As a school occupational therapist, we often have very little space and not a lot of equipment. To solve part of this issues, years ago, I became certified in children’s yoga. I already loved yoga and this became a wonderful addition to my pediatric OT services. I love to do silly poses with kids at Halloween. I enjoy being a “guest visitor” in classrooms to do all of these fun yoga poses. In these pictures, none of the students receive OT services, but I am having the pleasure of being a guest to show a teacher and her wonderful class some yoga.
The first “pose” I like to do with the class is “The Witches Pot”. I have the class sit in a large circle. The students sit so their feet touch to make a circle or the witches pot. We go around and each student adds something to the witches brew. This day a tree, the earth, fish heads, eyeballs, snakes, and a few other things were added. My favorite was when a student said, her classmates. I had fun with this and showed them how to “climb” into the pot. We acted out many of the other things that we added to the pot and stirred each item into the pot with big circular motions with our arms and bodies.
When we finish the Witches Brew the class is often rather excited so I will do some yoga breathing with them. This year, I did “Boo Breath”. I had them take a deep breath in and slowly excel that breath as they said, “Booooo”. We did this 3 to 5 times.
In years past, I have also done Lion’s Breath. Which is another common yoga breathing technique.
I also love to do the classic tree pose but I call it the Haunted Tree and we wave our branches in the wind. Once they do this we then interlock our hands, in a big circle, rise up our branches and move our foot up our leg to become a Haunted Forrest.
I also like to do a yoga flow with the students. I explain to them that this means moving from one pose to another and back to the start. I will repeat these flows with the students 4 to 5 times. The flow starts with 1. Black Cat (cat pose) 2. Pumpkin in a Patch (child’s pose) 3. Superman/ Superwoman 4. Cobra Snake pose. Then go back to the start with cat to flow again.
I will add that in Cobra I like to have the kids hiss and move their upper body like a snake. Please also note that the hands are under the shoulders and you should not push so hard up that your arms are straight.
Then I will have the kids sit on their bottoms with their legs straight out in front. We start laying on our forearms. I call that “corpse”. Then we straighten our arms to rise up our body but the kids need to keep their legs straight. I call this “Rising Corpse”.
The last thing I will do with the kids is a Spider Walk. In this pose, you squat down and try to put your hands behind your feet. Then try to walk forward like this. If that is too hard then have the student put their hands in front of their feet instead. You will see, in the picture, that I will have a group of about 5-6 go at a time. I do NOT have the students race. I have decided that this is not very “yogi”. These beautiful children did cheer on each other, that seems very yogi!
I hope these poses give you some fun ideas to work your child’s mind, body, focus, and imagination. Happy Halloween!!