Not A Box: An OMazing Kids Yoga Lesson Plan & Book Review

Not A Box: An OMazing Kids Yoga Lesson Plan & Book Review

We had SO much fun in OMazing Kids Yoga this week doing yoga to the story “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis!

I brought a medium sized cardboard box for each child since we had a small group of 5 kids & I wanted them to be able to experience being “in” and “out” of the box. I also selected this size of boxes since I wanted large surfaces for them to be able to put pictures on since the kids I see in that group have difficulty with fine motor control. The paper template in the Not A Box Activity Guide listed below would be great if you had a very large group and the kids had the ability to handle that level of fine motor task. Or you could also have each child bring their own box to the group (of course have a few extra boxes on hand in case someone forgets to bring one).

As a motivator/reinforcer for the kids to participate, they earned a coloring sheet for each pose they participated in and then got to glue it on their own box. To keep the flow of the group going, we saved the coloring of the pictures for the end. Worked like a charm…. the child who had so much difficulty staying engaged last week was a great yogi this week and was SO proud of his “not a box” creation. Wish I could have taken pictures to share but that’s not possible in the hospital setting due to HIPAA rules.

Opportunities for yoga poses/activities in this book:

  • bunny breath
  • racecar (Could do as group pose or individually sitting in your box or on the yoga mat. Sit with legs & arms straight out. Point/flex feet to hit the gas pedal or brakes. “Steer” your car with arm motions or could also add a hula hoop to be the steering wheel.)
  • mountain (We stood in the box to do mountain pose. It was a great opportunity for the kids to use motor planning skills to figure out how to get in/out of the box and to practice asking for help when they needed it.)
  • firefighter (a variation on elephant pose & crescent moon pose – hold hand together at midline to be the firefighter’s hose and then bend in different directions as you squirt water on the burning building)
  • robot (move & freeze like robots. Could also incorporate mindfulness to see how closely the kids can imitate specific robot movements)
  • pirate
  • balloon breathing
  • elephant
  • boat
  • humming breath (as we are thinking “Hmm”)
  • rocket (variation of volcano pose  – squat down with hands together at heart, countdown (we did 3, 2, 1 given our kids short attention spans), then “blast off” as you jump up, lift your arms and exhale loudly)
  • star
  • planets (group activity – one child in the middle as the “sun” and the rest of the group move in a circle “orbiting” around the sun)
  • Affirmation: I am creative – I use my imagination!
  • Relaxation: Listening to relaxing music as we colored all the pictures we had glued on the “not a box” creations. Each child was given only 2 crayons so they would have the opportunity to practice social skills in asking to trade colors with the other kids.
  • Each child took their “not a box” creation with them to play with later


“Not a Box” Playlist

This book will also be great to use in my work as a Speech-Language Pathologist. So here are several other reasons I LOVE this book:

  • Simple text.
  • Clear illustrations (combination of black, white, red & yellow) are great for young kids and will especially be helpful for kids who may have difficulty attending to pictures in other books due to visual impairments or conditions like ADD/ADHD or Autism. Many kids with cortical visual impairments tend to respond well to these specific colors so I can’t wait to try this book out the next time I have a patient with CVI.  (Here’s a great CVI tip sheet:
  • Great repeated line “It’s NOT a box”. Repeated lines provide great predictability for emergent readers, are great for intraverbal fill-ins in a ABA Verbal Behavior program and are great opportunities for kids to participate in reading the story either verbally or through the use of a single message voice output communication aide (ex: BigMACK).
  • Opportunities for practicing inferencing & predicting skills (looking at the details in a picture for “clues”).
  • Lots of practice of “positional” words (in, on top, beside,  behind, etc…)
  • Great use of two “Wh” questions (why, what)
  • Great way to teach “negation” (the concept of “not”)
  • Encourages “flexibile” thinking & creativity (often very difficult for many kids with special needs…. Especially those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder).

I purchased my copy of the book on Amazon:

Free Activity Guide (9 page PDF): (also saved on my blog at: Not A Box Activity Guide)

Printable Coloring Pics to Color & Paste on a “Not a Box” Box – I use them as a reinforcer for kids to try each pose in the Therapeutic Yoga Group for our inpatients at the JD McCarty Center. They get a pic to add to their box for each pose. The large pics work well on a large box – like copy paper comes in or larger. The small pics work well on smaller boxes or with kids that get too focused on coloring.

not a box (full page pics) – 11 page PDF

not a box (small pics) – 4 page PDF

bunny puppet for It’s Not a Box

bunny puppet for It's Not a Box

See the entire book in this cute YouTube video:

Great review & ideas from Picture Books & Pirouettes & Maria’s Movers

Great blog post from another SLP with more ideas for this book:

More out-of-the-box fun in this blog post: & bought Sitting in My Box by Dee Lillegard to extend the box theme:

Encourage some out-of-the-box “food fun” with these creative snack ideas:

Food Fun

There are lots of fun Pinterest pages & blog with fun kids snacks & bento box ideas!

Here’s a great “think outside the box” mini poster from FableVision Learning to go with this theme:  

(1 page PDF – / also saved on my blog at: Think Outside The Box mini poster)

Also love this:

See how we used this book in a free storytime event for Better Hearing & Speech Month at the JD McCarty Center in May 2013.

