Sometimes you can’t get kids to stop moving! But whether you’re an educator or a parent, there are times when you need to introduce a quick, snappy exercise to boost morale, get energy flowing, and shake things up.
These three tried-and-true exercises are fun ways of encouraging children to explore different movements in their bodies—from flexibility to feet of fury. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t know they’re exercising at all.
They might not be totally ready for the full Ashtanga Vinyasa series after this, but kids love to strike a pose, especially if the poses challenge them to breathe, stretch, and balance on one foot! “Kids don’t consciously realize the yoga flow has calmed their bodies,” says Nora Shalaway Carpenter, certified yoga instructor and author of Yoga Frog. “They just know yoga is fun and feels good.”
An informal introduction to the martial arts, these three different motions from the picture book Karate Kid teach different types of karate kicks. And who doesn’t want an excuse to kick? Take the kids in your care outside and give them a wide berth and see how high they can get their legs as they can kick the air.
Who needs sit-ups or jumping jacks when you can work those same activities into playing pretend? Jumping like a kangaroo or frog builds strength and improves muscle tone. Wriggling like a snake encourages kids to engage their core.
Make a list of animals and challenge kids to move like each one. A nice bonus: you’ll engage their creativity and observational skills at the same time.
Illustrated by Mark Chambers
A Kid's Book of Yoga Poses with a Meditative, Mindful Frog
Frog loves to practice yoga. And he will inspire kids to enjoy doing yoga, too. Follow Frog's yoga flow, from warming up to cooling down. Start with the mountain and chair poses, then work into giraffe, cat-cow, downward-facing dog, butterfly, and bridge. End with the quieting happy baby and savasana poses to help your muscles relax before going to bed or starting your day. For fans of Yoga Bunny and I Am Yoga, Yoga Frog's simple, meditative text is complemented by playful yet instructive illustrations by Mark Chambers to teach youngsters how to start their very own yoga practice -- and to have fun while doing so, too.
Illustrated by Mark Chambers
A goat kid loves to do karate! And he is sure to inspire young kids to try karate as well. Follow Goat as he goes through the major stances and karate moves, teaching readers to channel focus and strength through each pose. Karate Kid's simple, measured, and meditative text is complemented by playful yet instructive illustrations by Mark Chambers to teach youngsters how to get involved in karate--and to have fun while doing so, too.
Illustrated by Rob McClurkan
At the Rainforest Rescue Center, Sloth loves when Patti comes to visit. But when Patti forgets her class report, it's up to Sloth, with the help of his other (faster) rain-forest friends, to return Patti's notebook to her-at school! Will they be able to find her among all the other kids in a new environment?
The first day of school can be scary-especially if you forget your summer assignment-but in Sloth to the Rescue,Sloth, Peccary, Boa, Capuchin, and Ocelot overcome their fears and realize that what makes them unique is what helps them fit right in!