This tool was created in response to a special request we received. (Open poster-yoga session) Print, add the date and time, and display where parents will see it.
Animated discussion-Yoga wheel
To introduce your theme, we suggest you present a brief yoga session in order to prepare children for the rest of the theme’s activities. (Open yoga wheel) Print and laminate the wheel. It will help you present various yoga poses to your group.
A treasure hunt to discover the theme
(Open educa-decorate-Yoga) Print and laminate. Set the illustrations on items throughout the daycare. Invite children to search for them. Name the items and invite children to guess the theme.
(Open word flashcards-Yoga) Print and laminate the flashcards. Use them to spark a conversation with the children in your group.
Let’s talk about yoga…with a puppet
Use a puppet to encourage children to talk about various subjects related to the theme. The puppet may help some children overcome their shyness. It may also be helpful for children who require language support. One thing is certain, the puppet will encourage children to talk.
Point to (or name) the pictures
(Open word flashcards-Yoga) (Open giant word flashcards-Yoga) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall next to your circle time area or on a piece of cardboard that can easily be moved around. Name a word and encourage children to take turns pointing to the correct word flashcard.
Poni discovers and presents-Yoga
(Open Poni discovers and presents-Yoga) Print the various cards. Laminate them and cut them out. Use your Poni puppet (or another puppet children are familiar with) to present the different yoga poses to your group.
(Open picture game-Yoga) Print and laminate the pictures in the format you prefer. Use a hole-punch to make a hole in the upper right and left corner of each picture. Stack the pictures and insert a ring through each set of holes. The flipogram is easy to manipulate. Simply show children how they can lift a picture and flip it under the stack. Name each item with your group. Use the flipogram to encourage children to talk during circle time and to ask them questions about the theme.
Prepare a yoga corner with mats and towels on the floor to attract children's attention. They will most likely ask questions. Display pictures of various yoga poses on your daycare walls. Wear yoga pants and a headband. Once all the children in your group have arrived, show them a few simple yoga poses.
(Open poster-Sun salutation) Print, laminate, and display.
(Open thematic poster-Yoga) Print, laminate, and display where children and parents are sure to see it.
(Open educa-decorate-Yoga) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Use them to decorate your walls and set the mood for the theme.
(Open stickers-Yoga) Print the illustrations on adhesive paper and use them to create a collection of unique stickers. Use them to reward children throughout the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Yoga) Print and laminate the different elements representing the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and children’s parents) while decorating your daycare.
Hang pictures of different yoga poses from the ceiling in your daycare. On walls, display pictures related to the theme. Children will enjoy observing them throughout the theme.
(Open floor illustrations-Yoga) Print and have children color the items. Cut them out and press them on the floor using adhesive paper. If you wish, you can use the illustrations to delimit various areas, to draw paths connecting different areas, or just decorate your daycare for the theme.
My yoga coloring chart
(Open my yoga coloring chart) Print for each child. Every time a child participates in a yoga session, invite him to color a box on his chart. At the end of the week, discuss the results.
Prepare a yoga corner with mats and towels on the floor to attract children's attention. They will most likely ask questions. Change your lighting by adding colourful light bulbs to encourage relaxation. Play soft music to help children relax.
Yoga pose wall
Have children execute different yoga poses and photograph them. Print the pictures and display them on a banner that can be hung on a wall, near your daycare entrance. Parents will love seeing their children in action.
(Open picture game-Yoga) Use the pictures to decorate your daycare or to spark a conversation with your group. Print, laminate, and store the pictures in a Ziploc bag or in your thematic bin.
(Open picture game-Yoga) Print the illustrations twice and use them for a memory game.
(Open activity sheets-Yoga) Print and follow instructions.
Writing activity-Y like yoga
(Open writing activities-Y like yoga) Print for each child or laminate for use with a dry-erase marker.
(Open educa-nuudles-Yoga) Print for each child. Have children color the sheet. Once they are done, they may use Magic Nuudles to turn the coloring pages into three-dimensional works of art.
Variation: If you do not have Magic Nuudles, ask children to fill the spaces designed for Magic Nuudles with bingo markers or stickers.
To order Magic Nuudles:
(Open educa-spots-Yoga) Print for each child. Use bingo markers to add color inside the circles. If you don’t have bingo markers, simply have children fill the spots with dry cereal or stickers.
Ideas for your activity sheets
Glue 2 crayons end to end for each child. Have children complete part of an activity sheet using one color before creeping their fingers towards the other end like a caterpillar to use the second color to complete it.
Glue activity sheets on walls, the floor, or under tables to encourage children to adopt different positions and provide an added challenge.
