The Winter Olympics is always inspiring.
Seeing the world come together to celebrate in our human accomplishments is magical. I’m originally from Vancouver, so I watched the 2012 winter games in Vancouver with special pride and wonder as the Olympic community took over my home city.
If you’ll be watching the Winter Olympics on the television with your children, why not also bring the winter sports to your home, studio, or classroom through kids yoga. Your children can use their imaginations to act out the Olympic winter sports as well as gain an appreciation for the athletes’ hard work and the countries they will be representing.
Brainstorm your own list of winter sports and then act them out or follow the suggested Kids Yoga Stories sequence below. The keywords are listed in a specific sequence to create a safe kids yoga experience that encourages flow from one pose to the next. Feel free to shorten or lengthen the sequence to suit your age group by changing the number of poses. Don’t forget to practice on both sides/legs. Focus on having fun with movement, not on practicing perfectly aligned poses. Wear comfortable clothing and practice barefoot.
Winter Olympics Yoga Sequence for Kids
1. Ski Jumping
How to practice a variation on the Mountain Pose. Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and straighten your arms alongside your body. Open your chest and arch your back slightly, pretending to be ski jumping.
2. Cross Country Skiing
How to practice Mountain Pose. Stand tall with legs hip-width apart, feet facing forward, and move your arms as if you are cross country skiing.
How to practice Warrior 2 Pose. From standing position, step one foot back, placing the foot so that it is facing slightly outward. Take your arms up into a position parallel to the ground. Bend your front knee and look forward as though you are snowboarding.
4. Figure Skating
How to practice Warrior 3 Pose. Stand on one leg. Extend the other leg behind you. Bend your torso forward and take your arms back behind you. Pretend to be gliding down the ice like a figure skater.
How to practice Horse Stance. Stand with your legs apart, with your feet facing slightly outward, bend your knees, and stand firm like a hockey goalie clutching a hockey stick.
6. Alpine Skiing
How to practice Chair Pose. Stand tall in Mountain Pose with your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees, and pretend to be skiing down the mountain.
7. Speed Skating
How to practice Standing Forward Bend variation. From Chair Pose, bend your torso forward. Take one arm back behind you and swing the other arm back and forth like a speed skater does.
How to practice Lunge. Come to a lunge position by stepping back with one leg and bending your front knee. Swing your right arm as if you are sliding a curling stone along the ice.
How to practice Staff Pose. Sit with a tall spine and your legs straight out in front of you. Pretend that you are in a bobsleigh racing down the mountain.
How to practice Resting Pose variation. Lie on your back with your arms and legs tight to your body as if you are going down the luge. Then stretch them out. Breathe and rest.
Winter Olympics extension ideas
Some other ways to celebrate the Winter Olympics:
- Take pictures of the children to make a class book called “Our Winter Olympic Journey.”
- Add poses specific to the host country.
- Invite guest speakers who participate in the different sports.
- Look up the flags specific to the competing countries.
- Re-enact the opening ceremony with the children dressing in the fashion of their chosen country and favorite sport—find ideas on www.olympic.org.
- Create a Winter Olympics pretend play corner.
- Go to the library and check out books on winter sports. Check out this Winter Olympics book list from Educators’ Spin On It.
- Using the Internet, research the history of the Winter Olympics. Talk about the significance of the Olympic rings.
- Create a “world passport” and learn about the different countries participating in the Olympics. For each country, record one fact, find a picture of an animal, draw a national landmark, draw the flag, and write down two things that make the country unique.
- Create your own Winter Olympic activity book, including a word search, coloring page, fill-in-the-blanks, sentence starters, and matching words. Share with a friend or sibling.
- Host your own Winter Olympics in your backyard or indoors. Invite friends over to go through the pretend races together.
Download this Winter Sports Yoga Poster
Winter Olympics Yoga: A special thank you to a friend for the pictures of her boy in the yoga poses.
May We Suggest
Winter Yoga Book for Kids
Experience the benefits of yoga with your children or students by acting out what you see and hear in winter with this interactive yoga book. Join Jenny as she meets various animals on a winter walk with her mom. Be a squirrel, a fox, and a bunny. Discover winter, explore movement, and learn the five senses.
Other Winter Links You Might Like
Check out these links below for your celebration of winter through story and movement: