Looking for some fun Christmas & Winter Themed Kids Yoga Ideas?
I typically develop my OMazing Kids Yoga lesson plans around a children’s picture book. Books provide a clear beginning & end and provide visual information to attend to. Many of the children I work with have special needs, so providing this extra structure is helpful for them.
Here are some books that I have found that work well for kids yoga this time of year & the yoga pose/activity opportunities in each book:
- Bedtime For Little Bears! by David Bedford (polar bear (YogaKids), owl, rabbit, star, fox (do the sign for “fox” http://www.babysignlanguagedictionary-mysmarthands.com/fox_-_ASL_sign_for_fox.html - looks like the Gyan mudra around the nose), whale)
- Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett (cookbook, mixer (washing machine & dryer), rolling pin (log rolling + use pool noodle to “roll out” the body parts the child chooses), flex/point feet timer, sitting forward fold to close oven door, sniffing breath, cat, dog, goat (deer pose + “maa”), chicken, pig (happy baby pose as pig rolls in mud), bridge, ice (tense/relax – freeze/melt), fox (do the sign for “fox” http://www.babysignlanguagedictionary-mysmarthands.com/fox_-_ASL_sign_for_fox.html - looks like the Gyan mudra around the nose), cow, woods (group tree pose), gingerbread house (partner rooftops pose). Lots of free printables for this book: http://www.janbrett.com. Free coloring sheet: http://janbrett.com/pdf/gingerbread_baby_coloring_page.pdf. See a YouTube video of the book being read: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rssEvip-G0k.
- Gingerbread Friends by Jan Brett (gingerbread house (partner rooftops pose), ski (Warrior II), skate (dancer), sled (seated forward fold), cake-top-cookie people (mountain), cartwheels (windmill), swan, flower, mouse (childs pose), cat, fox (Gyan mudra around the nose), climb stairs (cross crawl hike), making gingerbread cookies sequence (easy pose legs as bowl, reach to get ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, butter, brown sugar, egg, molasses & vanilla, mix (stir the pot & do “washing machine” for mixer), forward seated with legs being oven rack & stretch arms to close the oven door, tick-tock-toes timer, “mmm” breath as we smell them cooking), group sled (seated angle in a line, lean to each side). (Recipe: http://janbrett.com/gingerbread_baby_recipe.htm)
- Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows (bear, chipmunk, squirrel, mouse, groundhog, turtle, snake, frog, raccoon, snail, tree, train, raindrops partner pose, skunk, hug)
- One Bear Lost by Karen Hayles (bear, rabbit, snowy tree, waterfall, bird, squirrel, buzzing bee breath, snowball (child’s pose), sledding (group pose – like group rollercoaster from YogaKids), boat, fish, looking with Gyan mudra (“OK” hand position) at eyes)
- One Snowy Day by Jeffrey Scherer (bear, deer, mouse, bird, cat, squirrel, rabbit, skunk (cat + lift leg to “spray” phew!), fox (do the sign for “fox” http://www.babysignlanguagedictionary-mysmarthands.com/fox_-_ASL_sign_for_fox.html - looks like the Gyan mudra around the nose)
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (snowing (standing star w/ wiggling fingers), snowy tree, ski (Warrior II), squirrels gathering acorns (toe-ga with brown pom-poms), owl (seated twist), shrew (mouse/childs pose), deer, deer mice (cuddle up in group childs pose), feather breathing, voles in a tunnel (group downward facing dog tunnel & each child gets a turn to be a vole going through the tunnel), snowshoe hare (bunny breaths), frog, fish, beaver, fox, chipmunk, bear, crescent moon, fire (palming), buzzing bee breath, star, starry night guided relaxation). See several pages inside the book on this post on the publisher’s blog: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/blog/2012/02/17/over-and-under-the-snow/. See a post with great art project ideas for this book: http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com/2012/01/over-and-under-snow-by-kate-messner.html
A few ideas for “a starry night guided relaxation”
The Night Sky from “Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids” (order at http://www.imaginationsforkids.com/)
Big White Star from “Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Card Deck” (order at http://www.yoga4classrooms.com/activity-card-deck)
- Red Sled by Lita Judge (snowing (standing star w/ wiggling fingers), hiking through the snow (cross crawl hike), cabin (rooftop partners), tree, bear (bear walk), bunny breaths, moose (seated twist with hands on head as large antlers), moon, possum (legs up), raccoon (gyan mudra mask), porcupine (lotus mudra as quills), mouse (childs pose), group sled (group sled (seated angle in a line, lean to each side), “Hmmm?” breath.). This is a minimally worded book that lends itself well to storytelling and creativity. The only words are the sound effects. See a great YouTube preview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-OKBRK3-Po.
- Say Hello to the Snowy Animals by Ian Whybrow (husky (up dog, downward facing dog), sled (seated forward fold), polar bear (YogaKids), owl (seated twist), caribou (deer), whale, seal (on belly, stretch arms & legs out straight), puffin (bird), artic hare (bunny breaths), snowy tree, snowing (standing star w/ wiggling fingers).
- Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Buehner (snow (freeze/melt), kite, boat, flower, tree, tiger, candle, blow out the candle breath, rollercoaster group pose (YogaKids), swimming, gate, firefly (Namaste), star, ocean breath, jack-o-lantern pose (http://omazingkidsyoga.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/pumpkin-pose.jpg)
- Snowmen At Night by Caralyn Buehner - see fun lesson plan ideas for this book in a guest post by Margaret Ricciardone on the BodyLogique blog (http://bodylogique.blogspot.com/2011/01/snowmen-at-night.html / printable 1-page PDF- http://tinyurl.com/7f7csmt)
- Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman (snowing (standing star w/ wiggling fingers), hiking up the mountain (cross crawl hike), mountain, snowy tree, group sled (seated angle in a line, lean to each side), caribou (deer), seal (on belly, stretch arms & legs out straight like flippers), hare (bunny breaths), sheep (easy pose and then make snipping motion up each arm – sign for sheep), walrus (on belly, with hands at cheeks with index fingers pointing down as tusks), fox (gyan mudra around nose), squirrel (toe-ga with brown pom-poms gathering acorns), wolf (up dog + howl), moose (seated twist with hands on head as large antlers), bear (bear walk or do “polar bear” pose from YogaKids – childs pose with hand out covering nose), crescent moon). See a video of the book being read: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rY5nD5zeq_A. Teacher’s Guide from the author: http://kimnormanbooks.com/www.kimnormanbooks.com/Media_&_teacher_materials_files/Ten%20on%20the%20Sled%20Teacher%20Guide.doc. More ideas: http://katenarita.blogspot.com/2011/01/by-kim-norman-publisher-sterling-books.html & http://snippetsbysarah.blogspot.com/2012/01/verbs-great-book-and-silly-craftivity.html (includes a free printable)
- The Mitten by Jan Brett (snowing (standing star w/ wiggling fingers), snowy tree, legs as basket full of knitting yarn, mole (child pose w/ fingers spread out by nose), rabbit (bunny breaths), hedgehog (lotus mudra – like spines), owl (seated twist), badger (gyan mudra at eyes “looking”), fox (gyan mudra around nose & cat with leg out as bushy tail), bear (bear walk), mouse (child pose), sneezing breath)
Jan Brett has several free printables to go with “The Mitten”: http://janbrett.com/pdf/tell_your_own_mitten_story.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/tell_your_own_mitten_story_animals.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/design_your_own_mitten.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/mitten_coloring_page_animals.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/mitten_glove_coloring_page.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/mitten_glove_coloring_page_reversed.pdf, http://janbrett.com/pdf/mitten_glove_animals_coloring_page.pdf <3
- The Very Bouncy Bear (pop-up book) by Jack Tickle (polar bear (YogaKids), fish, moose (deer + hands as big antlers by ears), whale, penguin, rabbit, seal, wolf (updog + howling), owl, mouse, moon (crescent moon), star)
- Winter Wonderland by Dick Smith (bell mindfulness activity, snow (freeze/melt), mouse, snowy tree, bird, snowman, fire (hand rubbing/palming activity), chipmunk, sleigh)
- 12 Days of Christmas by Don Daily. See this blog post for lots of ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas: http://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/12/01/12-days-of-christmas-kids-yoga/
- Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson (snoring breath, bear, mouse, rabbit, stretch & sigh breath, bird, Brain Gym Cross Crawl hike, snowy tree, snow (freeze/melt), stir-the-pot, fire (hand rubbing/palming activity), Christmas tree, friendship quilt craft activity – http://karmawilson.com/teachers.htm#staysup )
- Can You See What I See? Night Before Christmas by Walter Wick (too many to list – each page has a seek-and-find for at least 12 items – would be best suited for kids that are a little older and have the ability to find hidden items in a picture scene)
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss (Mt. Crumpit mountain pose, Max the downward facing dog pose, Who choo-choo breath, Christmas tree pose, Who feast (group table pose), Grinch Santy Claus Ho-Ho-Ho breath, crumbs too small for a mouse pose, group sled pose, heart grew three sizes mudra (pic: http://tinyurl.com/c7s7dtt). This story would be best for kids who are a little older. Can lead to great discussions about the over-commercialization of Christmas, what was truly important to the Whos, etc.). I added 3 yoga cards to my Seuss Yoga post:
More Seuss Yoga – Grinch - 1-page PDF.
