When my two children were little, they loved nothing more than to “help” me do chores around the house. Of course, to them, chores included pulling all the books off the shelves, banging pots and hiding under the laundry basket. As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!” So here are some fun yoga activities to add to your chore list.
Laundry: Kids become washing machines when they sit on the floor cross-legged and interlace their fingers behind their heads (like doing sit-ups in gym class). Sitting up tall with elbows wide, they twist from side-to-side chanting, “Wishy washy. Wishy washy.” This can be repeated until all the loads of laundry are clean. This would be great to do while reading Mrs. Wishy Washy. When the book says, “wishy washy wishy washy”, the kids churn.
Of course you have to dry the laundry, too. Instead of hanging it on the line, kids are the dryers. Again, children sit cross-legged on the floor. They point index fingers toward each other – left finger points at the right and vice versa. Then, while their fingers move in circles around each other (like a Wheels-on-the-Bus motion), kids blow through their mouths, trying to make a very long, whooshing sound. Keep going until the clothes are dry, working on extending the exhale and building stamina.
Now all that’s left is folding the laundry. This much laundry will take two people working together. Both kids sit feet-to-feet, holding each other’s hands or wrists. Legs can be together or in a wide angle, if they reach better. One child leans back, pulling the second child into a forward fold. Then they switch, folding the other child. If you are teaching in a digital class and no partners are available, children could fold themselves. Sit with legs extended forward, reach fingertips to the sky, and then fold forward trying to touch your toes. Try it again with wide legs or sitting criss-cross-applesauce.
Make the Bed: Another partner activity! One child is the bed (reverse table). The bed stays as flat as he can while the second child covers him with a towel or blanket. Try it again with the other child acting as the bed. This could be made harder (and more energetic) if the bed tries to crab crawl away from the person making it. To do this activity virtually, children could be in reverse table, cover themselves with a blanket and tuck a stuffed animal into their bed. Then they could try to crab walk around the room without letting the stuffed animal fall out of bed.
Dusting: Those dust bunnies really build up! Place a handful of pompoms at the back of each child’s mat. The chore is to blow the pompoms along the entire mat and off the opposite side. Breath control is important so the dust bunnies don’t blow off the edge of the mat. If they do, those pompoms start again at the beginning. This activity works exactly the same in an online situation.
Cooking: Kidding Around Yoga has a silly song called Yummy Yoga that introduces foods from all over the world, while rolling around in a yoga mat! I also love the book Pete’s a Pizza. While reading the book aloud, small groups of kids work together to make one of them a pizza. Follow the book’s illustrations to roll, stretch and cover the pizza in cheese and toppings (pompoms!).
After all of those chores, it’s time for a nap. Sounds like savasana to me!
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