Creating your own activity binder
Laminate several activity sheets and writing activities and arrange them in a binder along with dry-erase markers. Leave the binder in your writing area and let children complete the pages as they wish. At the end of the day, simply wipe off their work so the activity binder can be reused.
The flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing area, or to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-Yoga) yoga, sun, mat, relaxation, stretching, exercise, posture, breathe, salute, thank, teacher, rest.
(Open word flashcards-Yoganimals) (Open giant word flashcards-Yoganimals) The flashcards may be used to spark a conversation with your group, in your reading and writing area, or to identify your thematic bins.
Cobra, bird, cat, lion, dog, frog, rabbit, monkey, bear, tiger, flamingo, dinosaur.
(Open educa-chatterbox-Yoga) Print and laminate the cards. To create your chatterbox, you will need an empty shoebox or a small bin that you can decorate as you see fit. Fill it with tiny objects, illustrations, pictures, and accessories related to your theme. To help you, we have created a series of cards that you may use. During circle time or, for example, when children are waiting for their lunch, have them take turns picking a card or object out of your chatterbox and naming the corresponding item.
(Open sequential stories-Yoga) Print, laminate, and cut out the illustrations. Children must place the illustrations in the correct order to recreate the story.
Print and laminate the theme’s word flashcards. Have each child pick a word. They can take turns presenting their word to the group (ex. mat). Discuss each item and ask children questions to see what they know about the theme.
(Open word flashcards-Yoga) (Open giant word flashcards-Yoga) Print many copies of the word flashcards and encourage children to use scrabble tiles to write the words. Manipulating the small tiles represents a great fine motor skill exercise. At the same time, children will notice which letters make up the different words.
Words on a wire
(Open word flashcards-Yoga) (Open giant word flashcards-Yoga) Print two copies of several word flashcards. Hang one copy of each flashcard on a clothesline using colourful clothespins. Arrange the other word flashcards in a pile. Let children take turns picking a word flashcard. Help them read their word before inviting them to find the corresponding word flashcard on the clothesline. When they find it, they can place the word flashcard they picked over the word flashcard on the clothesline using the same clothespin. Help younger children manipulate the clothespin if necessary.
(Open word flashcards-Yoga) (Open giant word flashcards-Yoga) Print several word flashcards and hide them throughout your daycare or yard. Divide your group into two teams. When you give them the signal, children must search for the flashcards for a pre-determined period, for example three minutes. When the time is up, children must be able to “read” their flashcards to earn a point for their team. If they are unable to find the correct word, the other team can earn the point if they succeed.
Associating words and pictures
(Open giant word flashcards-Yoga) (Open word flashcards-Yoga) Print, laminate, and display the word flashcards on a wall or a large piece of cardboard that can be moved around. Name a word and have children identify the corresponding word flashcard.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Modeling dough activity placemats-Yoga
(Open modeling dough activity placemats-Yoga) Print and laminate. Let children pick a placemat and provide modeling dough. Encourage them to use the dough to fill or reproduce the shapes that are on their placemat.
(Open string activities-Yoga) Print for each child. Children trace the lines with white glue and then press string or ribbon in the glue.
Illuminated yoga course
Pull your curtains and turn off the lights. Create an obstacle course throughout which children must collect glow sticks that you have hung next to illustrated yoga poses that they must perform one by one. At the end, have them connect the glow sticks to create a circle of light.
I move my body
Plan a yoga session to help children learn to recognize different body parts. Next, present a guided relaxation. Name various body parts and invite children to relax them by releasing their muscles and any tension they may feel within their body.
Fine motor skills-Crumpled yoga
(Open shapes-Yoga) Print for each child. Have them tear tissue paper into tiny pieces. Next, have children fill the shapes with the crumpled pieces of paper. Display children’s artwork.
Mountain pose is a basic yoga pose, one of the first ones that children learn in general. Its execution is simple, and children can therefore master it very quickly. Mountain pose helps calm children, fosters balance, tones leg muscles, and reinforces their spine. It realigns the body and helps children bring their attention to the present moment.
Basic instructions for mountain pose:
- Stand tall with your feet together.
- Place your arms on either side of your body, palms turned forward.
- Remain perfectly still, focus on your breathing.
- Close your eyes if you wish.
How to introduce mountain pose with young children:
- Open, print, and laminate the document: (Open mountain pose).
- Present the picture to children and have them execute the pose.
- Give them the basic instructions listed above to guide them.
- Accompany them and perform the pose so that children have a model to look at.
When to use mountain pose:
- To help children calm down.
- To prepare children for a yoga session, start with mountain pose. Take a few breaths while maintaining this pose.
