Move: Shapes, Color, Movement = FUN!
The following lesson plan is a personal favorite of mine. While there are no traditional “yoga” poses to speak of, there is a very simple yet impactful lesson on perspective at the very beginning. The remainder of the class focuses on co-ordination, teamwork, movement and FUN! The class is great for younger and developmentally delayed children as color and shape recognition come into play.
Playlist: Rainbow Playlist (PDF Attached Below) – loop for continuous play
Props: Silk Scarves (Professional juggling scarves move fluidly)
Silk Scarves Yoga Class Plan (SHAPES/COLORS/MOVEMENT)
Philosophy: Hold scarf in front of face – Ask each child to look at same area — the wall, a chair or cabinet etc. Ask each child what they see to ascertain you are all looking at the same thing. Once this is established ask, “What color is it?”. Each child will be looking through the unique lens of their colored scarf — some will say it is green, some blue, some red and so on.
“Wait a minute?! I thought we were all looking at the chair! But you said it is blue, you said it is red….” …. “are we really looking at the same thing?” Wait a beat before asking, “So, who is right?”
Different responses will come up — “Me”, “Nobody” etc…
Yours should be something along the lines of, “We all are, because we are seeing it through our own eyes (Lens, point of view — depending on age). And that’s okay.”
Look through other kids scarves and overlap scarves to make different colors.
This visual is a very simple introduction for children to grasp that we often see things through our own unique lens and may see the same thing very differently… and that this is OKAY. You do not need to dwell on it, the demonstration is effective enough to plant the seed, move straight on in to playing with the scarf as instructed below rather than turning it in to a boring lecture.
Pranayama: Explore different breaths to move your scarf – Make it move gently but blowing softly, blow it hard so it flies high! Move it by only using breath from the nose (See flying Flag Breath – Under Breathing Techniques in this blog).
Shapes – spread scarf on floor in front of child – it’s a square! What happens when we fold it on half? A Rectangle! Return to square and turn 1/4. What shape is it? A diamond! What Return to square and fold in one half corner to corner? A triangle! What if we fold this in half? Another Triangle! And again, and again…
Fold triangle over and over to tiniest size and then ball up and toss in air. Breathe in, tossing it up, relax the body and exhale as the scarf gracefully lowers. (Make body feel as relaxed as the floating scarf looks).
Toss and catch scarf to self.
Toss in air and keep it from falling on ground.
Throw behind back and catch.
Stand on one foot – throw behind back and catch.
Stand on one foot – throw behind neck and catch.
Stand on one foot – thread under leg and catch.
JOIN ALL THREE – throw behind the neck, waist then loop under leg.
Go in reverse – loop under leg, around waist then neck.
Go in both directions – neck, waist, leg, leg, waist neck.
Repeat other side.
Scissor leg and thread scarf over and under legs as they move. Go FAST. Go SLOW.
Mirroring – Teacher Lead
Mirroring – in pairs or each child take a turn leading entire group. (Option to use timer and elimination for group or timer and points for pairs – crowning the winner Mirror Champion.)
Freeze dance with scarves – dance around with scarves and freeze when music stops. Bonus points if freeze in a yoga pose!
Partner up and try tossing scarf to one another – naming color as you catch it.
Slowly lower onto mats making body as floaty and light as a silk scarf. Imagine floating like the silk scarf. Imagine what color your silk scarf would be. (Option for Teacher to drape silk scarves over the faces/folded over the eyes of children – unless needed for closing (see below)).
While kids are resting in savasana teacher ties scarves together to make a rainbow circle –RED.ORANGE.YELLOW.GREEN.BLUE.PURPLE.PINK
Children sit inside circle and make rainbow together by rubbing hands together mixing imaginary paint they inhale to a count of three and exhale spreading arms up overhead in semi circle. Repeat x 3 then point to the rainbow they created over their heads.