Polar Bear Polar Bear Yoga Lesson Plan for Toddlers
Toddlers love yoga. And toddlers love Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle books.
So, today we’re sharing a Polar Bear Yoga Lesson Plan to go with the popular book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Amazon affiliate link). Fellow kids yoga teacher Joie Scott has put together a printable of this toddler yoga lesson plan, available at the link below.
Toddler yoga sequence inspired by Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
The twelve-poses sequence follows the story, Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
However, feel free to change the order of the postures to create a logical kids yoga class.
You can also add more or practice fewer yoga poses, depending on the needs and ages of your children. Your children could also add their own yoga poses by mimicking other zoo animals.
Make the experience relevant and meaningful for them, so they can enjoy learning about animals through movement. Use this polar bear yoga sequence as a guide, but adapt to suit your needs:
STORY TEXT FROM Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Polar Bear, polar bear, what do you hear?
I hear a lion roaring in my ear.
How to do EXTENDED CHILD’S POSE:
Come to sitting back on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, place the palms of your hands flat out in front of you and take a few deep breaths, resting like a polar bear.
Lion, lion, what do you hear?
I hear a hippopotamus snorting in my ear.
How to do PLANK POSE (with Lion Breath):
Come down to a plank on your hands and toes. With eyes and mouth wide open, stick out your tongue and exhale.
Hippopotamus, hippopotamus, what do you hear?
I hear a flamingo fluting in my ear.
How to do COW POSE:
On all fours, look up, open your chest, and arch your back. Pretend to be a hippo.
Flamingo, flamingo, what do you hear?
I hear a zebra braying in my ear.
How to do TREE POSE:
Stand on one leg, bend your knee, place the sole of your foot on your inner thigh, and balance. Pose like a flamingo. Switch sides and repeat the steps.
Zebra, zebra, what do you hear?
I hear a boa constrictor hissing in my ear.
How to do HORSE POSE:
Stand with your legs apart, with your feet facing slightly outwards, bend your knees, and stand firm like a zebra.
Boa constrictor, boa constrictor, what do you hear?
I hear an elephant trumpeting in my ear.
How to do COBRA POSE:
Lie on your tummy, lift your head and shoulders off ground, place your palms flat on the floor next to your shoulders, and hiss like a snake.
Elephant, elephant, what do you hear?
I hear a leopard snarling in my ear.
How to do WARRIOR 2 POSE VARIATION (with arms like a trunk):
From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is pointing slightly outwards. Take your arms up parallel to the ground and bend your front knee. Raise your front arm over your head like the trunk of an elephant.
Leopard, leopard, what do you hear?
I hear a peacock yelping in my ear.
How to do CAT POSE:
On all fours, tuck your chin into your chest and round your back, pretending to be a leopard.
Peacock, peacock, what do you hear?
I hear a walrus bellowing in my ear.
How to do COBBLER’S POSE:
Sit with a tall spine, bend your legs, and place the soles of your feet together. Lift and lower your knees gently to open your peacock tail.
Walrus, walrus, what do you hear?
I hear a zookeeper whistling in my ear.
How to do UPWARD-FACING DOG POSE:
Lie on your belly. Place the palms of your hands next to your shoulders and look up. Then lengthen your arms and expand your chest. Imagine being a walrus.
Zookeeper, zookeeper, what do you hear?
I hear children growling, roaring, snorting, fluting braying, hissing, trumpeting, snarling, yelping, bellowing, whistling and giggling… that’s what I hear.
How to do GYAN MUDRA:
Sit on heels, with both hands in an A-Okay sign over your eyes, like the zookeeper’s glasses.
Children, children, what do you hear?
We hear a quiet zoo resting right here.
How to do RESTING POSE:
Lie on your back with your arms and legs stretched out. Breathe and rest. Allow the children time to integrate their yoga story time experience.
To finish the class, you could go around the group, asking them to share their favorite zoo animal pose from the book. You could also make a list of other zoo animals that they could practice the matching yoga poses for next time. Remember not to worry about getting the yoga poses “correct.” Just have fun with toddlers learning about animals through movement!
Joie Scott received her Hatha Yoga RYT-200 certification from teachers Todd Norian and Ann Greene. This Anusara-based training led her to the Grounded Kids program developed in Atlanta, Georgia, by Cheryl Crawford and Amy Haysman, where she completed the ninety-five-hour certification for Children’s Yoga designation (RCYT). Joie, a former kindergarten teacher, now works for Zenworks Yoga as a founding board member, teaching children’s yoga classes, mentoring our team of teachers, and directing program development. She also co-founded AmaZEN U, a web-based subscription program geared toward K-12 classroom teachers. Teachers can use a smartboard, tablet, or phone to pull up one-to-five-minute yoga and mindfulness video breaks for their students throughout the day.