Wonderful Winter

Winter landscape

MATERIALS

  • Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Tape or glue

SHORT DESCRIPTION/TOPIC

We will explore the winter season’s animals, characteristics and interesting facts while practicing yoga in a fun, safe and educational way.

DISCUSSION POINTS

Winter officially begins on December 21 and ends on March 19. What happens towards the end of fall that lets us know winter is getting closer? (Weather gets colder, leaves fall, days become shorter, etc.)

CONNECTING CIRCLE

Peace BreathClose your eyes. Relax your face muscles. Breathe in. Breathe out and whisper the word “peace.” Do 3 to 6 times. As you say the word, feel the peace inside you. Repeat a silent affirmation such as “I am peaceful.” Slowly open your eyes. This pose Increases oxygenation and triggers the relaxation response in the body. Body Benefits, Affirmations

POSES AS PATHEWAYS

During winter, the sun’s rays hit the Earth at a shallow angle, which minimizes the amount of energy that hits any given spot. Additionally, long nights and short days prevent the Earth from warming up. Ecological Echoes

Let’s warm up by saluting the sun.

Sun Salutation – Repeat one to ten times.

What do people do to prepare for the winter season? (Chop wood, buy winter clothes…)

WoodchopperTime to chop wood to keep our house warm. We need 10 logs for the fire, so let’s count 10 chops. Note: For older kids, count by 5’s or 10’s. Math Medley

Over winter break, many people visit their relatives. Do any of you? Let’s take an imaginary trip on a train.

Breathing Train

Many people take car trips to visit relatives.

Driving My Car – Play some driving music like Baby You Can Drive My Car by the Beatles. Think of a place you could drive to in your imaginary car that starts with the same letter as your first name, Marsha Memphis, or Don Denver.” (Note: For younger students, the teacher should create the locations for the kids.) Musical Musings, Laughing Language

Snow falls in many parts of the country in the winter. Imagine cool snowflakes softly falling on you…

Finger Dancing

Birds migrate south for warmer weather in the winter. Let’s practice a bird pose.

Eagle Try to balance for 10 seconds on each side and gradually increase the time. Brain Balance

Geese fly in formation and work together as a team, we will now practice a pose that takes teamwork.

Circle of Friendship Flowers – We All Win

Polar Bear – The polar bear is a cold weather animal There are five nations with polar bears: U.S. (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Greenland, and Norway. Ecological Echoes

Reading Comes Alive with Yoga

Read aloud Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle and teach the following poses while reading the book:

R is for Roar – Practice this pose round-robin style and have one child start, by rising and doing a unique roar, have the children repeat this, one by one until everyone has done the pose. Bridge of Diamonds

Flamingo – Do both sides 2 or 3 times.

Cobra – A snake’s backbone is made up of many vertebrae attached to ribs. Humans have approximately 33 vertebrae and 24 ribs. Snakes have between 200-400 vertebrae with as many ribs attached! That is what makes them so flexible and helps them move along! Ecological Echoes, Awesome Anatomy

Elephant – Swing your trunk and walk. Dip your trunk into the river and throw it back over your head. Spray the other elephants with your trunk. Trumpet like an elephant.

QUIET QUESTS

Lie down on your backs and get comfortable, close your eyes. Listen to the sweet sound of your own breath in and out. Feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly as you breath. (pause) Imagine you just spent the day sledding or skiing with your family and now you are resting. You can hear the snow as it gently hits the walls and roof of your house. (pause) Once again feel the gentle rise and fall of your belly. Up and down. (pause) Now bring your attention back to the room, gently wiggle your fingers and toes. Slowly roll onto your right side and rest. Gently push yourself up to sitting.

VISUAL VIGNETTES

Note: This visual can be done at the beginning of class, before the guided visualization or at the end of class. Have the kids cut out circles and glue or tape them onto a piece of paper. Feel free to use colored paper, markers, glitter or any craft material you have on hand to spice up your bears. For younger students, consider pre-cutting the circles yourself and having the kids
decorate and put together.
.
CLOSING CIRCLE

Fountain of Oms

Snowman Glitter Shaker

Snowman Glitter ShakerSnowman Glitter Craft

Supplies

  • One jar with a screw on lid (like a pasta sauce jar)
  • One 12”x12” piece of felt for the hat
  • Hot glue
  • Glycerin
  • A ribbon or other piece of fabric for the scarf
  • A pipe cleaner for the hat
  • A small piece of orange paper, cut into a triangle, for the carrot nose
  • A black sharpie for eyes and buttons
  • Other decorations, like jingle bells and pom-poms for the hat, or buttons for the eyes, mouth
  • Water
  • Plastic glitter in large and small sizes.

Instructions:

You may adjust the glycerin-to-water ratio for the size of your jar – I am using a 24 oz. jar in the example.

