Teaching Yoga to Kids | Brittan D. | Skillshare

Teaching Yoga to Kids

Brittan D., Artsy Yogi Girl

Teaching Yoga to Kids

Brittan D., Artsy Yogi Girl

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7 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Intro

    • 2. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Find a Training

    • 3. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Basic Safety

    • 4. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Plan Ahead

    • 5. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Props

    • 6. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Games

    • 7. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Conclusion

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About This Class

This class is designed for anyone who has an interest in doing yoga with their children or students! If you are a teacher, parent, nanny or yoga instructor with an interest in kids yoga, this class is for you! I will share with you my tips and tricks that I have learned from being a children's yoga instructor. You will learn how to create a lesson plan, how to use kids yoga props and how to teach fun kids yoga games! Yoga teaches children breath and body awareness, mindfulness and how to find peace all while having fun!

Meet Your Teacher

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Brittan D.

Artsy Yogi Girl


Hi, I'm Brittan! I am a certified adults and children's yoga instructor, holistic health practitioner and aspiring artist. I have been creating art all my life and have been teaching yoga for about 3 years. I am eager to share what I have learned with you and hopefully help you find peace and creativity on your life's journey! 

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1. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Intro: Hi. Welcome to teaching yoga to kids. My name is Britain, and I'll be guiding you through this class today. I am a Children's yoga instructor as well as an adult. She'll get instructor. I've been teaching kids for a little over two years now and teaching adults for over three years. I teach kids at preschools and elementary schools around my area, and I'm excited to share my knowledge with you today. So who would benefit from this video? Yoga instructors who are thinking about teaching Children's yoga. This is a great place to start, maybe parents who want to do a little bit of yoga at home with their kids. Nannies are baby sitters who would like to have some fun yoga times with their kids and regular teachers who would like to implement some yoga, stretching or mindfulness activities into their classroom. In this class, I'm going to be covering basic safety for Children's yoga, finding trainings in your area, structuring lesson plans for kids, yoga and what props and gains you can implement to keep yoga fun and engaging. Let's get started 2. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Find a Training: finding trainings in your area. So I got started out teaching kids yoga first by doing a 200 our yoga teacher training certification program. I didn't through a community college in my area that was the cheapest yoga teacher training I could find. But if you research it online, you can find lots of yoga teacher training programs in your area, as well as in different states or even out of the country. So I would recommend if you are interested in yoga and you don't not yet have your 200 our yoga teacher certification. That would be a great place to start because it gives you the foundation and the safety and alignment for really helping your kids grow as yogis. Next would be looking to find just a Children's yoga teacher training in your area. So the training that I took for Children WAAS a 12 hour program. It was about a weekend long, and it was packed full of good information, and they offer more expertise and more experience as Children's yoga instructors and give you lots of tools to get started. There were also some non yoga instructors in that class, so if you look and research in your area. Children's yoga teacher trainings. You may not even need to have a 200 our certification to get started with that Children's trainings. There were just some parents in that class. There were also teachers, special ed teachers, stuff like that. So whoever you are, you can usually take just a Children's level training just to get some experience with kids . Yoga. If there are no kids yoga teacher trainings in your area, you might wanna look online. There may be some longer online trainings available on different websites. I haven't really researched any online kids trainings, but I'm sure there are some. If you can't find one in your area. Obviously, depending on what state you live in and how popular health and wellness is in your state, there may or may not be a lot of options for you. I know I live in Colorado, and it's a big, booming business out here. Children's yoga is really catching on, so if you live in Colorado, this is a great place for it. Um, I'm not sure about other states, but I'm sure there are trainings in some states where yoga is already gaining popularity. This teaching yoga to kids class is more meant for tips and just getting started. Also for Children's yoga instructors who may need a little bit of a refresher or just some new ideas that might help you. These are just some tips and tricks that I've learned along the way that can help you gain some more knowledge if you're already teaching yoga to kids, so it's not a formal training. It's not accredited by the Yoga alliance or anything like that. But I'm sure there are other online trainings that you could find that would be more extensive, so this is a great place to get started. 3. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Basic Safety: safety for kids yoga. So obviously teaching yoga to kids safety is very important. Having a basic knowledge of yoga poses and proper alignment really helps with Children's yoga to make sure that they're doing the poses correctly and not hurting themselves, especially because their bones are still developing. You don't want to do anything crazy like big hip openers. No pigeon, no big crazy arm balances like crow Side Crow. Those ones can be a bit much for kids, especially younger kids. You want to take into account the age of the Children that you're teaching. Obviously, toddlers can do on Lee the basic easy poses like tree pose down Dawg. Maybe some sun salutations stuff like that that's really easy and accessible to them. But elementary schoolers might be able to do something a little more challenging. They might be able to have more intense yoga games. If you're teaching younger Children, you want to help them into the poses. So I find that when I have a class full of toddlers, sometimes I can teach them all one pose just by demonstrating, and they all get into the pose really easily like touch the sky. You know stretching up in a mountain pose or touching your toes and a forward fold that could be using for toddlers that summer were complicated, especially balancing for toddlers. Doing a tree pose is super fun for the little kids, but they may need help getting into it. So for something like that, I would go around to each toddler and hold their hand and kind of help their foot to get into a tree post. So I'll just kind of help them balance on one foot. But they're foot up in a little baby tree pose and then set it back down. So you want to help those little ones get into the poses rather than just expecting that they will know what to do right away with their body because they're still learning where their elbows are so they may not be able to get into a tree pose right away. The Children cannot do all the poses that adults can do, so don't expect them to do anything crazy and don't push them too far. They should really only be doing gentle stretching, especially if they're a little. It's helpful to know the basics of yoga alignment and safety before getting started. Teaching kids yoga. So if you don't have a regular practice built up on your own and you don't go to a lot of yoga classes, I would recommend definitely at least getting that knowledge base under your belt before even trying to teach kids yoga. You want to go and take your own classes at studios by different teachers and learn as much as you can before feeling confident and being able to teach others. You want to know the basic safety for certain poses like tree pose. You never want to put your foot on your knee, you know, put it above on the thigh or below on the calf, or even propped in a little kick stand on the ankle, never ever on the meat, especially for Children, because their knees are still developing. Like I said, really start to take some classes. Make sure that you have a good knowledge base and foundation already and take a 200. Our training, if you're interested in that, will definitely help you with alignment and safety 4. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Plan Ahead: planning kids yoga classes. Planning your classes out and creating a lesson plan is very important so that you know what you'll be doing. The project for this class will be creating your own can't Yoga lesson plan to get started planning. You want to get a nice notebook that you can put all of your lesson plans in that way. If you want to redo a lesson plan, you can look back over time and have it written down already so that you can reuse it in this section. I'll be going over How the structure kids Yoga class. Depending on the length of the class that you're teaching, you want to plan accordingly. So some kids yoga classes, maybe 15 minutes long, some maybe 30 minutes and some maybe an hour for older kids. If you're doing this at home, then just plan based on your child's age. For toddlers, he wanted 15 maybe 30 minutes for elementary schoolers. 32 an hour. Start out your kids lesson plan by creating one breathing exercise to do at the beginning of class are breathing. Exercise will get the kids grounded and ready for the rest of the yoga class I use a breath ball, I'll be going over the breath ball a little bit more in the next section off props. This is what it looks like. We'll take a deep breath in, make the ball big. I've been breathe out, make the ball small, so this is a great tool to use for a breathing exercise. You can also do something like an animal breath. Go around to each kid in the class. Ask them what their favorite animal is if their favorite animal as a cat will do a breath like this, breathing in, breathing out young, young, young, young yeah, and so on and so forth for each child in the class. Another great breathing exercise can be using a feather in your yoga class, so I'll take a feather to my toddler classes especially, and to create a little awareness of their breath. I'll