Feel free to comment & share your “not a box” ideas 🙂

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga, LLC – inclusive yoga for kids & teens of all abilities in Norman, Oklahoma

Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2





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Christmas & Winter Themed Kids Yoga Ideas (updated for 2012)


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:


  • 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:

  • 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)

  • 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: See a post with great art project ideas for this book:

A few ideas for “a starry night guided relaxation”

The Night Sky from “Imaginations: Fun Relaxation Stories and Meditations for Kids” (order at

Big White Star from “Yoga 4 Classrooms Activity Card Deck” (order at

  • 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

  • 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).

  • 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”:,,,,,, <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

  • 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 – )

  • 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: 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:

  • 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 –, 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 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: (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:

Cool ideas in this new video from Cosmic Kids :

cosmic kids - pedro the penguin - watch on Youtube

And even more fun pose ideas in this post on Lilsugar:

holiday yoga poses for kids - click pic to go to this post

Super cute & fun ideas on the Small Potatoes blog!

A Yuletide Yoga Practice for Young Children - click pic to go to blog post

Free Song:

Free Gingerbread Man song download from Bari Koral:

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- :)

Snowball Games:

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: & even more at:

Snowflake ornaments printable:

No two snowflakes are alike idea from Alluem Kids Yoga:

Make a snowman printable:

Coloring pages (can customize them):  &

Sa, Ta, Ma, Na Rudolph idea from Alluem Kids Yoga:

Gingerbread Play Dough Recipe:

Fun Christmas scented playdoh ideas from  1+1+1=1:

Cute Printable Paper Ornaments to use in Christmas Tree Pose:

Make a “Melted Snowman” glitter bottle:

Cute idea from Inner Child Fun! Get the instructions & free printable template to make this cardboard toy gingerbread house from an empty cereal box:

Puffy snowflake paintings

Make a snow globe:


Once There Was A Snowman 

“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:

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 –

The Snowman guided relaxation script (a shortened version based on this post on the Relax Kids blog:

Feel free to add any other fun seasonal kids yoga ideas in a comment below!

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2

Speech-Language Pathologist

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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Going on an Urban Animals Hunt – an OMazing Kids Yoga activity

Looking for a fun indoor activity for kids? We did an indoor animal hunt in OMazing Kids Yoga to go with the book “Urban Animals” by Isabel Hill

(take a peek inside the book on her website: & more at Available from Amazon:

I made picture cards for all the animals in the book and taped them on the architectural elements (walls, columns, railings, windows, doors, etc.) inside the JD McCarty Center.

PDF printable (2 pages – letter size paper): Urban Animals – animal pics for indoor animal hunt  (tip: laminate the pics or cover in clear contact paper for durability)

We made binoculars out of toilet paper tubes (just need two cardboard tubes of same length, tape, construction paper strip (to tape around the tubes to help hold them together), yarn, a single hole punch & crayons) & then animal hunt began 🙂

The kids took turns doing “I Spy” or “I See” (for kids that were nonverbal, we used a BIGmack®  single message voice output communication aide that they pushed the button to say “Look!”).

More info about ways to use the BIGmack®

Since we were “on the move”, we kept shoes on & didn’t use yoga mats since the area is carpeted (it was a great opportunity for folks to see that yoga can be done “off the mat”)

We stopped and did the yoga pose or breath for each animal that we found (here are a few ideas…. for Seahorse we made up a pose – lay on your tummy, cross your legs & then curl them – like the curled tail of a seahorse, put your hands on the floor by your shoulders and wiggle fingers – like the tiny fins, make sure to switch and cross with the other leg on top; Hare = hopping; Bunny = Bunny Breaths)

Tons of fun for kids of all abilities!

Stop by the OMazing Kids Yoga Facebook page for more fun ideas:

Yoga for Kids and Teens in Oklahoma – Resource List

I have compiled this resource list of folks offering yoga classes/groups for kids & teens in Oklahoma based on what I could find online & through e-mail and Facebook correspondence. It is a work in progress so please let me know if you would like information added, removed or updated.  If I have overlooked someone who is doing yoga with kids and/or teens please let me know so I can get them added to the list.

Just in case you are wondering why I put together this resource list…..

1. We have kids & teens who benefit from yoga in my OMazing Kids Yoga groups at the JD McCarty Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Kids come to the center from all over the state and I have been looking for places to refer families to when their child discharges from the JD McCarty Center.

2. It will be nice to be able to network and collaborate with other folks doing yoga for kids & teens here in Oklahoma.

Click here for the resource list (PDF): Yoga for Kids and Teens in Oklahoma – Resource List

Thanks for all the OMazing things you each do for kids & teens in Oklahoma!

Angela Moorad, MS, CCC-SLP, IAYT, RCYP-2
Speech-Language Pathologist & Founder of OMazing Kids Yoga
Radiant Child Yoga Certified – Levels 1 & 2

J.D. McCarty Center
2002 East Robinson Street
Norman, OK 73071

(405) 307-2802 – Direct line with voicemail – Work E-mail


OMazing Kids Yoga is now on Wimgo – forming kids yoga groups at the JD McCarty Center in Norman, Oklahoma

Info about OMazing Kids Yoga forming kids yoga groups at the JD McCarty Center in Norman, Oklahoma is now on Wimgo ( – also see the new widget in the right side bar.  🙂