great incentive to get kids (even 11 year olds) to pay attention and do what we’re doing.
- Felt Board Stories: I made 3 different felt board stories of my favorite yoga stories and fables. This can make an hour long class whizz by.First tell the story with the felt board pieces, then tell the story with yoga poses, then finish by letting the kids tell the story again with the felt board (ask: who remembers what happens next?). Who doesn’t like a good story, especially when it touches the soul.
- A Balloon: Because balloons are a choking hazard, I bring one balloon into the class and I use it to demonstrate. Sometimes with a group of older kids I will bring balloons for everyone to try and then ask them to turn them in at the end of class. Otherwise if it is a long class, I’ll bring in feathers for the kids to blow, throw, and drop.Want to introduce yogic breathing? Use a balloon to demonstrate what your lungs are like.Full breathing? See how much air is in your lungs by putting one breath into a balloon. Try it once at the beginning and once after everyone takes 5 full breaths, notice the difference in the amount.Exhaling? Let the air out and let the balloon make a noise (this makes everyone smile!).Creativity? Release a full untied balloon and watch it fly around all over the place before it hits the ground, then do it again (and again) and copy the balloon with your body.And so much more: Tie the balloon up and pass it around without letting it hit the ground, blow it across the room, hold it between two people while they walk without letting it fall. . .
Tried and Tested
These props are tried and tested and they work. If you go into a group of children, pull out any of these props you will get their interest. In the middle of a class, if the group is getting distracted, offer to place the puppet, felt board character, or balloon on any child who is sitting quietly and no one will want to miss out.
You’ll get lots of props for your props! Try them out and see the possibilities and creativity that arises in you and in the kids.