- At the end of a series of yoga poses in order to recenter children’s attention on “here and now”.
A few variations:
- To take this pose to the next level, encourage children to breathe in deeply and raise their arms over their head, drawing a circle in the air with their arms. Have them press their hands together. As they breathe out, they can lower their hands to their heart.
- As they breathe in, invite them to rise up onto their toes. As they breathe out, they lower their feet to the ground.
- Invite children to breathe in deeply and raise their arms over their head, drawing a circle in the air, but without touching their palms. As they breathe out, they can lower their arms and return to their initial position.
Perpetual calendar-Yoga day
(Open perpetual calendar-Yoga day) Print and add the day, date, and month. Ask parents to dress children in comfortable clothing. Place towels or exercise mats on the floor. Enjoy as many activities as possible on the mats, even lunch and snacks!
(Open picture game-Yoga) Organize a brief yoga session to prepare children for other activities. Print and laminate the pictures and use them to present the poses you want them to try.
Begin each day with a 10-minute yoga session. Play soft music. You can use yoga DVDs for inspiration or, if you prefer, you can invent a series of poses that children will have fun executing.
Hang a long piece of string on items throughout your daycare to draw a course that children must complete. The string can lead children under tables, through chair legs, over furniture items, etc. Integrate as many sturdy items as possible that are safe for children. Determine a starting point and a finish line.
Yoga pose obstacle course
Use ribbon to draw a path connecting various frequently visited areas within your daycare. For example, you can draw a line between the cloakroom and the bathroom, and another one between the kitchen and your daycare entrance. Select a yoga pose that children must perform between each set of areas. This is a great way to encourage children to be active throughout the day.
I can hold a yoga pose
(Open picture game-Yoga) Display pictures of different poses on your daycare walls. During circle time, invite a child to pick a pose that the entire group must hold for a few seconds. Have another child select a different pose, and so on.
Yoga pose die
(Open yoga pose die) Print, cut out, and assemble the die. Children take turns rolling the die and executing the illustrated pose. Variation: Use a second die with numbers on it to determine how many breaths children shall take while holding each pose.
Snakes and ladders-Yoga
(Open snakes and ladders-Yoga) Print and laminate. Use a die and tiny plastic figurines as playing pieces.
Have children stand on a line at one end of your daycare. Stand at the other end of the daycare, with your back to the group. The object of the game is for children to walk up to you without you seeing them. Every time you say “1-2-3-Yoga”, turn around very quickly. Every time you turn around, children must stop in their tracks and hold a yoga pose. If you see a child move, he must return to the start line. The game continues until a child reaches you.
YOGA AND RELAXATION
Children crouch down on the floor. Invite them to breathe in deeply and slowly as they stand up. Next, have them breathe out very gently as they sit back down on the floor. Repeat several times, until they are calm.
Have children sit with their legs crossed or out in front of them. Encourage them to pretend to pick a flower and raise it up to their nose to smell it. Invite them to close their eyes and breathe in deeply before breathing out very slowly. Repeat as often as necessary.
The cotton ball
Have children lie on their stomach on the floor. Set a cotton ball in front of them. Have them bend their head forward to set their chin on the floor. Encourage children to breathe in deeply and blow on their cotton ball to propel it forward as they breathe out. Repeat.
Immobile stuffed animals
Have children lie on their back, with their arms on either side of their body. Set a stuffed animal on each child’s stomach or legs. Ask them to close their eyes. Play soft music. Each child’s stuffed animal must remain perfectly still as long as the music is playing. The first time you try this, set a timer for 2 minutes. If children succeed, gradually increase the duration. Congratulate children for their efforts. Use this activity to discuss with your group and help children recognize how they feel after a relaxation activity.
Accompany children and help them practice breathing techniques. Invite them, for example, to close their eyes and breathe in for 3 counts before slowly breathing out for 3 counts.
Hang soft objects such as stuffed animals from your daycare ceiling and invite children to try to jump or hop up to touch them.
Help one child at a time raise their legs up towards the sky while keeping their hands on the floor. Their legs must be as straight as possible, like a candlestick.
Children sit on their mat or towel with their legs criss-cross. Ask them to place their feet over their knees and sway gently from side to side.
Have children walk around your daycare with an item resting on their head. It mustn’t fall off.
Place a blanket on the floor. Ask children to lie on their back and relax. Invite them to think about activities they would like to do with their family or friends, etc. Afterwards, ask children to name the activities they daydreamed about.
(Open postures-Animal yoga) Print, laminate, and display. Several yoga poses for children are based on different animals. Here are a few that you can integrate in your routine.
