Animal Hand-tlers

Animal Hand-tlersAnimal Handtlers Craft


  • Two pieces of card stock or construction paper per pair
  • Scissors
  • Writing utensil
  • Stapler and/or glue
  • Optional: coloring tools, paints, sequins, and other “flair” for decorating


  • Fold construction paper in half (short way) and trace hand on one half. Cut out both at the same time.
  • Fold other piece of construction paper in half, longways, and then each half in half. Cut along the lines. This will make one (with a left over paper strip) big head band or two small headbands.
  • Staple or glue the ends of the strips together to make them longer and measure the band around your head. If it’s not long enough, add a third strip to extend and cut to fit. Do not staple or glue them together to make the band yet.
  • The antlers will be laid out with the thumbs facing inward. Decorate or color them if you want to. Decorate or color the band if you want to.
  • Find the center of the band, and staple or glue the hand shapes to the inside, so the bottom of the palm is under the band.
  • Finally, close the band where it fits your head by stapling it together in the back, and then cutting off any parts that are too long.
  • Wear and make animal noises! What does a reindeer sound like? How about a moose?

Star-of-David Mini Pizzas

Star-of-David Mini PizzasStar of David Pizza Snack

Total time: 30m


  • Packaged mini-toasts or big crackers
  • Deli sliced rounds of provolone or other cheese (round works best)
  • Tomato paste or pre-made pasta sauce
  • Fresh or dry oregano


  • Lay out the crackers or toasts on a foil or silicone lined baking tray that can go in your oven or toaster oven. The edges should not touch, and they should be lying completely flat.
  • Spoon a little tomato paste or sauce onto each one and spread it across the top. Don’t make it too thin or the toasts won’t soften in the middle.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of oregano on top of the tomato sauce.
  • Cut the rounds of cheese in half, then each half into three pie-shaped pieces. Slice the curvy edge off the triangle, and lay two triangles on top of each toast in opposite directions, to make a Star of David.
  • Put the tray in the toaster oven or under the broiler just long enough for the cheese to melt a little and form little bubbles; about 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve delicious mini-pizzas and eat ‘em up!

Snowman Skewers

Snowman SkewersSnowman Skewars

Total time: 30m or less


  • Bananas – each banana makes about two and a half skewers
  • One red and one green apple
  • A few red and green grapes
  • Chocolate chips or raisins (baby-sized chips work best)
  • Wood skewers
  • A flat serving platter or tray
  • Optional: a little bit of powdered sugar to dust serving plate with “snow” – works best when the platter is dark.


  • Cut ¾ – 1” thick slices of banana, put three on each skewer, circular cut side facing outward.
  • Quarter the apples and cut each quarter into thirds. Put on the skewer on top of the bananas – this is the snowman’s hat. Note: You might want to help little kids. It can be tough to get through the skin of the apple with the wood skewer, and we don’t want anyone getting stabbed!
  • Put a grape on the very top, over the apple, to make the hat’s pom-pom.
  • Using the chocolate chips, stick eyes and buttons into the bananas.
  • Optional: lightly dust your serving platter with powdered sugar and lay out all the snowmen.
  • Serve and eat; mmmmmm delicious!

Pita Holiday Trees

Pita Holiday TreesPita Christmas Tree Snack

Total time: 30m or less


  • Package of pita bread
  • Green Garden Dip (see next recipe) or other green and white dip – like tzatziki, spinach dip
  • Brightly colored veggies (tiny cherry tomatoes, red, yellow, and green peppers, black olive slices, etc.)
  • Optional: fresh dill


  • Cut each pita round like a pie, into eight triangles, and place on a serving platter, points up.
  • Spoon green dip onto each pita
  • Put little bits of fresh dill on top to look like pine branches
  • Chop the vegetables and decorate the “trees.”
  • Serve and eat! YUM!

New Beginnings

Graphic: Happy New Year

I am met by five sets of bright eyes, all expectantly waiting to begin our yoga practice in the New Year! The list of things to do during our class runs through my mind as I set up. Will we work with our breathing buddies? Practice yummy ohms (oh so loud and silly)? Play a game we create on the spot? The answer most resoundingly is yes to all of these ideas. But there is something more I hope to impart to my little yogis along with movement and fun activities.

All of the above are things we want to do in our class. This can be likened to New Year’s resolutions of what we want to try to accomplish in the coming year. Most resolve to lose weight, exercise more, plan places to go, decide on items to buy. Instead of these goals, I’ve thought about working on becoming the type of person I’d like to be in the new year.

