Combining early literacy activities with movement, music, art, props & games with can create fun learning opportunities to engage all the senses. Many kids with special needs have an especially difficult time with even basic early literacy skills and often may not enjoy sitting still for a traditional “storytime”. Dr. Seuss would have loved kids yoga and most of the kids I work with LOVE his books! The creativity & uniqueness of his characters, the wacky rhyming text, great repeated lines, the messages of nature conservation, peace & equality, and all the fun…fun…fun! Dr. Seuss books & characters are a wonderful inspiration for kids yoga class activities!
Kids yoga opportunities in Dr. Seuss’ ABC:
- Alligator (after doing “alligator pose”, use alligator plush as “alligator on a rock” on child’s back in child’s pose or let the alligator swim on the breath on child’s belly)
- Baby, bubble blowing breathwork, buzzing bee breath
- Feather breathwork
- Goat, goggles (gyan mudra “glasses” at eyes)
- Horse, hooray (affirmation cards)
- I am happy, I am good (I like this all English version from Zensational Kids: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMHbg4ArfeY)
- Jelly wiggle, jar of jam (stir the pot),
- Kitten (cat), kangaroo hops, kite, kerchoo (sneezing breath)
- Legs (seated forward fold), lion
- Mouse, moon
- Nose (alternate nostril breathing)
- Ostrich (standing forward fold – like ostrich hiding head in sand), owl
- Paint the pajamas (use paintbrush bulletin board cutouts as props)
- Queen (lotus mudra to make crown on head), quacking (duck)
- Sipping sodas (sitali breath)
- Turtle, tree
- Umbrella (standing star – like a wide open umbrella, with wiggling fingers as raindrops falling)
- Violin (rock the baby – leg is like the bow playing the violin)
- X – words that end in “X” – ax (woodchopper), fox (gyan mudra around nose)
- Yawning, yak
- Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz (group pose – kids lay down to form a letter “Z”; also could make up a pose)
See & hear the book being sung in this YouTube video:
(mp3 version saved out on my Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/omazing-kids-yoga/dr-suess-abc-song-youtube)
We also did a phonemic awareness sort, color & paste activity. I found this activity on Seussville.com and then modified it to meet our kids needs. Many of our kids at JDMC do better when given some choices rather than the open ended nature of this worksheet. Often when given a few pictured choices they then can think of other things to draw that start with that letter. Using Boardmaker, I made 5 picture symbols for words that start with “A” and 5 that start with “B”. After using it I tweaked it a bit (took off “ant” since it also looked like “bugs”…. a “B” word. And added a What begins with “A” sheet since two of the kids with Autism were having a difficult time with not having a specific spot to paste the “A” words. In that moment, we did a mini-lesson on problem solving and thinking of options. We were able to draw an “A” on the back of the “B” worksheet to be able to move on :) )
Fun “seek-and-find” alphabet animals coloring pages (would be best for older kids or those who can handle this level of detail):
Make some Rainbow Alphabet Crayons:
More fun ideas for this book:
Extend the “alphabet” theme with any of these great kids yoga products:
- ABCs of Yoga for Kids Learning Cards. They also have an alphabet picture book with a rhyme for each pose (available in English & Spanish), a coloring book, a poster & other products.
- Asana Alphabet: Yogi & Yogette Learn the Asana Alphabet
- Elahi Yoga Student Workbook
- Frog Yoga Alphabet Teacher Training Package by Young Yoga Masters
- Learn With Yoga ABC Yoga Cards for Kids cards – set of 26 ABC yoga cards with verbal cues & benefits (1 pose for each letter) & 26 Instructor Cards with ideas for language development & reading readiness activities for each pose. [Review: http://wp.me/p1t7TU-31]. They also have an Instructors Guide, Virtues Book, coloring book & other products.
- Luke’s A to Z of Australian Animals: an Alphabet Coloring Book by Giselle Shardlow of Kids Yoga Stories [Review: http://wp.me/p1t7TU-XH]
The Rotary Club of Boston #7 has a free download of this cool guide on their website! It’s an 80-page PDF so be patient while it downloads. See the website for details about use: http://www.clubrunner.ca/portal/SitePages/SitePage.aspx?accountid=3239&pid=57374
Want to learn even more about combining movement with early literacy? Read this great article “Learning By Leaps and Bounds: Linking Literacy & Movement” by Rae Pica from NAEYC: http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201011/Leaps&BoundsOnline1110.pdf.
Also check out this “Yoga4Literacy – Reading Readiness with a Twist” webinar series from Donna Freeman at yogainmyschool.com. Available on the new Kids Yoga Academy website either as part of a membership plan (http://kidsyogaacademy.com/ecourses) or the new on-demand E-course option (http://kidsyogaacademy.com/on-demand-ecourses).
I purchased my copy of the book & the plush alligator at Kohl’s. Dr. Seuss is part of their current “Kohl’s Cares” line. Large hardcover books and plush toys are a bargain at only $5.00 each & the proceeds go to great causes (what not to love about that?):
If you have been following my blog, Facebook page & other social media pages for any length of time, you know that I love & own hundreds of kids picture books. I have several other Dr. Seuss “faves” that I have posted lesson plans for: Green Eggs & Ham, My Many Colored Days & How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. Last year I was inspired to create “The Yoga of Dr. Seuss” a 3-page PDF printable of 36 Dr. Seuss inspired kids yoga activities (including poses, breathing, games, affirmations, yamas/niyamas & relaxation) to celebrate his birthday. I’ve always loved Dr. Seuss & have fond memories of reading his books as a child. Now it’s fun to find new creative ways to help kids enjoy his work as well :)
See a post by Barbara Gini at Bodylogique inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew”: Are YOU Going to Solla Sollew?
See more “seusstastic” ideas for celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March 2nd, with the annual Read Across America 2013 EduKit Booklet:
Join a Seuss Blog Hop started by Rainbows Within Reach:
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Feel free to share any requests you have for kids yoga lesson plan ideas in the comments below or on the OMazing Kids Facebook page!
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
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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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