hold the feather in front of their mouth and they'll blow on it, and we'll watch how the feather moves with our breath. With elementary schoolers, the feather could be fun to give each elementary schooler their own feather and have them use their breath to try and keep the feather afloat around the room next after a breathing exercise. If the kids are old enough, I'll usually do a little gratitude circle, so I'll pass the breath ball around the circle. Whoever has the breath ball gets to share one thing that they're grateful for that day. This could be a great way to teach your Children about gratitude and about how to be thankful for what they have next. After the Gratitude circle, I will usually do a sun salutation if the kids are old enough, the kids really love the sun salutation flow. You could use a little rhyme with your sun salutation. You might be able to find it online. I learned my little rhyme through another kid's yoga teacher training, so I'm not gonna share the exact wrong with you. But if you're familiar with the sun salutation, it could be such a fun way to get the kids to memorize a little yoga flow of their own. And it's great to see that some of those kids take that yoga flow home and teach their parents a sun salutation and do it at home with their families. So with that sun, salutation will usually start out a normal paste sun salutation, and then we'll do one round superfast. So this gets the kids energy out and gets the crazies out and gets them ready to focus. And then we'll do a slow motion sun salutation. So we'll go is slow as we can go, and we'll talk really slow. So making a funny, slow motion voice or keep going to keep this as fun and as engaging as possible so that they're excited to do that sun salutation every time, and they're ready to take it home to their families after warming up with little sun salutations. I'll usually do some themed poses, so the themed poses are great, especially for little ones that can't really follow the sun salutation. I'll always do a little flow of some themed poses. And what I mean by themed poses are using your imagination as a kid's yoga teacher to create yoga poses that are more fun and exciting for kids. So seeming those poses around things like the holidays like Christmas time, New Year's Halloween, Valentine's Day, any holiday that's going on that month, you can theme a yoga class around it, usually leaving your classes for the season's doing a nice summer flow, using maybe a beach ball to pass around or something in the winter, doing snowflake pose or Snow mayor and pose just using poses that you know from your yoga practice and turning them into a fun kids pose is such a great way to grab their attention . After doing a few themed poses, I'll do some relax ation. I always end my class with a little breathing and relaxing. Whether that be a guided imagery meditation that I find from a kid's yoga book or that I make up on my own or using a little bubble timer, I'll show you a bubble timer in the next section of our class. In the props section, the bubble timers are a great way to just put a little bubble timer in the middle of our circle. Have everyone lay on their belly and focus on their breathing while they relax and look at the nice sensory bubbles coming down. Sometimes I will use a yoga chime in our relax ation. I let the kids bringing the chime themselves, and they really love that. Getting the kids engaged and participating in the class as much as you can, letting numbering the time, letting them flip a bubble timer. Anything you can do to get the kids to be engaged in the class is really important. So just thinking of little jobs that some of the kids can do, I'll usually say I'm looking for a peaceful friend to bring my yoga time and then pick the child that is being the most peaceful that day and let them ring the time and that get gives them a little incentive to really listen. After getting the Children to relax and calm their bodies for a minute or two, I'll have the class roll up their yoga mats if they have them get their shoes back on. And then I'll always give out stickers or stamps at the end of class. You always want a little incentive for the kids to listen, because we all know there can be that one kid in class. It just doesn't want to pay attention. And you couldn't say, Do you want to stick her at the end of class and they'll be like, Yes, I do. And then they'll listen because they want their sticker. So I always like to keep my stickers fresh, go to the dollar store, get new stickers for each month whether there be a holiday that month and get nice fund stickers to give the child a little reward and keep them excited for the next yoga class. So now I'm going to show you a little example of one of my kids lesson plans so you can feel free to use this for your kids and then build off of it for future lesson plans. So get your notebook out and take down some notes. This is an example of a Christmas themed class that I have taught. This one's always a big hit around the holidays, so we'll start out with the breath ball, of course, right at the top. And then we'll do a little Santa breath for Christmas time. Santa breath breathing in and then breathing out, holding our tummy legs. Send us ing Ho, ho, ho on the exhale. Sometimes we'll do a little bird breath breathing in and breathing out for kids like that one. Try to see your breath breathing out