How to Teach Yoga for Preschoolers
By Samantha Botes, contributing writer
Have you wondered how to teach yoga for preschoolers? Is yoga for preschoolers even a thing?
Yes – it is absolutely a thing! Yoga is not only a very popular exercise for adults but yoga in school is beneficial for children of all ages, including toddlers and preschoolers.
In fact, yoga for preschoolers has many advantages for a variety of reasons, as we’ll discuss below.
Now, let’s get back to it, shall we? Would you love to teach yoga to preschoolers? I bet!
Well, here’s a tip: Once you become a yoga teacher, you will be able to teach kids and have so much fun because kids ARE fun! And because here at Pretzel Kids we always want to be inclusive, we also give you the tools to confidently teach yoga to kids with special needs.
Want to learn more about how to teach yoga to preschoolers? Read on to learn the benefits of yoga for toddlers and then how to introduce mindfulness in school.
The Benefits of Yoga for Kids
Studies show that there are enormous benefits to children who practice yoga on a regular basis. These include but not limited to:
- A reduction in stress and anxiety
- A sense of calm
- Improved flexibility and strength
- Better sleep
- Increased concentration levels
- Improved balance and coordination
- A boost in self-esteem!
Yoga for Beginners
Now that you know more about the benefits of yoga, it’s time to dig in.
Did you know that you can even teach yoga to preschoolers if you’re a beginner yogi? It’s true!
Yoga is gaining in popularity and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. Here at Pretzel Kids, we want to make sure you leverage this opportunity and succeed in your yoga journey – regardless of your experience level.
Training for Kids Yoga
If you are already thinking, “Yes, I’d love to do that!”, then learning how to teach children’s yoga is the best way to get started.
The first step is to choose the right kids yoga teacher training course. A qualified youth yoga certification course will give the know-how to teach yoga to children (and psst: Pretzel Kids even gives you the tools to build and grow your business!)
Teaching Yoga to Kids
If you enjoy being around children and find utter joy in playing yoga games with kids, then teaching youth yoga is the perfect opportunity for you!
Parents will benefit at home, teachers will reap the rewards in the classroom and you will feel better within. But most of all, the children will love it!
In addition, by practicing fun poses, preschoolers will learn to self-regulate, build strong core muscles, and concentrate for longer periods of time.
Besides the health benefits, teaching littles ones provides a way for you to build your own business or even create a sustainable side hustle. Plus, teaching children is an amazing way to connect with kids. Just think: If you’re a student, an au pair, or a mom, this may be the perfect side hustle for you, especially if you are also passionate about yoga and exercise.
Keep in mind that once you complete your kids’ yoga teacher training, you will walk away with knowledge and can immediately youth of all ages! Not only that but you will be able to create your own lesson plans and activities that are developmentally appropriate, so you can get creative!
Yoga Classes for Children
Yoga classes for preschoolers are loads of fun! Kids love to get all twisted and tied up in knots, just like a pretzel! In addition, breathing exercises help them focus and calm down. Read on to learn more!
Yoga for Kids in the Classroom
Yoga is one of the best exercise programs to offer in preschools because of the endless physical and mental benefits. Plus, the impact mindfulness has on a child’s life will last a lifetime! As a kids instructor, you can plant positive values in youngsters!
Yoga Activities for Preschoolers
While the kids are sitting in their classroom, whether it be at a table or on the reading mat, there are some fun and beneficial kids yoga poses and mindfulness activities that you can show them and encourage them to do.
It will be fun for all! Who said yoga has to be serious?!
Strategies for Adapting Yoga in Class
The particular poses that you choose for a preschool class will depend on the needs of the kids, the weather and the time of day.
There are poses and breathing exercises that are great for children who need to calm down and become grounded, and there are different energizing poses for when they might be feeling tired and sluggish after a long day.
If you are building your business, one of the best places to go is to local preschools in your area. Many schools and daycare centers offer additional enrichment activities for students but there aren’t many that offer social emotional learning!
