oga is a great activity for children. It increases strength and flexibility while helping them learn to focus. Yoga helps the mind relax and concentrate. It can also improve self-esteem and body awareness.
Why is Yoga Important for Preschoolers?
Yoga allows children to be mindful of their bodies and increases self-esteem. It creates a sense of peace and relaxes the mind. It can be used as a way for children to express themselves and is extremely therapeutic both mentally and physically.
Another reason Yoga can be an important skill to learn at such as young age is that it teaches them the importance of healthy routines and exercise this is an easy way for parents to start implementing good habits their kids will use for the rest of their lives.
How Do You Teach Preschool Yoga?
There are four main tools to utilize when teaching preschoolers yoga, patience, consistency, Visuals, and practice. Each one is just as important as the other, providing a successful, helpful, and calm environment when working with little kids.
It is important to stay calm and patient. If you stay, patient children are more likely to as well. Children need patience and reassurance. This will encourage them not to give up and keep trying even when things get confusing or difficult.
Remind each child that it is okay and very normal to have trouble picking up new skills, and it will take time to master each one.
You should never get mad at a preschooler who struggles or even starts to lose focus. Kids at this age level will participate the best way they know-how, which may include rolling on the floor, jumping around, or doing flips and rolls.
Consistency is key. Keeping consistency is the best way to keep children on track and interested in practicing the poses and continuing to be engaged throughout each session. Putting yoga in their daily routine will help them learn and advance in skills.
Many kids learn best from visuals. Whether it’s a video, using posters, or watching others, works best in helping them learn any of these can help them better understand what it is they’re supposed to do.
There are many ways you can incorporate visuals into yoga. This can be done by working side by side with a teacher, using yoga flashcards (letting each child pick a card from the deck), or watching yoga on YouTube videos or other media with fun characters and colors.
Practice, Practice, Practice. There is a reason so many people use the phrase “practice makes perfect.” because it is true. The more practice put in with a child, the more experienced they become, leading to independent yoga masters who will continue to utilize Yoga throughout their lives.
What Materials Do I Need to Teach Yoga to Preschoolers?
While equipment is never required when practicing yoga with preschoolers, you can still include many great tools and materials in your sessions.
Here are some of the ones we found are most helpful:
- Kids Yoga Challenge Pose Cards: You can turn yoga into a fun and exciting game when using these yoga challenge pose cards. Each card shows different poses that your child can mimic, with a different option on every draw.
- Gaiam Kids Yoga Mat Exercise Mat: Some yoga poses can be a little hard on the hands, feet, and bottom. Purchasing a quality yoga mat will keep kids from complaining about sitting on the hard floor and keep them more focused on the work at hand.
- ThinkFun Yoga Dice Game: Here is another fun game to get kids excited about learning the yoga practice. This dice rolling board game will have your kids racing to practice yoga daily.
- Kidnasium Bouncy Balls: Bouncy balls are a great way to improve children’s balance, coordination, and focus. It can also be a helpful tool to allow children to get their “jitters” out of their system before the sessions start.
- Yoga Block for Kids: Yoga blocks are perfect for added support and stability when little ones are learning how to balance and eventually how to get deeper into their poses.
Other items you should always have on hand when doing Yoga with preschoolers include:
- Water bottles
- A dry washcloth
- Hair ties or headbands
- A timer
- “Success” or “moving up” charts (sticker charts for participation or mastering a pose)
The 3 Best Yoga for Preschoolers YouTube Videos
Here are the three best yoga videos for preschoolers. We found these to be the most helpful and best videos for preschoolers on the internet.
1. Cosmic Kids Yoga (Duration 11m 42s)
This video is fun for kids and will keep them watching. The instructor, Betsy the Banana, is very upbeat, offers easy-to-follow poses and motions, and keeps the video flowing in a creative way to keep kids from losing interest.
2. We Heart Yoga -Yoga For Kids (Duration 6m 18s)
This video explains each position and how to do it in a very simple way that is easy for kids to follow and understand.
We also like how the instructor, Jessica, and her daughter, Ava, interact in the video, making it a perfect video for parents to do with their children in a safe and effective way.
3. Smile and Learn- Yoga for kids with animals (Duration 4m 12s)
What child doesn’t love interacting with animals? This easy tutorial on how to do simple positions will keep kids intrigued and wanting to do yoga along with the kids, cats, dogs, etc., in the video and will pick up some great information along the way.
Yoga is an excellent skill for kids to learn many life tools. It increases physical strength and helps them learn to relax, and increases their confidence. These videos will help your child learn the skills introduced by yoga in a fun and exciting way. If you are interested in working with children, be sure to pursue a children’s yoga certification.