*We received this book from the author free of charge.
With two preschool-aged boys, bedtime in our house is anything but calm and quiet. There is typically a lot of running, jumping, tackling, and yelling that goes on right up until the moment they finally crash into their beds.
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when the lovely book, Good Night, Animal World arrived in the mail from our friend and fellow yogi Giselle Shardlow from Kids Yoga Stories. Giselle is a yoga teacher who writes yoga-inspired books with the intention of sharing the benefits of yoga with children all over the world. At Kids Yoga Stories, you’ll find her collection of books – but that’s not all. This site is full of awesome resources related to practicing yoga with kids. My favorite? Her extensive list of yoga poses for kids with easy-to-read instructions for each.
With its simple story and colorful illustrations, Good Night, Animal World is the perfect bedtime book for preschoolers. My boys couldn’t roll their yoga mats out fast enough when I brought out the book before bedtime. They loved learning about new animals from all over the world and practicing the yoga poses that went with each one. I loved having a way to spend some quality time with them at the end of the day that allowed us to move and play together without the typical rough housing that typically happens before bedtime.
From a developmental standpoint, the poses in Kids Yoga Stories, Good Night, Animal World are great gross motor activities for targeting flexibility, balance, coordination, and strengthening. The kids loved the balance challenge of perching like an Eagle and the flexibility challenge of stretching into Pigeon Pose. Downward Dog is always one of their favorites – they were excited that there was a pose in the book that they were already familiar with. They love this pose because it lets them pretend to be dogs…as a therapist, I love watching them work on strengthening those arms and hands! In Good Night, Animal World, Giselle has expertly placed poses with calming sensory effects (e.g. rocking side to side in Happy Baby Pose, resting in Child’s Pose) toward the end, after the more physically challenging poses to help kids calm their bodies down before bed.
My boys’ favorite part of the book was the map at the end, where they could search and find where each animal lives. They also loved that there was a list at the end of the book with each animal and its corresponding pose, so they could go back through and practice the sequence one more quick time before bed.
As a mom, it was cool to see how Good Night, Animal World appealed to my boys’ love for movement and fun but gave us a way to channel all of that little boy energy into a more structured, calming activity before bed. The guide at the end of the book also provided lots of great tips for setting the stage for a relaxed bedtime and establishing lifelong healthy sleep habits for kids.
Check out the trailer for the book here:
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