The cobra: Children lie on their stomach, legs straight, and feet together. Have them take a big breath and push on their hands to raise their upper body, keeping their pelvis against the floor. Hold the position for 10 seconds, release.
The bird: Children begin in a crouching position, with their arms stretched outwards. Slowly, they move up into a standing position while gently flapping their arms as if they were wings.
The cat: Children are on their hands and knees. The cat raises its head to stretch its neck, curves its back, etc.
The lion: Children are on their hands and knees. Simply ask them to raise their head to stretch their neck as much as they can and roar as loudly as possible. Children will love this exercise. The lion's roar releases tension.
The walking dog: Children stand and lean forward to press their hands against the floor (the body forms a triangle). Children move about in this position.
The frog: Children crouch down and open their knees out to either side, setting their hands on the floor between their legs. Encourage them to hop like a frog.
The rabbit: Children set their feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Their arms are on either side of their body. When they breathe in, they bend their knees slightly and raise their arms in front of them, at their chest. As they breathe out, they straighten their legs and lower their arms on either side of their body.
The monkey: Have children stand with their legs hip-width apart. When they breathe in, they bend their knees slightly and raise their arms over their head. They then breathe out and straighten their legs as they lower their arms.
The bear: Children stand tall. When the breathe in, they raise one knee to hip level and their arms to shoulder level. Encourage them to try to balance in this position. Repeat on the other side.
The tiger: Children get down on their hands and knees. They raise one arm in front of them, to shoulder level and raise the opposite leg behind them. They lower their arm and their leg and repeat on the other side.
The pink flamingo: Children stand tall. As they breathe in, they raise one foot up to their opposite knee, raise their arms up to shoulder level, and try to balance in this position. Repeat on the other side.
The dinosaur: Children get down on their hands and knees. Simply ask them to raise their head and stretch their neck out as far as they can.
Game-Four yoga poses
(Open game-Four yoga poses) Print, glue the cards on opaque cardboard and cut them out. Arrange all the cards upside down on the floor or table (so you can’t see the illustrations). Children take turns rolling a die. Every time a child rolls a “1”, he can turn a card. If he doesn’t already have this yoga pose in front of him, he keeps it and places it in front of him for everyone to see. The first child who has collected all four yoga poses wins.
Color by number-Yoga
(Open color by number-Yoga) Print for each child. Have children color the picture per the color code.
Homemade wooden puzzles
Print yoga pictures and color them if necessary. Press several Popsicle sticks together and glue a picture on top of them. Cut around each stick and set them in a Ziploc bag. Repeat with the other pictures. Children will enjoy placing the sticks in the correct order to see the yoga pictures appear.
Giant yoga board game
With your group, assemble large foam puzzle pieces to create a giant board game. (Open giant yoga die) Print and laminate the items and glue each picture on one side of a square box that you have wrapped with wrapping paper. Invite each child to select a stuffed animal and set it in the first square. Children take turns rolling the die and moving forward or backwards per what is indicated on the die. For example, if a child rolls “+ 2 items” he moves his stuffed animal 2 squares ahead. If he rolls “-1 item”, he moves it back one square. The first child who reaches the final square wins.
(Open counting cards-Yoga) Print and laminate. Prepare a series of wooden clothespins on which you can paint or draw numbers 1 to 9. Children count the items on each card and place the corresponding clothespin on the correct number.
(Open educ-math-Yoga) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must count the items in each rectangle and circle the corresponding number.
Educ-same and different-Yoga
(Open educ-same and different-Yoga) Print and laminate for durable, eco-friendly use. Children must circle the item that is different in each row.
(Open bingo - Yoga) Print, laminate, and store the game in a small box or "Ziploc" bag. Give each child a bingo card. Pick one yoga pose card at a time. Name each pose. Children look at their card. If the corresponding yoga pose is illustrated on their card, they set a bingo marker on it and execute the pose.
Hunt and seek-Yoga
(Open hunt and seek-Yoga) Print and laminate. Children pick a card, name the yoga pose and search for it in the scene.
Magnifying glass game
(Open magnifying glass game-Yoga) Print and laminate the board game and the cards. Cut them out and store them in a box or in a Ziploc bag. Children pick a card and search for the item on the board game, using a magnifying glass. Once they have found the item, they deposit it in the correct square, on the board game.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
(Open photo booth-Yoga) Print the various accessories, cut them out, and glue a drinking straw behind each one. Purchase glasses, hats, scarves, hair accessories, etc. at your local dollar store. Create a décor using a large piece of cardboard. Invite children to pick the accessories they prefer and pose for you. You can take individual, group, or family photos. Print the pictures and display them on a wall for everyone to see.
