the above image is from the site http://www.owltreeyoga.com/2011/04/earth-day.html
In celebration of Earth Day coming up, I focused my kids yoga class on this particular theme. I wanted to make it lively and vibrant rather than boring them with dry ideas. There are great resources out there on how to educate children about Earth Day. I wanted to focus on making them interested in the subject by being as creative as possible.
I believe Earth Day and Yoga go hand in hand. Each pose is already focused on different animals and things of nature. The kids know what tree pose is and they know how to flap their arms like a bird. They know butterfly pose and they know the fiery feeling of jumping like a frog. Kids Yoga is such a great way to introduce and educate children on how to make the world a better place. As the old wise saying goes ‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but we borrow it from our children.’
I researched different ideas and used some of my ideas from last years Earth Day. I wanted to teach something that 4 yr olds could grasp and that 7 yr olds could appreciate.
So through my research, I found a really cool class idea on Google. The theme was based on using a parachute and telling the story of going on a nature hike. As you continue to read below, you will see how the story goes. So, I followed my class plan and integrated my own ideas.
Here is how the class went:
Circle Time: I asked the class to raise their hand and tell me if they knew what Earth Day was. Honestly, I didn’t expect many of them to know, especially the 4 year olds. The 7 year olds all knew what it is and had great things to say. ‘Earth Day is a day to take care of the earth. On Earth Day I am not going to take a shower!’ to ‘Earth Day is when we recycle.’ Great responses! I made sure I explained that we should care for the earth EVERYDAY!
Volcanoe Breath: to calm them down and center them for class
Mountain Pose: (wearing their favorite hats as a way to explain the crown chakra and pulling the energy towards the clouds.)
Tick Tock Yoga Clock Song: Kids love this song! (Let’s Play Yoga Cd by Karma Kids) It has nothing to do with Earth Day, but it sure does make them happy.
Theme: Earth Day Nature Hike with parachute. Here is what we did:
Laid the parachute out on the floor as the kids gathered around it.
Going on a Nature Hike:
Going on a nature hike to see what we can see.
Up, up, up the hill…we see lots of trees.
(Lifting the parachute up, up, up and then coming into tree)
Going on a nature hike through soggy bog.
Hop, hop, hopping high with our friend the frog.
(Waving parachute and hopping into frog pose.)
Going on a nature hike to spy what we can spy.
Down, down, down the hill…we find butterflies.
(Bringing parachute down. Butterfly pose)
Going on a nature hike across the flowing water.
Row, row, row the boat and we will get much farther.
(Wave parachute like water. Boat Pose)
Going on a nature hike to hear what we can hear.
Turn, turn, turn around….a singing bird is near.
(Walking around in a circle. Bird pose)
Going on a nature hike past a creepy cave.
Tip, tip, tippy toe so the bear in there behaves.
(Walking around the circle on tiptoes. Balancing Bear under the parachute/in the cave)
We went on a nature hike and we need a place to rest.
Slow, slow, slowing down…on that big rock seems best.
(Walking and slowing down. Child’s pose.)
After we finished, I put the parachute aside and stayed standing in a circle. The circle represented the earth and we were the trees. We held hands and came into tree pose. We stayed with our hands held and trusted that we would be supported and taken care of by each other.
I then had them go back to their yoga mats as I walked around with a coloring page. The coloring page had an earth with trees standing all around it. They each colored the page and shared crayons. As they colored I read them Todd Parr’s book The Earth Book. This book has vibrant illustrations and fun truthful facts about how to take care of the earth. Kids love it!
When we were done they laid quietly in savasana as I explained that the earth was supporting them as they lay there and rest. I explained that when you take care of the earth, the earth takes care of you.
Oh! and of course they each got a foot massage by me (that’s their favorite part!)
*I found this theme as I was googling ideas. I give full credit to the woman who created this parachute theme for Earth Day. This theme was found on http://www.foodyogapeace.com