Updated: September 27, 2023
By Stacey Grumet, contributing writer
Choosing a preschool is hard.
There are so many things to think about like safety, philosophy, discipline, and overall fit.
When touring preschools, you might hear the directors and teachers talk about their enrichment programs. Perhaps you think: Enrichment programs are ‘nice-to-have’ but they won’t sway your decision one way or another.
Maybe you should think again. Preschool and daycare enrichment programs, including kids yoga, provide an enormous benefit to families – and kids, of course. For starters, enrichment programs save you from overscheduling on weekends and weeknights. They also expose children to activities they might not try elsewhere. Most importantly, enrichment programs – even mindfulness activities for kids – are fun.
In fact, kids yoga and mindfulness is an enrichment activity that you should definitely consider when looking at preschools. You’ve probably heard some buzz around yoga for kids, coupled with the importance of meditation and mindfulness activities for kids.
But kids yoga is more than a hot trend. Yoga has been around for centuries, and the benefits of mindfulness practices have been proven by scientific research. Plus, when you consider the benefits adults get from practicing meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, it’s easy to see that yoga for kids also has tremendous advantages.
Now, however, you may be asking yourself the following questions: How to find a preschool yoga class? How to start your kids in yoga? How to find a daycare with yoga? How to find toddler yoga near me?
Well, look no further. This guide breaks down yoga for preschoolers benefits for you. Take a look.
What are the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga for preschoolers?
If the preschool you’re considering offers an enrichment program including kids yoga, you can expect your child to benefit in these four ways:
1. Increased attention span
As kindergarten has become increasingly rigorous and less play-based, there’s more pressure on preschools to better prepare children for elementary school. We also see that the youngest children in kindergarten are diagnosed with significantly higher rates of ADHD than older children, leading us to believe that emotional and social immaturity is being misdiagnosed. Giving children the tools to focus can help prevent these misdiagnoses and set children up for success in kindergarten and beyond.
2. Improved self-regulation skills
Emotions constantly cloud our decision-making abilities. Casinos use bright lights and loud noises to get us excited and to spend more money. Anxiety impacts our judgement, causing us to perceive risk differently. Anger causes us to not carefully consider the consequences of our decisions.
Children are no different than adults and can be even more prone to emotional decision-making. Why? Because kids are still developing their emotional and social skills. Quite frankly, many adults have difficulty making decisions as well, but we’ll save that for another post.
Practicing mindfulness helps children regulate impulse control and leads to rational decision-making, rather than emotional decision-making. And who doesn’t want a 4-year-old with self-regulation skills?
3. opportunity for physical activity and Kids yoga!
Preschoolers are simply not getting enough physical activity, which is bad for their bodies and bad for their brains. On average, they’re getting 48 minutes of exercise daily, far below the two hours recommended by Nemours Children’s Health. Practicing yoga, however, creates additional opportunities for children to engage in physical activity during the day.
4. supports social and emotional learning
Social and emotional development (also called social emotional learning or SEL) are two of the most important aspects of preschool. While academically prepared for kindergarten, preschoolers often don’t succeed because they lack the social and emotional skills needed for elementary school. According to research, mindfulness positively affects the mood and stress levels of students who practice it in school. What’s not to like about that?
5. kids learn through play
Many preschool yoga curriculums and toddler yoga programs are play-based as this is how kids learn best. The Pretzel Kids yoga curriculum, for example, was developed by two preschool teachers and the Pretzel Kids yoga teaching method is designed to help kids tap into their creative genius. Each lesson plan is based on a theme, like rain forest adventure, a day at the beach, or jungle safari. This way kids use their imaginations while learning important breathing techniques and poses in a fun way.
The wrap up
As you can see, it’s important to find a preschool that offers kids yoga and mindfulness activities for kids. Finding a preschool that counts meditation, mindfulness, and yoga among its enrichment programs is easy when you search Pretzel Kids yoga and Paper Pinecone, the best resource for finding preschool programs that meet your needs.
About the author: Stacey Grumet is the Founder & CEO of Paper Pinecone. She lives in Los Angeles with her perfectly adequate husband and precocious 4-year-old daughter (as of this writing). Every day she strives to be the world’s most okay mom.