Help children calm down by inviting them to execute various original poses. For example, invite children to raise their arms over their head and rotate their body to the left and to the right to represent a periscope. Next, they can lie down on their back and raise their legs up in the air, once again to represent a periscope. Invite children to turn over on their stomach with their arms and legs straight to represent a submarine that is gliding through the water on the bottom of the ocean. You can encourage children to breathe in deeply in a standing position and then breathe out very slowly through their mouth as they crouch down, like a submarine descending to the bottom of the ocean.
Have children stand facing a partner. One child from each pair executes a yoga pose and the other child must do the same.
A personalized sequence
(Open picture game-Yoga) Print. Have each child pick 3 or 4 poses and use them to create an original sequence of poses. Each sequence can be repeated 2, 3, or even 4 times. Always end with a group relaxation activity.
Place a blanket on the floor. Ask children to lie on their back and relax. Invite them to think about activities they would like to do with their family or friends, etc. Afterwards, ask children to name the activities they daydreamed about.
My yoga sculpture
Children work with a partner. One child becomes the sculptor and the other, the "sculpted". The sculptor places his partner in various poses by moving his arms, legs, head, etc.
With your group, have fun inventing original yoga poses. You can, for example, name an animal and encourage children to associate a pose per its characteristics.
MUSICAL AND RHYTHMIC ACTIVITIES
Musical yoga poses
(Open game-illustrated yoga poses) Print. Arrange the illustrations in a circle on the floor. Invite children to stand in front of a yoga pose and execute it. To the sound of music, encourage them to walk around the outside of the circle. Every time the music stops, children perform the yoga pose they are closest to.
(Open game-illustrated yoga poses) Print. Select a yoga pose and execute it as a group. As you hold the pose, experiment making different sounds (ommmmm, iiiiiii, oooooo, ahhhhhh, zzzzzz…). With your group, discuss the vibrations the various sounds produced in their throat and body.
Play music and encourage children to dance and move around. When the music stops, have them execute a yoga pose. When the music starts again, they resume dancing. If you wish, you can give children different instructions. For example, you can ask them to perform:
- their favorite yoga pose;
- the yoga pose they consider to be the most difficult;
- the yoga pose they feel does the most good to their body;
- the yoga pose they feel helps them relax the most.
My imaginary recipe
Children stand around a table. As a group, mime various actions involved when, for example, baking a cake. You must find a bag of flour, deposit the flour in a bowl, break an egg, stir with a spoon, etc. This activity will help children develop their laterality and make them aware of their body.
Balance is a very important part of various yoga techniques. Try various balance tests to help children realize how skilful they are.
- Are children able to stand on their right leg? Left leg?
- Are children able to walk on a balance beam?
- Are children able to walk with a book on their head?
I am learning to exhale
Give each child a glass of water and a drinking straw. Children will have fun exhaling into the straw and making bubbles in the water.
ARTS & CRAFTS
My favourite pose
Provide a large quantity of coffee sticks and drinking straws. Ask children to represent their favourite yoga pose by creating a character.
(Open Yin-yang symbol) Print and display. Yin and yang are two very important symbols in yoga. They represent black and white. Ask children to draw on a piece of black construction paper using a white crayon and on a piece of white construction paper using a black crayon.
(Open mandalas-Yoga) Print several copies. Mandalas are often associated with yoga since they help us focus on ourselves and evacuate stress. Invite children to choose a mandala and give them plenty of time to fill it with color. Color a mandala yourself to help younger children understand the method.
- Set the mandalas in a bin along with a variety of types of crayons.
- Laminate the mandalas and use them with dry-erase markers.
- Slide the mandalas on clipboards and invite children to color them on their naptime mattress or seated on the floor.
- Limit the number of colors you offer to 2, 3, or 4 .
A giant mandala
Set a large piece of paper on the floor. Using a black marker draw lines in every direction to create sections. Encourage children to color this giant mandala as a group.
When practicing yoga with children, it is important to teach them to delimit their personal space. Give each child a large, single-color towel (light color). Provide fabric markers and invite children to draw on their towel to make it their own. Use these personalized towels during your yoga sessions.
(Open glasses-Yoga) Print the model for each child. Invite children to color and cut out the pieces. Help them assemble their glasses. Provide adhesive glitter they can use to further decorate their glasses. Children will love wearing their glasses for walks in your neighborhood.
My yoga hat
(Open educa-decorate-Yoga) Print and cut out. Glue the shapes on a construction paper headband.
(Open models-Yoga) Print the various models and use them for your activities and projects throughout the theme.
(Open coloring pages theme-Yoga) Print for each child.
The educatall team