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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Halloween Yoga for Kids

Teaching yoga to kids at Halloween time is a wonderful and super FUN opportunity to stretch the imaginations of the children in our classes. Halloween adventure stories make for a perfect themed lesson plan. Here is a basic story I've used in the past with preschool to first graders:

Note: Set the ambience by dimming the lights and placing a carved pumpkin in the center of the circle with a battery operated candle in it. Halloween-themed music with no vocals is nice too - just make sure it's not too scary! You can find lots of themed music CDs this time of year for as little as $1 at places like Wal-Mart or Rite-Aid.

Halloween Night….

What are you being for Halloween this year? Don't say it out loud. Think about how you can create a yoga pose to demonstrate who you are goinng to be. Take your time. Let's take turns showing our pose and everyone else can guess what you are going to be. (Note: Once the pose is correctly identified, have the entire class try out the new pose.)

Let’s go for a walk around our neighborhood and stop at each house to see if they’ll give us a trick or a treat! WALKING, WALKING SONG

What do we see? TREE, MOON, STAR

Up in that tree is a BLACK CAT…hisssss…meow!

We keeping walking and come to a BRIDGE – let’s cross!

On the other side of the bridge are four scary-looking creatures!
The first one is a LION (Lion’s Breath)

The creatures all start giggling and soon you realize that they are actually your friends dressed up their Halloween costumes! They want you to come with them to a Halloween party – So you all hop on THE BUS and go! (WHEELS ON THE BUS SONG w/movements around the room)

The bus stops and you all get off and see a spooky, old creaky GATE. You open the gate…creaaaaaeeeaaaK and walk through it into a dark yard with lots of viny TREES everywhere.

Up ahead is a sign that say’s ‘Take the BOAT across the river to the party!’ and you notice that there are indeed a bunch of boats lined up along the bank of the river. So you get in and paddle your BOAT across. (While holding boat pose, sing the orginal Row Your Boat song or use ChildLight Yoga's version from the I Grow With Yoga CD.)

As you and your friends come to the other side, you see that you have arrived at a wonderful party. There is a swarm of happy people that come down to greet you when you park your canoe, yelling ‘Happy Halloween!!!!!’

For some other awesome Halloween yoga ideas, please read The Prana Mama's related post titled, Halloween Yoga: Yoga in Disguise and Yoga in My School's post highlighting some great SPIDER pose variations, perfect for this age group.

The Candy Dilemma

Due to allergies and family's personal preferences, I skip handing out candy at yoga class and instead give out treat trinkets such as sticky pretend spiders and the like. You can get these really inexpensively at places like Oriental Trading Company online.

Outside of class, Halloween can be a time where overindulgence is common. Candy and sweets are fine once in a while, but at our house, we often have lots left over after trick or treat, and that isn't healthy for any of us. Recently I just read a good article in Raising Maine about how to handle the influx of candy at halloween. Another idea that we've used is to decide which candies are our favorites and give the rest away (a great lesson in aparigraha, or non-attachment and bramacharya, or self-control/moderation). I like this idea better than just throwing it away, which is wasteful. We put the candy in recycled containers, such as yogurt tubs, and bring it to our service providers like the local bank, post office, etc. so that they can give it away as they wish...and make someone's day a little sweeter.


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Blogger Lisa Flynn / ChildLight Yoga said...

Here's another idea - USE GLOW STICKS! The children can either hold them or you can use the bracelet kind. Dim the lights and go do yoga.

October 11, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Blogger thepranamama said...

I love your ideas and want to join in the fun! Am I too old? :)

Thank you for your thoughts on the candy dilemma too - I love the idea of sharing with others who share with others. How nice - and not just for Halloween, I bet you could do this with extra candy at other times of year when treats are abundant, such as Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day. I find stashes of candy all over my kitchen, where I've hidden it from the kids for fear they'll eat too much. They soon forget about it, and then it is a waste or we adults are tempted to eat it. This is the perfect solution!

Trick or Treat!

October 11, 2009 at 9:43 PM

Blogger William Dunigan said...

Greetings to all in that mighty name of "Jesus":
Each Christian of whom know Him in the power of His resurrection...or, maybe I should say...those who are well acquainted with the fact, that He truly did come back from the dead...also appeared to His disciples.

Thomas was invited by Jesus to feel the nail prints within His hands. So, those who also have been convinced by only having His spirit to convince them, having never had the opportunity to feel the nail prints in
His hands, as did Thomas: Jesus said blessed are those who have seen and then believed, but greater are the blessings that rest upon those who have never seen, but still believe.

I am a full time writer and an ordained minister. I have written three books so far. My first book: Reviving the dead church, by reminiscing the day of Pentecost. The second one is: Beyond the Golden Sunset and by the Crystal Sea. My third book: Off to visit the Prophet Elijah, on this one, the contract to publish has been completed and soon the book will be published.
Warm regards

William Dunigan

October 12, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Blogger Lisa Flynn / ChildLight Yoga said...

Just heard about this...Organic halloween makeup for kids - what a great idea! Check out:

October 14, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Blogger Young Yoga Masters said...

Sounds like fun - I'm starting to see Halloween clothes on kids in my classes. I like to dress up as an Indian Princess if I teach a kids class on halloween. It gives me a chance to wear an Indian outfit. They are beautiful! Then I give out little bindi's, on the third eye or elsewhere - even the boys like to get them.

October 14, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Blogger Patti's Yoga for Babies, Tots, and Kids said...

I am giving out daffodil bulbs in halloween gift bags with directions for planting and a photo of the flower.

October 19, 2009 at 8:51 PM

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December 24, 2009 at 7:17 AM

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Thanks for the insight! There is a lot of helpful information within those links.


April 24, 2010 at 3:46 AM

Blogger Donna said...

Thanks as always for the wonderful suggestions. This year I did up halloween yoga flashcards and laminated them (to withstand the 50+ Halloween Yoga classes I taught). A few highlights are here:

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