Sarah and Martin Moesgaard
Pre-K Yoga Sample Class
Sharing a lesson plan from our Grow and Flow Family Yoga class from the winter of 2022. This class is designed to target the motor, cognitive and psycho-social development of kiddos 1-3 years old, while inviting younger and older siblings and at least one adult to participate with them.
This class is about 45 mins long and we have a 30 min snack, socializing, and community time after class with snacks provided by the studio and time for parents to chat, kids to play with the yoga props or toys we used in class and explore the space. For this age, we don't include a craft time, but for older groups we would. And for this age, we always ask a parent or adult to come along and ACTIVELY join the entire class. (Read: No cellphones!) Poses are not fixed, so we might use Child'e pose and call it "Bear pose" today, but call it "Turtle pose" next week. See our article on Great Books for Family Yoga for more inspiration. Almost any book with lots of characters can be plugged into this outline.
Welcome and Warm up/ Connect to yoga Time
Each family group creates their own island of yoga or puzzle mats and we place our islands in a circle. We go from island to island and each child shares their name in our Hello song:
"Hello, hello, hello everybody,
Hello, hello, it is ncie to see you here.
Here is [Ms. Sarah]. Hello [Ms. Sarah];
Here is [next kid]. Hello [next kid].
Hello, hello, hello everybody,
Hello, hello, it is ncie to see you here."
Brain Dance - Nursery Rhymes version
A set of exercises I use in every single class based on the developmental movement pattern work of Irmgard Bartenieff. I use my own version of the adaptation for children created by Anne Green Gilbert. (See our article, "All About the Brain Dance," for an easy to follow script and a link to the Spotify playlist we use.)
Sun Salute Song
Starting from Mountain Pose:
"Oh mister sun, sun," Upward Salute
"mister golden sun," Standing Forward Fold
"please shine down on me." walking feet back to plank and dropping to belly on floor
"Oh, mister sun, sun, mister golden sun," Upward Facing Dog
"hiding behind a tree," Downward Facing Dog
"these little children are asking you," jump/walk forward, Half Standing Forward Fold
"please come out so we can play with you." Standing Forward Fold
"Oh, mister sun, sun, mister golden sun," Rise to Upward Salute
"Please shine down on me!" Mountain Pose hands to heart.
Repeat several times.
Story/ Connect to your island Time
Review poses we'll need for our story
*Depending on the group, how long we have been playing yoga together, their ages, etc. I some times assign the poses or I may give the name of the pose and let the group create the poses together or each individual island create poses themselves.
Monkey pose: Crescent lunge with arms flailing and waving wildly; maybe practice scissor jumping from right leg forward to left leg forward, parents can hold kids' hands and help them jump or hold kids as the parents jump. Energy UP!
Flower pose: Cobbler's pose with knees gently beating and breathing deeply. Kids can sit in parents' laps or next to them on the mat. Energy calm.
Spider Pose: Malasana Squat with hands on the ground and creepy crawl around; kids can climb on parents backs and stick out their arms and legs so together they make a spider with 8 limbs. Energy UP!
Counting pose: Cobbler's pose again, counting toes, one breath per toe, for 10 big breaths. Energy calm.
Happy pose: Each kid or island create their own version of Happy pose; maybe suggest Mountain with arms raised if they look stuck. energy UP!
Sad pose: Each kid or island create their own version of Sad pose; maybe suggest a limply dangling Standing Forward Fold if they look stuck. Energy down.
Jumpy pose: Chair pose, practice jumping from 2 feet to 2 feet. Energy UP!
Calm pose: Each kid or island create their own version of Calm pose; maybe suggest Child's pose or Seated Froward Fold if they look stuck. Energy calm.
Cloud pose: Happy Baby, rocking side to side in the breeze. Kids can lay facing up on parents' bellies and get rocked.
Butterfly pose: Mountain with fluttering flying arms. Energy UP!
Sun pose: Horse/Goddess pose with arms stretched wide, deep breaths to shine even bigger, and a big shiny smile. Energy calm.
Calm with the Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
*Read the story leaving room for everyone to practice their poses again as you go.
*This story gives us lots of places to practice going from high energy to calm, and introduces concepts and strategies for self-regulation, like deep breathing, counting, yoga poses, and smiling. After reading the story, each island can talk about self-regulation and then you can have a conversation as a group, and if the kids are old enough, they can announce which are their favorites or offer their own strategies for calming down. You can ask leading questions like,
What do YOU do when you need to create CALM in your self?
When do you feel Happy? Sad? Jumpy?
Do you have a place where you feel especially CALM? Try picturing it in your mind and then tell us what it looks like, smells like, feels like and who is there.
If you were going to create a CALM CORNER in your house, where would it be, what would be in it, and when would you go there?
Game/ Connect to the group Time
In our story, the Caterpillar used some deep breaths to create CALM. We'll use our breaths to blow bubbles. Try using ten breaths to blow a big bubble with your arms first - make your bubble so big it floats up over your head, like this. Then pop it and let your arms float back down gently.
Now let's blow some bubbles with these wands. You can practice blowing bubbles or your parents can blow bubbles and you can dance in them.
*Play some soft bubbly music.
Body part bubble pop
Find a bubble and pop it with your
Right Elbow, Left Elbow
Relaxation/ Connect inward Time
Please place your bubbles in the basket and then find your island again. When you get there, we'll lie down flat on our backs and have a little rest. I will bring a scarf to place on your belly and you can breathe deeply in your belly, taking your scarf for a gentle floating ride up...and down...up...and down...up... and down.....
*gentle relaxation music playing. Maybe the "Longtime Sunshine song."
Sitting on our islands again, we sing our Goodbye song:
"Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye everybody.
Goodbye, goodbye, it was fun to play with you.
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye everybody.
Goodbye, goodbye, it was fun to play with you."
Snacks, play, and chatting with other families
Join our class
Join us for a Family Yoga or Family Movement class or workshop. Check out the calendar on our Home page or find us on social (TrainMovePlay everywhere) to see what we have coming up this month. We look forward to playing with you.