It begins with a self-assessment from which arise goals not of material or physical improvements but more deeply satisfying spiritual gains. Instead of looking for outward tangible signs of achievement, look inward to developing traits to become a better person.

When I share yoga with children I hope to embody an example of a caring, understanding and supportive teacher. How can I hopefully display these attributes? I look back on a previous article on the topic of Patience. To show patience, I have to be patient with myself first.  The same may be said of these other valuable qualities. By exhibiting compassion and empathy to myself I can more likely show it towards others.

The children look to me for learning flow series, guidance in postures, and sharing fun games. I hope I also provide much more by example, using kind words and patient understanding during our classes. Build awareness of how the children interact with myself and with each other.  Notice how they are feeling and it will help in responding with appropriate actions and words. Encourage this behavior by pointing out signs of understanding, kind-heartedness and support displayed by the children.

Inclusion of behaviors such as kindness, helpfulness, and empathy can be a good beginning. Add to them a listening ear, a hopeful outlook, and calm words. And do not forget to be nurturing to the self as well as to others in the months ahead!

Family Connection

Three Children Laughing and Singing

Around the holidays we get the opportunity to see family and friends we have not seen in a while. After the initial excitement wears off, the kids are often looking for something to do. If it is cold, outdoor activities are limited. That is when we can pull out some yoga! The beauty of yoga is that it does not require a lot of space to do, it can be quiet (which I love), promotes cooperation and family connection (which I also love).

Partner and group poses are especially fun to do. We like to share yoga poses with our friends that might not do yoga on their own. My daughter may do a pose with her cousin, or we may pull all the cousins into a room to do a few poses together. Since many people associate balance poses with yoga, it is great to start with Tree pose. After everyone tries to balance on one foot, we then come together in a circle, press the palms of our hands against our neighbor’s and help each other balance on the opposite foot. This is a great subtle lesson to support each other while improving physical balance.

Once the kids are excited for yoga, we move to some poses that feel good. In Standing Partner Stretch, two kids stand back to back and take hold of each other’s hands, then step forward a tiny step and gently lean away until both people feel a stretch in the chest and shoulders. Cooperation and trust are essential for the success of this pose.

Sit & Twist is another great pose. This one is done sitting on the floor facing a partner. The right arm reaches forward and the left wraps behind your back – then reach forward and find the arm your partner put behind their back. Breathe and twist.  While seated, try Row Your Boat pose. Balance on your sit bones and lift your legs off the floor. This pose strengthens the stomach, back and shoulders. Now try it with your partner, face your partner, feet touching, hold each other hands and with cooperation and communication, lean back, lengthen your legs and press the bottoms of your feet to your partner’s. Hold tight and stay afloat in partner boat.

From boat pose, keep holding hands but bring the feet to the outside of the arms and allow the legs to open and come to the floor preparing for Seesaw Triangle pose. One partner leans forward while the other leans back. After a few breaths, switch and then gently rock each other back and forth. What a fun way to stretch the legs!

These are just a few partner yoga poses, but there are so many more! You can also turn many yoga poses into partner poses with a little creativity! So, turn the television and video games off this holiday season and do a little yoga instead. It will benefit your children physically and mentally, and will help foster family connection and healthy relationships! Learn all these poses in the book, YogaKids: Educating the Whole Child, available in the YK Shop!

YogaKids Poses:

  •   Forest of Trees
  •   Standing Partner Stretch
  •   Sit and Twist
  •   Row Your Boat
  •   Seesaw Triangle

Create and teach family connection as a Certified YogaKids Teacher!


“I am the Light” Meditation

Hannakah Lights


Celebrate the Festival of Lights with this free meditation from YogaKids co-founder Don Wenig. 


Caprese & Seasonal Eating

Caprese is a simple, delicious Italian salad. It is pronounced: kah-PRAY-zeh.

Caprese is one of my favorite summer dishes, and it’s best enjoyed when the ingredients are in season. What does that mean – “in season”?

When you eat foods that are in season, that means you are eating food that is naturally growing and being harvested at the time you’re eating it. For instance, tomatoes are harvested throughout the summer, so that is the best time to eat them. Although you may still see tomatoes in the store in wintertime, they are not in season at that time. The reason they don’t taste great is because they must be shipped from a place where they ARE in season, and since they must be transported by truck, they have to be picked before they are fully ripe. So the tomatoes you eat in the winter are not-fully-ripe fruits that have been sitting in boxes from the moment they came from the greenhouse — or even a different continent* — and have been through a long road-trip to get to you.

On the other hand, if you and your parents can go to a farmers market in the summertime, where the farmers pick the fruit they sell very close to when you buy it and bring it home, you will likely get better tasting produce that is in-season and ripe. Freshly picked summer tomatoes and basil will make the very best caprese.