like like you're flogging of a mirror, teaching them a little bit about that huge ie breath, and then we'll go through to the themed poses. So sometimes I'll add in some sun salutations before the theme to poses, depending on how long the classes, of course, and then some themed poses for Christmas time. Candy cane pose begins in my little sketches here. You may not be able to tell what they're doing, but candy cane pose. I'll bring this down. You'll bring your arms up above your head. Bring them together little me into one side or the other, creating a candy cane shape. Maybe the kids like they're candy canes. That's always a good one, very popular. And then we'll do bear tree branches. So bring your arms. Help to the side and a tree pose, imagining that all your leaves have fallen off your branches in your very cold tree in the winter time with no leaves. Next, a snowball in child's pose. So getting really teeny tiny and in child's pose with our arms down by their sides, their head down on the yoga mat and then rolling side Decide I'll have them rollers noble in the snow. Try to pack on some more snow and make a nice snowball. That's a fun one. Catching snowflakes with their tongue and camel pose will have all the kids getting a camel pose. Stick their tongue out, uh, and catch some snowflakes. Snow like Bo's just bringing the arms and legs out nice and wide and making a nice snowflake with your body. That's a great time to talk about how every child is beautiful in their own way, like a snowflake. All hold hands and make a snowball together so you'll start out in that snow flake pose everybody with their hands and legs big and wide. And then, if you're in a circle, all the kids can hold hands and touch their feet together. Then you could walk around in a circle, making a snowball rolling down the mountain and then, of course, Ah, Christmas or a holiday tree getting into tree pose. Putting a star atop your treaty, Maybe putting some blinking lights. I'll have the kids flash some blinking lights around your Christmas tree. Then I'll have them hang some ornaments, putting an ornament under your ear under your chin under your nose under your elbow, and they'll have fun placing their order mints and telling me what color their ornaments are on their Christmas tree. So much fun. After all those themed poses, I write down part of a book if time. So using Children's yoga books that are already written out for you is such a great way to keep the kids excited for your yoga class amenity. And I said, Make some snow angels So we're lying on her back in Shiva Sena and making Snow Angels honor Matt. Then we'll do a little melting snowman pose meditations I wrote down Shabbas No will lay in Shiva Sena, and then we'll imagine that were a snowman melting into the ground, closing the eyes and just talking the kids through a little meditation, imagining that there a snowman laying down under the baking sun on their melting into their Matt Kids seem to like that one. So that's just an example of one of my kids Yoga lesson glands. I have, ah, whole notebook just packed full of lesson land for each week, and this notebook has lasted me over two years. So probably time to get a new one soon. So very important. If you're starting kids yoga classes, pick one little notebook that you can pack all your lesson plans into start out with some breathing, some gratitude, maybe sun salutations if they're old enough, and then going into some themed fun kids poses kids always like partner poses to. So that's always a good one to throw in there with those themed poses, especially for Valentine's Day, partnering up and then always finishing off with some sort of relax ation, some sort of mindfulness to get those kids starting to learn about how to be mindful how to calm down their mind, body and spirit, and always giving out some stickers or stamps at the end to keep the kids excited and use an incentive for them to listen. I hope this is helped you create a kid's lesson plan of your own. I would love to see your projects and help you with any questions you may have. Right now. Let's move on to the next section of our class, which is props, what kids? Yoga props that I used to keep my kids excited and engaged 5. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Props: in this section will be showing you some props I use for my kids classes. First is a yoga mat that I cut in half, so I'll find some cheap yoga Max, and I'll cut them all in half, put them in a duffel bag, and then I might have enough mats for almost all the class. Next is my breath ball, of course, breathing in, making the ball big, breathing out, making it small, thes air called hoberman spheres. And I found mine on Amazon, my bubble timers that I used during our relax ation time. I'll have the kids lay on their tummies and watch the bubbles go down. These I also found on Amazon. This is Perry the pumpkin. So I use this with the kids to pass him around, using our feet in boat pose and pass them around in a circle. You can also use a big ball for that or some other object. These are my little squishy ease that I have found. I found these in the dollar spot at Target, and they're nice little handheld squish ease that the kids can use as a stress ball during relaxation time. They love them This is my yoga time. They come in lots of different sizes, and I found mine on Amazon next, or some books that I like to use. Yoga Whale is always a good one. Yoga friends is a partner. Pose book, lama stay and friends is such a cute one. Breathe like a bear has lots of good guided imagery and meditations for kids. I love that one. I use it a lot. And have you filled a bucket? Today? This one is so good for teaching kids about kindness. I used these little craft sore pom poms a lot in my classes for breath. Work will use these to just blow off her hands or try to aim them into a basket. And, of course, my little stickers that I hand out at the end of class. Ah, feather for breathing activities as well, helping the little ones notice there breath. And you have to have a nice organizational bag to keep all of your Gettys in for your classes. 6. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Games: games for Children's yoga classes. So games are very important to make the classes super fun for the kids. You can pretty much turn any kids game into a yoga game if you're creative enough. So for games they're mostly geared towards older kids, mostly elementary school. I would say at least four years old and up complain these games. But if you know your group of kids and they're a little bit younger, if they're smart, they may be able to do it. So just feel it out, depending on your group of kids. Ah, few examples of kids yoga games that I use are, Yogi says, is a good one, especially for elementary schoolers, just like Simon says. Except Yogi says. Yogi says Trip owes. Yogi says. Down dog Yogi says, Butterfly tree pose. If you did true pose, you're out. So that's a good one. Another one I use a lot is duck duck down dog. It's like Dr Gousse said, the kids all in a circle, that one could be it. Duck, duck, duck! And instead of saying goose down dog, then the kids have to run and race around the circle. Whoever gets to that yoga mat first and doesn't downward facing Dog wins a spot at that yoga mat, and whoever is out is then it so that is a really fun one for kids. And it's a good memory game because a lot of times they forget to do a down dog, and then they have to run around again. So that is a fine line. Next would be a red light, green light type game. You can use this with your theme to poses, so I use a red light, green light type game kind of changed up depending on the theme of my class. So sometimes if it's like a summer class, we'll do a crab walk. So get into a reverse table or crab pose for kids. And after we've done some themed beach like poses, palm tree, etcetera, etcetera. Then we might do a red light, green light style game in crab pose. So we'll have all the kids line up on one line in Crab Pot's. I'll walk away from the kids and I'll say something like Go yogis go and then I'll start walking in their crown post and then I turn around. And then I turned back around and I say Stop! And then they have to stop in a different pose so they have to stop in a palm tree. Pose over something like that so you can change that one up and add any poses that you're using in your class that day and kind of team it around that class and turn it into a red light green light game. Another great game for kids. Yoga is a game that I call I'm thinking of oppose what pose do I think? So I'll say that little rhyme I'm thinking of oppose that has one hand and one foot on the yoga mat. And then the kids will have to show me, Ah, yoga pose that only has one hand in one foot on the yoga mat, like 1/2 moon or whatever they can think of. That's a yoga pose that has one hand in one foot on the yoga mat. Then we'll get creative and I'll say, with just one foot or just two hands or something like that, and they'll have to think about all the yoga poses they have learned and implement that and figure out what pose it is So that's a fun one toe. Let them do as well. It can each have a turn and try to trick their friends. Another big hit is musical Mets, so we'll bring a little portable speaker with me and we'll lay the mats out in a circle, will play some music, and then I'll start taking mats away. So then whoever doesn't get a mat is out and so on and so worth until there's one person left and they win the game. That is a fun one. Just be careful about, um, winners and losers. Make sure that there's not sore losers in your class. Otherwise, you might not want to play a game where there's one winner at the end, so feel it out, depending on your group of kiddos. So to sum up the game section, you can pretty much think of any kids game that your kids do already and train. Tweak it and think about how I can add yoga poses into that game. 7. Teaching Yoga to Kids - Conclusion: in conclusion for your Children's yoga classes, you always want to be safe. Make sure you understand basic safety and alignment for yoga poses. Find a yoga teacher training, if you can, whether that be a 200 our training or a specific kids yoga teacher training in your area. This will help you gain more confidence when you're teaching. Kids always plan out your classes, create a nice a lesson plan and keep them all in a nice organized notebook. Use lots of props, play lots of games and always make sure to keep your kids yoga classes as fun as you can. Thank you so much for sharing your class with me today. I hope that some of this knowledge that I've learned throughout the years as a yoga instructor and kids yoga instructor can help you teach your kids mindfulness and bring them some peace. Thank you so much. Now stay