Get the whole collection of Seuss Yoga printable cards in this post: http://omazingkidsllc.com/2012/02/28/the-yoga-of-dr-seuss-printable-from-omazing-kids-yoga/
- Room For A Little One by Martin Waddell (stable (partner rooftops), ox, dog, cat, mouse, donkey, rock-the-baby, star. To expand the Nativity theme: shepherd (crescent moon – looks like the curve in their staff), sheep (sit in easy pose and do sign for sheep on both arms – http://www.babysignlanguage.com/dictionary/s/sheep/) , camel, 3 Kings gift activity – Fill a box full of affirmation cards/affirmation statements & wrap the lid separate from the bottom of the box. As you pass the box, take one affirmation out and say it about yourself & think of one nice thing to say about the person you are passing the box to. At the end, the kids can color a nativity picture to give as a gift to their parents.)
- The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman (eyes around the clock from YogaKids, bird, house (partner rooftops), snowy tree, sleigh, horse, sleigh bells mindfulness activity – follow the beat, toy soldier marching (mountain pose + hike in place or Brain Gym Cross Crawl Hike), snowball (child’s pose), snow (freeze/melt), wolf, snowman, lion, snow angels, mouse, sledding, swan, Santa (balloon belly breathing & laugh), moon (crescent moon), star)
- The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett (house (partner rooftops), mouse, snow (freeze/melt), dog, cat, candy cane (crescent moon), sleigh, reindeer, Santa (balloon belly breathing & laugh), Christmas tree, plus other options among the ornaments & gifts). Find free printables on the author’s website: http://www.janbrett.com. More fun yoga ideas for the story in this post from Asana Alphabet: http://asanaalphabetblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/merry-yoga-christmas-activity/
- The Very Smiley Snowman (pop-up book) by Jack Tickle (reindeer, rabbit, sledding, bird, snowy tree, snowman, penguin, polar bear, fish, Christmas tree)
- Who Would Like a Christmas Tree? A Tree for All Seasons by Ellen Bryan Obed (snowy tree, bird, mouse (childs pose), deer (seated twist with small antlers), woodcock (soaring bird), easy pose legs as robin’s nest, balsam twig aphids (happy baby pose bugs), flower, butterfly, chrysalis (roll up in mat), spider (roll ball of yarn back and forth in group to weave a web), fox (gyan mudra by nose & cat with leg out as bushy tail), wild turkey (lotus mudra as feathers), christmas tree pose, star)
Santa Yoga Sequence from Classroom Yoga:
Fun “Snowboarder” 5-minute yoga break from GreenTREE Yoga!
Love all the pose ideas: snowflake (standing star w/ wiggling fingers), mountain, chairlift (chair), snowboarder (Warrior II), Winter warm-up breathing & a seated guided relaxation.
Free mp3: http://greentreeyoga.org/Programs/Elementary_LittleTREE_Yoga/13.%20%20F_Snowboarder%20VHB%2012.mp3 (right click & “save target as” to save the mp3 to your computer.). If you have any difficulty, go to their website and download it from there: http://greentreeyoga.org/Programs/Elementary_LittleTREE_Yoga/elementaryyoga.htm.
And even more fun pose ideas in this post on Lilsugar:
Super cute & fun ideas on the Small Potatoes blog!
Free Gingerbread Man song download from Bari Koral: http://soundcloud.com/barikoralfamilyband/gingerbread-man
Snowy Tree – make snowflakes from paper, white felt or foam & hang from your arms (“branches”) in tree pose.
Christmas Tree – make ornaments from paper, felt or foam & hang from your arms (“branches”) in tree pose.
Window Breaths - Sit in front of a cold window. Take in a deep breath through your nose, open your mouth and blow warm air on the cold window. Watch as the window fogs up. If the window has frost, watch as your warm breath melts the frost.