  • Remove the label and scrape off any leftover glue. Make sure the jar is completely dry.
  • Begin by tying the scarf onto the jar and adding a dot of hot glue to the front and back, between the ribbon or fabric and jar, to hold the scarf in place.
  • Glue on button eyes or draw on black circles for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Glue on the nose.
  • Trace a circle onto the felt using a bowl, and cut it out. Note: Using the lid of your jar as a guide, you should have no less than 1” extra fabric all around. I have about 1.5” margins on mine.
  • The larger the circle, the floppier the hat.
  • Add ¼ cup of glycerin and about 1 cup water. Put the lid on the jar and shake until mixture is homogeneous.
  • Put a maximum of 2 Tablespoons of plastic glitter into the jar, then fill until about 1” from the top of the jar. Put the lid on and make sure you like the consistency of the water and glitter. If you want to add more glycerin to make the glitter move more slowly, add it now and mix well.
  • Once you’re happy with the water viscosity, fill the last remaining space up to the brim and put the lid on. Dry any water spots that may have leaked out, and hot glue around the base of the lid.
  • Center the circle of felt on the lid and hot glue it in place.
  • Crimp the felt as needed to get the shape of hat you want, and wrap the pipe cleaner tightly under the base of the lid, twisting the ends to hold it together. You will probably need more than one set of hands for this step! Add decorations, like pom-poms, silk flowers, or a bow) over the place where you twist the pipe cleaner closed.
  • Let it snow!

Snowman Glitter Shaker

(Originally published in the 2016 YogaKids Holiday Family Fun Guide)

Supplies

  • One jar with a screw on lid (like a pasta sauce jar)
  • One 12”x12” piece of felt for the hat
  • Hot glue
  • Glycerin
  • A ribbon or other piece of fabric for the scarf
  • A pipe cleaner for the hat
  • A small piece of orange paper, cut into a triangle, for the carrot nose
  • A black sharpie for eyes and buttons
  • Other decorations, like jingle bells and pom-poms for the hat, or buttons for the eyes, mouth
  • Water

Plastic glitter in large and small sizes

Instructions:

You may adjust the glycerin-to-water ratio for the size of your jar – I am using a 24 oz. jar in the example.

  • Remove the label and scrape off any leftover glue. Make sure the jar is completely dry.
  • Begin by tying the scarf onto the jar and adding a dot of hot glue to the front and back, between the ribbon or fabric and jar, to hold the scarf in place.
  • Glue on button eyes or draw on black circles for eyes, mouth, and buttons. Glue on the nose.
  • Trace a circle onto the felt using a bowl, and cut it out. Note: Using the lid of your jar as a guide, you should have no less than 1” extra fabric all around. I have about 1.5” margins on mine.
  • The larger the circle, the floppier the hat.
  • Add ¼ cup of glycerin and about 1 cup water. Put the lid on the jar and shake until mixture is homogeneous.
  • Put a maximum of 2 Tablespoons of plastic glitter into the jar, then fill until about 1” from the top of the jar. Put the lid on and make sure you like the consistency of the water and glitter. If you want to add more glycerin to make the glitter move more slowly, add it now and mix well.
  • Once you’re happy with the water viscosity, fill the last remaining space up to the brim and put the lid on. Dry any water spots that may have leaked out, and hot glue around the base of the lid.
  • Center the circle of felt on the lid and hot glue it in place.
  • Crimp the felt as needed to get the shape of hat you want, and wrap the pipe cleaner tightly under the base of the lid, twisting the ends to hold it together. You will probably need more than one set of hands for this step! Add decorations, like pom-poms, silk flowers, or a bow) over the place where you twist the pipe cleaner closed.
  • Let it snow!

Handprint Menorah

Handprint MenorahHandprint Menorah

Supplies:

  • Patterned or brightly colored paper to use for candle flames
  • A piece of card stock
  • Tempera or other water based paint in the color you want your menorah
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Metallic sharpies, paints, sequins, etc. optional – for decorating the menorah

Instructions:

  • Fold the card stock in half, and then unfold it. Lay it flat.
  • Placing your left hand on the left side of the paper, with your thumb straight up, across the center fold line.
  • Trace your hand, then repeat on the right side, with your thumb in the same place as the left thumb.
  • Paint inside the lines you just traced.
  • Allow paint to dry and then decorate over the top of the menorah.
  • Fold the piece of paper you’re using for flames in half. Draw five flame shapes and cut them out of the folded paper to make ten flames. (That’s one left over)
  • Glue a flame in the center, then “light” one finger of the menorah for each night of Chanukah.
  • Keep the extra flames in an envelope nearby so they don’t get lost, and enjoy the Festival of Lights!

Handprint Menorah

(Originally published in the YogaKids 2016 Holiday Family Fun Guide)

Supplies:

  • Patterned or brightly colored paper to use for candle flames
  • A piece of card stock
  • Tempera or other water based paint in the color you want your menorah
  • Scissors
  • Glue or glue stick
  • Metallic sharpies, paints, sequins, etc. optional – for decorating the menorah

Instructions:

  • Fold the card stock in half, and then unfold it. Lay it flat.
  • Placing your left hand on the left side of the paper, with your thumb straight up, across the center fold line.
  • Trace your hand, then repeat on the right side, with your thumb in the same place as the left thumb.
  • Paint inside the lines you just traced.
  • Allow paint to dry and then decorate over the top of the menorah.
  • Fold the piece of paper you’re using for flames in half. Draw five flame shapes and cut them out of the folded paper to make ten flames. (That’s one left over)
  • Glue a flame in the center, then “light” one finger of the menorah for each night of Chanukah.
  • Keep the extra flames in an envelope nearby so they don’t get lost, and enjoy the Festival of Lights!

Snowman Skewers

Snowman SkewersSnowman Skewars

Total time: 30m or less

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Instructions:

  • 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!

Snowman Skewers

Total time: 30m or less

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Instructions:

  • 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!