*About food from different continents: For instance, in the autumn here in California, I often see spring fruits — like blueberries — at the store that have been shipped from Chile, which is in South America. The seasons in the northern hemisphere are opposite of the southern hemisphere. When it is winter here, it is summer in Chile; in fall here, it is spring in the southern hemisphere. Do you have a globe? Can you see how far away Chile is? Imagine the long drive those blueberries had to make! I wonder if they bugged their blueberry moms and dads the whole way here…

Do you know what types of fruits and vegetables can be grown where you live? Which ones are in season now?


Serves: 4

The shopping list:

  • 4 beautiful locally grown tomatoes (depending on season)
  • 16 ounces of fresh mozzarella (It might be labeled “Buffalo Mozzarella”)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil
  • 4 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Basil pesto (see recipe)


The Prep

  • Slice tomatoes into  ‘coins,’ that are the width of your pinky finger nail.
  • Slice your mozzarella the same size
  • Chop your red onion into small squares, the smaller the better… Very very small (parents may want to supervise or lend a hand here).


The Fun Part

Serving dish: One large white plate

  • With a large spoon, scoop a 1/4 cup of your previously made basil pesto onto the base of the plate. Smear the pesto around so that it evenly coats the center of the plate.
  • Layer the tomato and mozzarella on top of the basil pesto so that it covers the entire plate. You should have green on the edges from the pesto and nothing but beautiful layered white mozzarella and red tomatoes in the center.
  • Evenly drizzle both your olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top of your tomatoes and cheese.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper
  • Garnish the plate with a sprinkle of red onion and lastly fresh basil leaves.

YUM! Edible Poses for the Season!

by Julie Pate

Fun facts about Thanksgiving
• The first Thanksgiving feast lasted an entire 3 days
• The average American eats 4500 calories on Thanksgiving, 2500 more than most of us need.
• Turkey is the traditional dish served because in the 1600s, Turkeys were the most plentiful wild game.
• Speaking of turkeys, did you know they can drown if looking up while it is raining?!

November 27th is Thanksgiving which is a special day to spend time with family and friends, but most people associate this day with…EATING! Here at YogaKids we have many food-inspired yoga poses. To help you burn off some of the extra calories you will probably eat on Thanksgiving day; try this series of edible poses.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Reach up and grab the peanut butter and jelly jars that have magically appeared in the air. Rub PB&J all over your hands and smear it between your toes. Spread PB&J on our legs and you belly. Wash you face and hair in peanut butter and jelly. Stretch your arms up again, fold forward at the hip hinge, and lengthen your spine and upper body over your lower body to make a peanut-butter-and- jelly sandwich. Press the backs of your legs into the floor. Press your chest into your legs. Squish those two pieces of bread together. Can you reach your toes to wash them clean?

Sit with your legs wide apart. Get ready to make a delicious slice of Pizza. Roll out and stretch the pizza dough to the right by slowly sliding your hands down your legs from your right thigh to your right toes. Then repeat on the left side. Now spread some sauce on the slice by moving your hands from side to side on the floor in the space between your legs. Now let’s grate some cheese. Finger dance from the top of your head, to your chest, down your legs and sprinkle cheese all over that giant slice in front of you. Next add your favorite toppings. Make your pizza colorful and fun; olives, peppers, mushrooms, pineapple, red licorice sticks, whatever you want. Bon Appetite.


Start in child’s pose. Stay still and feel the warmth coming up from the popcorn maker beneath you. It is getting warmer and warmer. Your body is full of the heat and soon you will be ready to pop. Now if you are ready – jump high into the air and POP. POP. POP. Repeat and pop!

Table of Contents
Lie on your back. Bend your knees. Place your feet on the floor. Place your hands underneath your shoulders, fingers pointing towards your body. Press down with your hands and feet, lifting your body up until you are in table position. What is on your table? Set each other’s tables for a picnic, birthday party, smorgasbord, tea party, formal dinner, ice cream parlor, and any other ideas you can think of. Say each food or item aloud as you place it on your friend’s table.

Swinging Pretzel
Sit cross-legged. Take hold of your left ankle and foot and place them high up on your right thigh. Now you are in the half pretzel. If you can, do the same thing on the other side. When both ankles are on both thighs, you’re in full pretzel. Switch legs so that each gets a turn on top. Now swing your pretzel. Spread your fingers and palms flat on the floor just behind your knees. Press them down as you lengthen your arms. Lift your bottom and legs up off the floor. With strong arms and breathing, swing your pretzel back and forth.

Which pose was your favorite?