Freeze & Melt: Play Christmas or winter-themed music. When the music stops “freeze” into your favorite yoga pose. When the music starts “melt” and dance to the music. (Please be mindful of kids individual sensory needs when selecting music to use in a group setting- http://omazingkidsyoga.com/music/)
Blowing Snowballs: Each child has a straw, a small box & a variety of sizes of cotton balls (aka. “snowballs”). Work on breathwork & mindfulness while blowing the cotton balls into the snow fort box.
Snowball Toe-Ga: Each child has a variety of sizes of cotton balls (aka. “snowballs”) & a clear cup. Use your toes to pick up the snowballs and fill up the cup.
Pass the Snowball: Sit in a circle and pass a small white ball (aka. snowball). First time around pass with hands while doing a seated twist. Next time around pass it with your feet. For added fun, start passing a second ball around after the first one is about 1/4 way around. Need a snowball? Try making one by stuffing a white sock full of cotton batting or socks. :)
I couldn’t resist this adorable Icebox The Snowman Beanie Ballz on sale at Barnes & Noble!
Printable snowflake patterns: http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/printables/snowflake.html & even more at: http://www.marcels-kid-crafts.com/snowflake-pattern.html
Snowflake ornaments printable: http://www.guildcraftinc.com/guildcraft/GuildcraftSnowflakeornament.pdf
No two snowflakes are alike idea from Alluem Kids Yoga: http://alluemkids.blogspot.com/2009/12/no-two-snowflakes-are-alike.html
Make a snowman printable: http://www.guildcraftinc.com/guildcraft/GuildcraftSnowmancutout.pdf
Coloring pages (can customize them): http://twistynoodle.com/coloring-pages/holiday/christmas/ & http://twistynoodle.com/coloring-pages/months/december/
Sa, Ta, Ma, Na Rudolph idea from Alluem Kids Yoga: http://alluemkids.blogspot.com/2010/12/happy-holidays-from-rudolph-and-alluem.html
Gingerbread Play Dough Recipe: http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2011/12/gingerbread-play-dough-recipe.html
Fun Christmas scented playdoh ideas from 1+1+1=1: http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/2011/12/12-days-of-christmas-busy-hands-play/
Cute Printable Paper Ornaments to use in Christmas Tree Pose: http://familyfun.go.com/assets/cms/pdf/printables/Christmas-Tree-Paper-Ornaments-printables-1010.pdf
Make a “Melted Snowman” glitter bottle: http://www.craftelf.com/Craft_elf_Holiday_Christmas_melted_snowman_craft_project.htm
Cute idea from Inner Child Fun! Get the instructions & free printable template to make this cardboard toy gingerbread house from an empty cereal box: http://innerchildfun.com/2012/11/diy-cardboard-toy-gingerbread-house.html
Puffy snowflake paintings: http://innerchildfun.com/2012/01/puffy-snowflake-paintings.html
Make a snow globe: http://thegreendragonfly.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/make-a-snow-globe/
Once There Was A Snowman – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv4cC3rM63s
“Once there was a snowman, snowman, snowman. Once there was a snowman tall, tall, tall. In the sun he melted, melted, melted. In the sun he melted small, small, small.”
Thanks to Donna Freeman from Yogainmyschool for suggesting this song….. It’s new to me and I LOVE it. It will be perfect to stretch tall, tall, tall and then melt down into a small snowball – child’s pose! As I was looking for this song I found several more snow songs on this website: http://www.everythingpreschool.com/themes/snow/songs.htm
Guided Relaxation: The Relax Kids “Silent Nights” album is available for FREE right now – It has 12 Christmas & Winter themed guided relaxation visualization mp3′s - http://www.relaxkids.com/advent/gifts/silentnights/
The Snowman guided relaxation script (a shortened version based on this post on the Relax Kids blog: http://blog.relaxkids.com/?p=2219)
Feel free to add any other fun seasonal kids yoga ideas in a comment below!
Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Founder of OMazing Kids, LLC – inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2
Contests & Giveaways on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OMazingKidsContestsandGiveaways
OMazing Kids LLC is an organization that promotes inclusive wellness activities for kids of all abilities. The blog and social media pages share information about books, DVD’s, CD’s, games and other products specifically designed for kids wellness, mindfulness and relaxation, product reviews & giveaways, lesson plan & activity ideas, research, kids wellness in the news and a connection corner with listings of individuals doing adapted yoga and those offering trainings.
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