Hey you, with the pumpkin latte! Looking for some new ideas for your Kids Yoga class?
With a few props and lots of imagination, you can turn your everyday class into a scary (but mostly fun and silly) Halloween adventure. Grab a witch’s hat and some black and orange striped socks and let’s go!
If you like, start with some ambiance – use a black light, or maybe some pumpkin or orange-colored string lights, and have some spooky music playing softly in the background. Put your mats in a circle, get out your cauldron (they have plastic ones at most craft stores, but you certainly don’t need an actual cauldron when you’ve got a perfectly good imagination!), and make up a batch of Yucky Witch’s Brew.
Recipe for Witch’s Brew: bat wings, toad warts, goblin hair, snake skin, etc. Ask the kids what icky things they’re putting in their brew. While sitting in Easy pose, reach up high for the witch toenails, grab the spider eggs from the top of the shelf, dump it all in, mix it all around, and then mix it some more the other way. Move in ways to really feel stretchy and long. Pour it into a goblet, and enjoy!
Below are some more ways to Halloween-ize your class:
Meditation: In our everyday class, we talk about calming our Monkey Minds or Koo Koo Head. In Halloween Yoga class, we talk about the creepy bugs and spiders crawling around in our heads (all of our uncontrolled thoughts and worries) and how we’ll get them to be still with meditation.
Focus/concentration: Have the kids gaze at a pumpkin placed in the middle of the circle, or give each child a tiny pumpkin to hold in his/her hands. Ask them to think about the shape, the color, and the way the pumpkin feels as they breathe slowly in and out.
Asanas Time to get creative! There are some “real” yoga poses that are Halloween-themed, like Owl, Cat, and Spider. The rest you can have fun making up as you go along. There’s no right or wrong way to do Pumpkin, Ghost, Mummy, or Monster pose. Depending on the age of the students, this might be a good time to teach Crow pose. (I have a bendy toy skeleton I use to illustrate some of the poses, he becomes my “assistant” for the class)
Fill a plastic Jack-o-lantern with pictures of different Halloween characters — I used Halloween stickers on small pieces of paper — and have the kids come up one by one to pick (Trick-or-Treat!). They can show the class what they picked and then lead everyone in the pose, or they can do the pose and everyone else has to guess what they are.
“Full Moon” Salutation:
Spider fingers up (raise arms to Extended Mountain)
Zombie forward fold (Ragdoll)
Jump back into Skeleton (Plank)
Witch’s hat (Downward Dog)
Slithery snake (Cobra)
Spider fingers up
Monster Freeze Tag – Play the Monster Mash (or another Halloween song) and have the kids walk around as the monster of their choice (Frankenstein, mummy, ghost, etc.). When the song is paused, they freeze in their favorite ghoulish pose.
Five Little Pumpkins – Act out this favorite Halloween poem using Gate pose and some creativity!
Pass the Pumpkin – Use a small orange ball and pass it around the circle using feet only. Or, pass it around like a game of Hot Potato. When the music stops, the person holding the “pumpkin” does a pose of their choice.
Read a Halloween children’s book and act it out. One favorite that Kidding Around Yoga has gotten creative with is There Was an Old Monster.
Monster Breath (like Lion’s breath) – Breathe in through your nose, breath out with a scary roar.
And, of course, don’t forget Corpse pose (Savasana) at the end.
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