Building muscle can be fun! These might be the perfect gross motor activities for mom, teacher, babysitter, or therapist to jump right in and get themselves a little workout! Yoga poses are an excellent way for kids to build total body strength. They are challenging, require some focus but can be just enough to elicit an uncontrollable giggle fest. My girls love to try these and are so amazed when they can maintain a pose for a count of 10!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Just your bodies and a timer (if you want a bit of a challenge).
WHAT TO DO:
Downward Dog Tunnel: Have the children get on their hands and knees and then pop up onto their hands and feet to make an upside down “V”. Can they hold it?? Can someone crawl through the tunnel that they just made with their body?
Boat Pose Foot Party: Everyone sits in a circle for this game of “footsie”. Have the children sit with their hands propped behind them and then try to lift their feet off of the ground so that all of the feet meet in the center. Hold it….now, can they lift their arms, too, and bring their hands to their sides near their knees? Hold it again.
Double Tree Pose: Can you make a giant tree together? Partners stand hip to hip and link their arms. Gradually, have the children slide their outside leg up so that their foot is resting on the inside of the thigh of their opposite leg. Can they hold it for a count of 10? Can they straighten their arms up over their heads?
HOW TO CHANGE IT UP:
-Switch partners. Everyone will have a different level of strength, flexibility and endurance that will make each of the poses above a little more or less difficult.
-Incorporate a timer that will be set when each pose is achieved and will chime at the end of the allotted time. Add to that time as you practice each move.
-Try these poses with eyes open and eyes closed. Can you feel your body reacting?
-In the Downward Dog activity, have the child that is holding the pose lower to try to “trap” a child in their tunnel then raise back up to let them escape….amazing extra core challenge.
-Be sure to check out Snowga: A Wintertime Yoga Adventure for Kids!
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