Though I left my birthplace of Canada over twenty years ago, the country is still my home.
I miss the British Columbian forests, animals, camping, culture, and hiking.
To ensure that our daughter grows up knowing about her heritage, we have lots of Canadian-themed books, stuffed animals, figurines, and puzzles. With Canada Day coming up on July 1st, we’re preparing to celebrate Canada with yoga poses for kids inspired by the animals of the region.
Below are three options: five poses if you only have a few minutes or a full Canada Day kids yoga lesson plan with twelve yoga poses and extension ideas.
Or you could download our digital Canada Yoga Cards for Kids. Simply clear a space, get out some Canadian books, toy animals, or other props and enjoy acting out these North American animals. The purpose is to learn about this beautiful country through movement, not on perfectly aligned yoga poses.
So, jump in and have fun!
Celebrate Canada Day on July 1st Through Kids Yoga
Option #1: Celebrate Canada: Canada 5 for 5: Five kids yoga poses in five minutes:
1. Redwood Tree – Tree Pose
How to practice Tree Pose: Stand on one leg. Bend the knee of the leg you are not standing on, place the sole of your foot on the opposite inner thigh or calf (just not on your knee), and balance. Switch sides and repeat the steps. Pretend to be a tree.
2. Bald Eagle – Eagle Pose
How to practice Eagle Pose: Stand tall in Mountain Pose. Wrap your left leg around your right. Bring your bent arms out in front of you, wrap your right arm around your left arm, and bend your knees slightly. Pretend to be an eagle. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
3. Black Bear – Downward-Facing Dog Pose
How to practice Downward-Facing Dog Pose: From all fours, lift your knees to an upside-down V-shape, with your buttocks up in the air. Ensure that your palms are flat on the ground and that your spine and legs are straight. Press your heels toward the ground and look back through your legs. Pretend to be a bear.
4. Moose – Seated Twist
How to practice Seated Twist: Start by sitting cross-legged, bend your right knee, and place your right foot behind your left knee. Check that your spine is straight and your right foot is flat on the ground. Twist your upper body to the right. Take your left elbow to your right knee and your right hand back behind you. Place open hands above your head for antlers and pretend to be a moose. Repeat on the other side.
5. Otter – Happy Baby Pose
How to practice Happy Baby Pose: Lie on your back with your chin tucked in, hug your knees into your chest, then grab the outer parts of each foot—right foot in right hand and left foot in left hand. Pretend to be an otter.
Option#2: Canada-inspired kids yoga sequence with twelve keywords from Why I Love Canada, by Daniel Howarth:
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
- Rocky Mountains – Mountain Pose (stand tall and mighty, with arms extended slightly away from body)
- Bald Eagle – Eagle Pose (stand tall, wrap your arms out in front of you, wrap your opposite leg around the standing leg, bend slightly, and look out from the top of the tree)
- Squirrel – Squat Pose (squat down, and eat seeds with your fingers)
- Polar Bear – Downward-Facing Dog Pose (come back on hands-and-feet, and walk like a bear)
- Salmon – Locust Pose (lay on your tummy, bend your legs, and stretch your arms back alongside your body)
- Beaver – Extended Cat Pose (come up on hands-and-feet, extend one leg back, and look around for branches)
- Blue Jay – Pigeon Pose (place right knee behind right hand while placing right foot slightly inwards, and perch on a branch, then switch sides)
- Raccoon – Hero’s Pose (sit back on your heels, with “Ah-Okay” hands over eyes for mask of raccoon)
- Wolf – Kneeling Pose (come up to kneeling, reach up, and howl to the moon)
- Moose – Seated Twist (come back to sit on your heels, twist your upper body, and place open hands above your head for antlers)
- Otter – Happy Baby Pose (lay on your back, bring your knees to chest, and eat on tummy with hands)
- River – Resting Pose (lay flat on your back, and stretch out like a rushing river)
Option 3: Download your Canada Yoga Cards for Kids
Pretend to be a Canadian flag, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canadian Pacific Railway!
Download these Canada digital yoga cards to learn through movement in your home, classroom, or studio. This package Includes a helpful index, quick tips, practice guide, 20 Yoga Pose cards, and 20 matching Canada cards. The yoga kids are multicultural from seven countries. Age group: Toddlers to Early Primary, Ages 3+.
Download your Canada Yoga Cards for Kids.
Canada Day Extension Activities:
- Flag: Study the Canadian flag and talk about its defining features and colors. Draw a picture of the flag.
- Anthem: Listen to a recording of the Canadian Anthem. Learn the first chorus.
- Map: Check out a map of Canada and locate all the provinces. What would be different about living in the southern part of the country versus the northern part?
- Characteristics: Research the defining characteristics of Canada. Study what makes the country unique from other countries. What is the country known for?
- Activities and Games: Research which games are popular in Canada. Play Lacrosse or hockey with your friends and family. Look up what sports are popular in the Olympics. Check out pictures from Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.
- Food: Research what foods are popular in Canada. I miss fish & chips and nachos when I’m away from Canada, but those foods aren’t necessarily typical of the country. What is typical Canadian cuisine?
- Music and Dance: Play some music from Canadian bands and musicians. Learn a new dance practiced in Canada. For example, there are many large Scottish Country Dance clubs in Canada.
- Language: Translate the animals above into French. Practice the kids yoga sequence again reinforcing the French words.
- Art: Paint a picture of the Rocky Mountains. Do a pencil drawing of one of the Canadian animals. Make 3-D animals and create a mobile. Gather pictures of Canada from magazines and make a collage.
- Mini-Book: Take pictures of the children in the different poses. Make a mini-book of their yoga pose pictures and other images of the matching animals.
- Books: Go to the local library and ask the librarian for recommended books on Canada, both fiction and non-fiction. How is the country similar and different to your country of origin?
- Environmental Issues: Research which environmental issues are most evident in Canada. Find out what actions are being taken to rectify the problems. What can we learn from the Canadian environmental movement?
- History: Research the First Nations people and learn about their art, traditions, and ceremonies.
- Celebration: Study why and how people celebrate Canada Day. Host your own celebration of Canada. Cater to each of your senses. For example: play music, make typical food, wear typical clothing, bring out your stuffed animals, and gather your books.
We also love the Canada books by Per Henrik Gurth. We have the Canada in Words book: