Winter officially starts on December 21, and ends on March 19.. In this fun YogaKids lesson plan we will explore the winter season’s animals, characteristics and interesting facts while practicing yoga in a fun, safe and educational way.
AGES: 2-6, 7-11
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle, paper, scissors, markers, tape or glue
We will explore the winter season’s animals, characteristics and interesting facts while practicing yoga in a fun, safe and educational way.
“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… )
Share what you like about winter
Peace Breath –As you say the word “Peace”, feel the peace inside you. Affirmations Element, Quiet Quests
“This pose Increases oxygenation and triggers the relaxation response in the body” Body Benefits Element
POSES AS PATHWAYS TO LEARNING
“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 – teach any variety of a sun salutation
“What do people do to prepare for the winter season?” (Chop wood, buy winter clothes,)
Wood chopper- “Time to chop wood to keep our house warm” – Chop back and forth several times. “We need 10 logs for the fire, let’s count 10 chops.”
Note: for older kids, count by 5’s or 10’s. Math Medley Element
“Over winter break, many people visit their relatives, do any of you? Let’s take an imaginary trip to our Grandmas on a boat.”
Row your Boat – sit up on the tailbone, balance the legs in the air, row your arms in a circle.
“Many people take car trips to visit relatives:”
Driving My Car: Sit in a “L” sit and pretend to be driving a car, move forward by lifting up your tail right then left, then move back. “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 Julie Jacksonville” (Note: For younger students, the teacher should create the locations for the kids) Laughing Language Element
“Snow falls in many parts of the country in the winter, imagine cool snowflakes softly falling on you”
Finger Dancing– Move from the head to the toes pretending that snow is falling all over you. Quiet Quest
“Birds migrate south for warmer weather in the winter. Let’s practice a bird pose”
Eagle –Squat down make an “x” out of the arms. Brain Balance Element, Ecological Echoes
“Geese fly in formation and work together as a team; we will now practice a pose that takes teamwork”
Circle of Friendship flowers – Hold hand in a circle. Sit back in child’s pose, inhale and rise up opening the arms wide, exhale back to child’s pose. We all Win Element
Polar Bear – Sit in child’s pose, make a cup out of your hands, rest your nose in the cup. “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 Element
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle – Teach the following poses while reading the book:
Lion – Sit in child’s pose, rise up and open the back of your throat as you breathe out with a quiet, throaty “Rrrroar.” Quietly roar. Practice this pose round robin style and have one child start, by rising up and doing a unique roar, have the children repeat this, one by one until everyone has done the pose. Bridge of Diamonds Element
Flamingo – stand with one leg and the opposite elbow bent, switch sides.
Cobra- lie on the belly, push into the hands and rise up into a back bend. “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 Element, Awesome Anatomy Element
Cut two large circles, and 3 small circles for each child in advance. Let the children paste the two big circles on to a piece of construction paper to form the polar bears face. The Three small circles will be the ears and nose. Let the children decorate the eyes and mouth. Be creative!
QUIET QUESTS – Guided Visualization
“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 several minutes. 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.
Fountain of Oms – Everyone chants OM at their own pace and rhythm. We start together, but everyone’s duration is different. Just let the OMs keep coming at various intervals; some short, some long.