England yoga idea for kids | Kids Yoga Stories

England Yoga for Kids

My London-born parents were just visiting for a couple of weeks.  My mom kept us updated with the news of the Royal Baby.  Even though she left her birthplace forty years ago, she still has a deep connection to the British culture.

Then, she sent me this article about the Canadians sending the Royal Baby some Canadian-themed children’s books.  Which got me thinking … I wonder if the Royal Family would be interested in kids yoga books?!  Can you imagine?

Join me as we “visit” England through kids yoga and books to honor the birth of George Alexander Louis on July 22nd, 2013.  Below you’ll find three different kids yoga sequences and a list of British children’s books.

Shop Yoga Books for Kids | Kids Yoga StoriesActivity #1: England Yoga for Kids

If you just have a few minutes, here is a 5 for 5: Five kids yoga poses in five minutes of the most common animals that remind my parents of their homeland.

5 for 5: British Animals Yoga Poses

Horse – Horse Stance
(stand with your legs apart, knees bent outwards, and stand in a firm stance)

Duck – Squat Pose
(come to a squat, and flap your bent arms like a duck)

Swan – Bow Pose
(lie on your tummy, bend your knees, lift up your heads and shoulders,
and take your arms back to reach your toes)

Rabbit – Hero Pose with Bunny Breath
(sit on heels, take 4-6 short breaths, then long exhale)

Hedgehog – Hero Pose with Lotus Mudra
(sit on heels, fingers stretched out, palms together in mudra to represent spines of hedgehog)

   british bridge and ducks

Activity #2: A Trip to London

Kids yoga teacher and author, Nicola Preskett, wrote a fabulous article earlier this year on places to visit in London and typical British food.  She took us to visit the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Convent Garden, and Hyde Park.  She also wrote a London-inspired kids yoga sequence where we rode a train, marched like the Palace Guards, and rowed a boat.

Download Nicola’s “A Trip to London, England” Lesson Plan

british phone booths

 

Activity #3: England-inspired Kids Yoga Sequence and Lesson Plan

If you have at least 15 minutes to play around with your trip to England, here is a kids yoga sequence with fourteen animals:

English Animal Yoga Poses for Kids

Horse – Horse Stance
(stand with your legs apart, knees bent outwards, and stand in a firm stance, neigh!)

Duck – Squat Pose
(come to a squat, and flap your bent arms like a duck, quack!)

Sheepdog – Downward-Facing Dog Pose
(step back to hands-and-feet, and bark like a dog, ruff!)

Sheep – Cat Pose
(come to hands-and-knees, and waddle like  a sheep, baa-baa)

Cow – Cow Pose
(from hands-and-knees, look up, arch up, and moo like a cow)

Swan – Bow Pose
(lie on your tummy, bend your knees, lift up your heads and shoulders, and take your arms back to reach your toes)

Rabbit – Hero Pose with Bunny Breath
(sit on heels, take 4-6 short breaths, then long exhale, repeat)

Hedgehog – Hero Pose with Lotus Mudra
(sit on heels, fingers stretched out, palms together in mudra to represent spines of hedgehog)

Squirrel – Pick up acorns with toes
(pretend to pick up acorns with your toes or pick up cotton balls with your toes)

Toad – Frog Pose
(from squat pose, jump up like a toad, ribbit!)

Red Fox – Kneeling Pose with Gyan Mudra
(come up to kneeling, look up to moon, and make an A-Okay sign over nose)

Badger – Hero Pose with Gyan Mudra
(sit on heels, both hands in A-Okay sign over eyes to look like the badger’s eyes)

Deer – Seated Twist
(one leg stretched out front, other leg held close to body, twist)

Mole – Child’s Pose
(come to child’s pose, rest, and breathe)

Some extension ideas to explore this gorgeous country:

  • Send the Royal Baby a letter or drawing expressing your congratulations to the family.
  • Discuss how raising a Royal Baby would be different than raising a child in your town.
  • Look at pictures online of the Royal Baby.
  • Ask your mom about your own birth and look at your baby photos.
  • Research how England is similar or different from your country.  Read books set in England.
  • Research the best places to visit in London.
  • Take out guidebooks from the library and plan a pretend trip to England.
  • Build your own “My Trip to England” book with facts of the country and places you would visit.
  • Play new and old British music.  Host a dance party.
  • Pick one animal in the sequence above and write a mini-report to share with your friends.
  • Look up the British flag and notice its unique features.
  • Host an Afternoon Tea Party with your friends.
  • Gather photos or magazine pictures of England and make a collective collage.
  • Take pictures of you all practicing the poses for a book about England.
  • Team up with older or younger students to learn more about this country.
  • Write stories from starter sentences like “I would like to visit to England because…” or “My favorite animal is …”  Then read your stories together.
  • Take out non-fiction books about London and/or England from your local library.  Read and learn about the British way of life.  How is it similar or different from your own?
  • Do a visualization of a trip around London.  Ask everyone to close their eyes, listen to the story, and imagine being there in the big city.  Imagine the sights, smells, and sounds.  At the end, have them open their eyes and draw or paint a picture of what they imagined.
  • Cook British food, like fish and chips, scones and jam, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, or sticky toffee pudding, and have lunch together.  Do you think the Royal Family is having for their lunch?
  • Have a Fact Scavenger Hunt, using books from library or the internet, find facts such as population, size of country, number of animal species, yearly temperature, places of interest, famous British people, sports, festival, historical landmarks, or natural wonders.

 

Download a printable version of this “A Trip to England” Lesson Plan

british flag

 

Read children’s books set in England or written by British authors

Books that we read as children that remind me of my British family:

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
  • Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis
  • Robin Hood, by E.B. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Bear Called Paddington, by Peggy Fortnum
  • Winnie the Pooh, by AA Milne
  • The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Jungle Book
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl

As a primary school teacher, my students were enamored by Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling.

Books that we enjoy with our 2-year-old are:

  • That’s Not My Series, Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
  • Peepo, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

british books

 

And a special shout out to my dear British friend, Nicola Preskett, and her new books about the adventures of a little girl and her sausage dog.  Hudson and Me is a big hit with our daughter.  She interacts with the stories and asks for them all the time.  Your children will love them too!

hudson and me books by nicola preskett

What are your favorite British children’s books?

What would you send to the Royal Baby as a gift?

 

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