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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5 Best 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:
What other desert animal poses did you come up with? What did you learn about desert life?
Explore Desert Animal Yoga Cards for Kids
Stand tall like a desert bighorn sheep, soar like a red-tail hawk and scurry like a scorpion.
Discover the magic and awe of desert animals through these beautifully illustrated Desert Animal Yoga Cards for Kids.
Download these 53 digital Desert Animal Yoga cards to learn through movement in your home, classroom, or studio. The deck includes an index card, yoga tips, pose instructions, 20 yoga pose cards, and 20 matching desert animal cards. The multicultural yoga kids are from seven countries. Ages 3+
Desert Yoga Book for Kids: Emily’s Day in the Desert
Learn about the desert through movement + story!
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. Ages 4+.
“I am a first-grade teacher. I do yoga every day in my classroom with my students. They thoroughly enjoyed this book! Here are some of their comments: ‘This book was great because you can learn about Death Valley and the animals while you are doing yoga.’ ‘I loved that the book was about a family taking a trip.’ ‘It was so awesome how the poses matched the words.’ ‘This book taught us some new poses that we’ve never done before.’ Overall, first graders at my school say… This book is awesome!” – Melissa
Other Desert Links
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
For More Fun Kids Yoga Class Ideas
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