Learn about desert animals through desert yoga poses and desert books for kids!
Try a desert theme for one of your kids yoga classes. Dash like a kit fox, slither like a rattlesnake, and peek out of your shell like a desert tortoise.
Our family went on a trip through the Southwest in a RV a couple years ago, and recently, my daughter pulled out the mini-book that I’d created for her with our travel photos. We talked about the desert, and I read her Emily’s Day in the Desert, the yoga book based on our visit to Death Valley, California.
We then found a bunch of desert books for kids in the library and talked about the unique animals that live in the desert. Below you’ll find our favorite desert books and five desert animal yoga postures for kids to bring your learning alive through movement!
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Desert Books for Kids
Our five favorite desert books for kids:
America’s Deserts Guide to Plants and Animals
by Marianne Wallace
A great research book to plan your desert lesson. I love the double-spread illustrations of flora and fauna of each American desert.
Way Out in the Desert
by T.J. Marsh and Jennifer Ward
A charming rhyming text similar to “Over in the Meadow” to learn about desert animals. I bought this book at the Death Valley visitor’s center in California for my toddler, and she loved it.
I Howl, I Growl
by Marcia Vaughan and Polly Powell
This is another book that I bought in the Death Valley visitor’s center, that my daughter loved when she was a toddler. Each page labels the desert animal and what they do: chase, race, growl, or howl. It’s an easy book to use for a kids yoga class.
There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea
by Jennifer Ward and Steve Gray
A silly cartoon-illustrated book following the “There Was a Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” rhyming text.
Desert Night Desert Day
by Anthony Frederick and Kenneth Spengler
A desert book that has both beautiful, bright illustrations and lovely rhyming text. I love the introduction of both nighttime and daytime deserts (guide at back of the book).
Other Desert Books You Might Like:
Emily’s Day in the Desert
by Giselle Shardlow
Join Emily as she spends a day with her parents in Death Valley, California. Glide like a hawk, dart like a fox, and slither like a snake. This desert yoga book includes a list of yoga poses for kids and a parent-teacher guide.
In the Canyon
by Liz Garton Scanlon and Ashley Wolff
Join a young girl as she walks down into the Grand Canyon.
A Day and Night in the Desert
by Caroline Arnold
Spend twenty-four hours in the Sonoran Desert and learn about the animals and plants that come alive during all the hours of the day.
by Gail Gibbons
A well-presented non-fiction book about deserts around the world.
The Magic School Bus Gets All Dried Up: A Book About Deserts
Join Ms. Frizzle and her class to learn about deserts.
Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?
by Tish Rabe
A rhyming Cat in the Hat book to learn about deserts.
The Three Little Javelinas
by Susan Lowell and Jim Harris
A rendition of the Three Little Pigs, except with desert animals.
5 Desert Animal Yoga Poses for Kids
After reading the desert animal books for kids, make a list of animals. For example, animals that live in American deserts are:
- Red-tailed hawk
- Mountain lion
- Gila monster
- Golden eagle
- Kit fox
- Desert bighorn sheep
Then check out our list of yoga poses for kids for ideas on creating yoga poses matching the desert animals—or simply follow this desert yoga sequence below. These yoga poses are specifically sequenced to invite flow from one pose to the next:
1. Cat Pose Pretend to be a coyote
How to practice Cat Pose: on all fours, round your back and tuck your chin into your chest. Pretend to be a coyote.
2. Extended Cat Pose – Pretend to be a kit fox
How to practice Extended Cat Pose: From all fours, extend one leg out behind you, and look forward. Take the opposite arm out in front of you to counter balance. Pretend to be a kit fox darting across the road. Repeat on the other side.
3. Pigeon Pose – Pretend to be a greater roadrunner
How to practice Pigeon Pose: from a Table Top position, bring your right knee to rest behind your right hand, angling your right foot slightly inward, and pretend to sprint like a roadrunner. Repeat on the other side.
4. Cobra Pose – Pretend to be a rattlesnake
How to practice Cobra Pose: come down to lie on your tummy and place your palms flat next to your shoulders. Pressing into your hands, lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Hiss like a rattlesnake.
5. Tortoise Pose – Pretend to be a desert tortoise
How to practice Tortoise Pose: come to sit on your buttocks with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Then take your feet out wide and be sure you are sitting with a tall, straight spine. Slide your arms under your knees and place your hands flat on the floor outside your legs. Bend forward, keeping your back and neck straight. Pretend to be a tortoise poking its head out of the shell.
What other desert animal poses did you come up with? What did you learn about desert life?
DOWNLOAD THIS DESERT CHAIR YOGA POSES PRINTABLE POSTER
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Other Desert Activities
Desert Yoga Using a Chair, Kids Yoga Stories
A Blooming Cactus Art Project, Preschool Playbook
Build a Desert Biome, Schooling a Monkey
Free Desert Pack, 3 Dinosaurs
Desert Animal Game for Preschoolers, Life Over Cs
Desert Sunset Painting, Still Playing School