Our first winter wonderland here in New England has been a learning adventure!
I love that the local libraries are stacked with winter-themed books, most of which are completely new to me. After gathering a bunch of books on Arctic animals, my daughter and I learned about the animals by acting them out through simple yoga poses for kids.
Why not give it a go?! Don’t worry if you haven’t done yoga before—just follow the yoga sequence below, which includes descriptions. Learn along with your children about Arctic animals through movement and story. Encourage their creativity by asking them how they think each animal might behave in the wild.
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Arctic Animals Books for Kids
First, we got out some Arctic-themed books to look up Arctic animals:
The Magic School Bus Arctic Adventure, by Gail Herman
My Arctic 1, 2, 3, by Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak and Vladyana Krykorka
1001 Animals to Spot, Usborne (Arctic animals page)
The Snow Bear, by Miriam Moss and Maggie Kneen
Playful Little Penguins, by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees
A Splendid Friend, Indeed, by Suzanne Bloom (Goose and Bear stories)
In Arctic Waters, by Laura Crawford and Ben Hodson
Way Up in the Arctic, by Jennifer Ward and Kenneth J. Spengler
Over in the Arctic: Where the Cold Winds Blow, by Marianne Berkes
You could do a quick Google search for recommended Arctic animal books or hop over to your library and ask your librarian for good ones.
Then, we made a list of animals that live in the Arctic:
Caribou, walrus, arctic whale, arctic char, polar bear, snow goose, musk ox, wolf, arctic fox, arctic hare, snowy owl, lemming, and seal.
Next, we made a yoga flow sequence to act out the arctic animals:
Arctic Animals Yoga Sequence
Caribou – Warrior 1 Pose Variation
(Come to standing in Mountain Pose. Step one foot back, slightly angling it outward. Bend your front knee and bring your spread-out hands above your head like the antlers of a caribou.)
Walrus – Cobra Pose (or Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
(Lie on your tummy, lift your head and shoulders off the ground, place your palms flat next to your shoulders, and arch up like a walrus.)
Arctic Char or Whale – Locust Pose
(Lie on your tummy, lift your chest and shoulders, look up, clasp your hands back behind you, and glide through the water like a whale.)
Polar Bear – Bear Walk
(Step back to hands and feet in an upside-down V shape then walk like a bear.)
Snow Goose – Pigeon Pose
(From the Bear Walk, bring your right foot to rest behind your right hand, placing your foot slightly inwards. Then perch like a snow goose. Switch sides and repeat.)
Musk Ox – Cat Pose
(On all fours, tuck your chin into your chest and round your back. Walk like an ox.)
Wolf or Arctic Fox – Kneeling
(Come to kneeling, open your chest, look up, and reach up to the moon like a fox.)
Arctic Hare – Hero’s Pose with Bunny Breath
(Come back to rest upright on your heels and place your hands on your thighs. Take a few short, quick breaths in through your nose, and then take a long exhale.)
Snowy Owl – Hero’s Pose with a Twist
(From Hero’s Pose, twist your upper body like an owl. Turn one way and then the other.)
Lemming – Child’s Pose
(Come to sitting back on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body, and take a few deep breaths.)
Seal – Resting Pose
(Lie on your back with your arms alongside your body and your legs tight together. Pretend that you are a seal resting on a rock. Then breathe out, stretch out your arms and legs, and rest.)
Note that this sequence has been specifically laid out to flow from one pose to the next in a safe, logical way. Feel free to adapt the sequence to suit the age, needs, attention span, and energy level of your child. With my toddler, we only do 3 to 5 yoga poses at a time.
Our daughter doing the Bear Walk.
Other Winter Yoga Links You Might Like
Check out these links below for your celebration of winter through movement:
|Winter Activities Yoga||Winter Forest Books for Kids|
|Winter Yoga||Winter Olympics Yoga|
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Yoga Books for Kids
Check out our yoga stories for young children:
“Flipping through it quickly, I loved the colorful illustrations and the corresponding inset yoga pose on each page. Upon further reading, I found a creative, interactive, educational book perfect for 3-8 year olds. Sophia’s Jungle Adventure has an eco-friendly theme great for use in classrooms. This book is a fabulous way to learn about the rainforest and incorporate yoga poses (hooray for kineasthetic learning). … The pre-school groups (ages 2-5) I teach loved the book. Their favorite poses were Alligator and Monkey. … Giselle has done a wonderful job of combining her educational expertise, enthusiasm for yoga and love of children into a useable and enjoyable children’s yoga book.”
Donna Freeman, Yogainmyschool.com
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