To be honest, putting together Dinosaur Yoga ideas was not on my radar until I received a few requests from Kids Yoga Stories readers. I’ve never been particularly interested in dinosaurs, and my daughter never showed much interest in the topic, either. So I asked Nikki if we could share part of her Dinosaur Yoga lesson plan with you.
And then my daughter and I headed to the library to ask our librarian for her favorite dinosaur books. Well, completely to my surprise, as we sat there combing through the picture books—both fiction and non-fiction—we all got sucked into learning more and more about the various types, sizes, characteristics, and features of dinosaurs. I feel like I’ve been missing out!
And there we were, in the kitchen—my husband, my daughter, and me—all comparing dinosaurs and talking about which were:
- plant-eating versus meat-eating
- small, big, giant, and gigantic
- big heads versus small heads
- long necks versus huge skulls
- spiky versus smooth-skinned
And our favorite fact—did you know stegosaurus’ had a brain the size of a walnut? Whoa!
We put on one of my daughter’s favorite songs when she was a toddler—We are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner. We also took the matching book out of the library. This catchy song will be sure to get you in the mood for Dinosaur Yoga.
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6 Dinosaur Books for Kids
Thanks to our librarian for her recommendations, here are six of our favorite dinosaur fiction books for young children. Even though these books are for toddlers and preschoolers, my six-year-old daughter enjoyed them, too:
by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees
This is a super fun dinosaur song book, which introduces eight dinosaurs as readers join them in singing and dancing through the rhyming, engaging text. Ages 4+.
by John Foster and Debbie Harter
This is another fabulous song book with a CD included by Barefoot Books. There is further information at the back of the book about the seven dinosaurs that were featured in the rap. Ages 3+.
by Molly Idle
This is a sweet book about a little girl who invites a T-Rex to tea. The enchanting story follows what might happen if you had tea with a dinosaur. Ages 3+.
If I Had a Triceratops
by George O’Connor
This delightful story follows a boy who imagines what it might be like to have a pet triceratops live in his backyard. Ages 3+.
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?
by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
This fun book draws a parallel between the potentially naughty behavior of dinosaurs and young children. However, no matter what, parents always love their children. Check out the whole series of dinosaur books by this author.
by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz
You can’t go wrong with this amazing author-illustrator team. This book introduces twelve of your favorite dinosaurs through clever rhyming text and bright illustrations.
We also enjoyed these non-fiction dinosaur books
- Dinosaur! (Knowledge Encyclopedias), by Gail Gibbons
- How Big Were Dinosaurs?, by Lita Judge
5 Dinosaur Yoga Poses
Here are five dinosaur yoga poses from Nikki’s Dinosaur Yoga lesson plan. I’ve also added some features of each dinosaur that my daughter and I learned from the books above.
This is meant to spark your interest in learning about dinosaurs through movement. Once you’ve looked through some dinosaur books, I’ve no doubt your children will start making up their own dinosaur-themed yoga postures. Tell us about it in the comments below.
1. Stegosaurus stands tall to ground himself.
The stegosaurus is a big dinosaur, with a spiky tail and tall plates on its back.
How to practice Mountain Pose: Stand tall with your legs hip-width apart and feet facing forward. Take your arms straight alongside your body. Pretend to be a spiky stegosaurus.
2. Diplodocus dips down to the ground.
The diplodocus is a gigantic plant-eating dinosaurs with a long neck and a tail that it can whip like a dog’s wagging tail.
How to practice Downward-Facing Dog Pose: Step back to your hands and feet in an upside-down V shape, with your buttocks up in the air, and pretend to be a diplodocus.
3. Ankylosaurus aims its body like an arrow.
The ankylosaurus is a giant dinosaur with a bony club covered in a protected armor at the end of its tail.
How to practice Three-Legged Dog Pose: From a Downward-Facing Dog Pose, gently lift one leg at a time, pretending that your lifted leg is the bony armored club tail of an ankylosaurus.
4. Brachiosaurus does Bee Breaths to calm down.
The brachiosaurus is a gigantic dinosaur with a long neck like a giraffe’s.
How to practice Bee Breath in a Hero Pose: Come to rest upright on your heels with your palms resting on your knees. As you exhale, keep your mouth closed and make a long “mmm” sound, pretending to buzz like a bee around the garden. Then inhale through your nose, keeping your mouth closed. Repeat the bee humming sound as you exhale. Close your eyes and continue in this way for a few minutes or as long as it feels comfortable. Pretend to be a big brachiosaurus.
5. Spinosaurus goes to sleep in Savasana.
The spinosaurus is a giant meat-eating dinosaur with a long jaw like a crocodile’s.
How to practice Resting Pose: Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out. Pretend to be a sleepy spinosaurus. Breathe and rest.
When you’ve finished practicing your dinosaur yoga poses, you can come to Resting Pose. Encourage your children to close their eyes (if that’s comfortable for them) and take a few deep breaths to calm their minds and bodies after all the excitement of their yoga pose practice. You could talk them through a guided relaxation and ask them to imagine life as a dinosaur. Imagine being brave dinosaurs and facing their fears every single day.
Have you used a dinosaur theme in your yoga class before? Tell us about in the comments below. Let’s share ideas!
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About the Co-Author
Nik Haley is a qualified teaching assistant and children’s yoga teacher, who is currently taking her adult yoga training. She teaches kids yoga classes at her local studio and schools. She enjoys using stories in her yoga classes and expands on the story concepts with games, motor skills activities, props, and partner work. Find Nik on her website: www.nikkilouslittleyogis.co.uk
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Other Dinosaur Ideas
Dinosaur Yoga, Full of Joy Yoga
Yoga for Kids: Dino-Mite Adventure, Gaiam
Dinosaur Books for Preschool, Pre-K Pages
Dinosaur Emergent Reader, The Kindergarten Connection
Dinosaur Roll and Move Gross Mother Activity, Pre-K Pages