One of my favorite activities for the last class of a kids’ yoga series is to have a “Yoga Party.” It’s a great way to review all the fun yoga we’ve done through the session.
Children like to show you what they know. I often hear, “look at me,” “look at this,” “Can I show you something.” Kid’s want to be recognized just like we all do. A Yoga Party is a great way for kids to show you their stuff while still doing yoga. In an end of series yoga parties, each child picks their favorite thing for us to do.
When I teach this class in my community centre class, which is an hour long, we usually have time for a yoga game at the end of the class.
But this summer I taught at a daycare where the class was only 30 minutes, which meant we usually didn’t play games in the class – there’s just not enough time for games. For this yoga party each person picked their favorite yoga pose.
Now for some reason this class was all boys and only one girl that day, for a total of about ten of us. It was the last week of summer holidays and a lot of kids were away from school for trips and holidays before going back to the grind.
Here’s what the kids picked:
- Sun Salutation: Well this was my pick. I led off with sun salutations, which we had been learning all summer. Both the daycare teacher and I were impressed at how well the kids were getting to know them by heart.Also, kids will launch into yoga poses sometimes without warming up. Often it doesn’t matter too much for the active kids who are always warmed up. But you have to think of the whole class. If you are letting the kids choose the poses make sure they are warmed up first, or ask if any favorites are warm-up poses. It’s also a good way to review the idea of warming up.
- Eagle Pose: picked by the one girl. Interesting because I don’t teach Eagle pose in my class – it’s just not one we do in Kundalini Yoga alot. She must have learned it from another teacher. Whoever taught her that – Thanks! (check out the fourth picture down in the Karmaspot blog post linked here to see a kids’ version of Eagle).
- Cobra Pose: check out this beautiful description of Cobra on a great kids yoga blog: YogaInMySchool.com. Cobra is always a favorite.
- Downward Dog: Again always a favorite for kids and everyone can do it.
- Donkey Kicks: this one is best to do if everyone has their own mat, otherwise some people may, you guessed it, get kicked. If you don’t have mats and the kids are sharing or on a carpet, take turns doing donkey kicks and ask any other adults around to help supervise. (I’m going to do a post on donkey kicks next.)
- King Cobra Pose: Again a favorite and picked again even though someone had already picked cobra earlier.
- Bundle Roll: lying down the kids put their arms by their sides and roll across the floor, kind of like you would roll down a hill. Try not to bend. I’m told that this is good for kids with any attention problems, it is grounding.
- Freeze Dance: I use a version by Christopher Carbone on the Namaste! CD, but feel free to recommend your favorite freeze dance music or songs in the comments!
- Mountain Pose (see picture above): This pose surprised me! There is usually one child who picks a very still and relaxed pose. The imagery of being as solid as a mountain is very comforting.
- Tree Pose: Children love the challenge of tree pose, it takes a lot of mental strength.
- Archer Pose: Read about Archer in a past post here.
When kids can pick any pose they want, you may be surprised by what they choose and how well they end up doing a nice balanced class.