Create a Kids Yoga Lesson Plan
Before you start marketing yourself, meeting with potential preschools and holding trial classes, you need to create a lesson plan that you can use in your classes.
It is also a good idea to create a shortened version of this before you hold classes at schools or enroll kids in your classes. Going into a session without a lesson plan is like going to do a trolley dash without the trolley – it’s just madness!
Need more support? If you choose to become a Pretzel Kids teacher, you will certainly not be left alone. We will help you with the lesson plans (and so much more)!
How to Teach a Children’s Yoga Class
There are a few things to consider if you are interested in becoming a teacher and starting your own kids yoga business.
Before the class
- Make sure that you have your lesson plan ready.
- Before your first class, do a practice class with your friends and their children. Ask for feedback and adjust your yoga lesson plan so that all participants are happy.
- Send a reminder out to the parents the day before to pack the correct clothing and to pre-order yoga mats if necessary.
During the class
- Right at the beginning, before you start off your first lesson, ensure that everyone has the correct clothing and props. Many children suffer from anxiety just from not having the right shirt on for the class.
- When the children are doing yoga poses, make sure this is a fun time for them. For example, perhaps you can try animal yoga poses. What preschooler doesn’t love making noisy animal sounds while pretending to be different animals?
- When going into a school or starting a class in your local community hall, remember that in the beginning some of the children might be intimated, nervous, and possibly a bit shy when trying something new. Keep encouraging the children to participate and be patient!
TOP TIP: Remember to actively participate with the kids. When they see an adult (yes, that’s you!) doing the poses and making animal noises, they will quickly join in! Everyone will have a blast, including yourself.
And, at the end of the kids yoga class, a great idea is to send the children home with your own Pretzel Kids ‘Zoo’ or ‘Farm’ Yoga Pose game for them to practice with. (Best homework assignment ever!)
What to Say When Teaching
It’s important that you talk to young kids in a way that they’ll understand.
You can start up telling them what you are doing, and how your body is feeling. Explain exactly how to do the poses or even teach them some fun yoga games. Provide them with comfort and reassurance that this is meant to make them feel good!
Keep in mind that when the children arrive at your class, chances are they have already had a boatload of information hurled at them through iPads, TV, teachers, their parents, and more. All of this creates chatter and you need to figure out how to cut right through this to ensure that they are actively listening to you.
Instead of saying, “Right, stand up straight now,” try, “Slowly roll your body upwards starting with your back, then your neck and lastly your head.” Do these actions as you are explaining and show the children exactly what you are talking about.
We think that only our lives are stressful when in fact children experience a lot of stress as well. Imagine what it’s like to be constantly learning! It’s your role to make this an enjoyable experience for the kids, parents and teachers!
How to Prepare for Yoga Classes for Children
Once you have found a preschool where you can go and teach, or you have some interested families who will be joining you in your community hall, prepare the children and get them excited!.
Remember: this is your yoga business. If the families are happy with your classes, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends and that will help you grow your business. Here are some things you can do to prepare for your yoga classes for preschoolers:
- Pack everything the night before and arrive early for your class so that you are not stressed out if you can’t find parking, you are running late, or the center isn’t open and you don’t have keys. Yikes!
- Ensure that you know your lesson plan and you’re well prepared and have practiced.
- If parents are allowed to stay, have a place where they can sit and watch quietly without disrupting the children (unless you want to have them involved at times). Advise them of any ‘no disruption’ rules before the class.
- Explain to all what is expected of them.
- Set up a way to communicate effectively with parents regarding lessons, illnesses, tips, practicing at home and more.
- Have your Animal Yoga Poses cards ready for everyone to take home at the end of the lesson. Encourage the children to collect all of the cards by attending every lesson. (You can also have a series like: farm animal yoga, rainforest animal yoga, etc.).
- At the end of the lesson, send each preschooler home with a craft to enjoy in their own time. See below for more details.
Yoga Crafts for Preschoolers
As a marketing tool for your business, or as a take-home at the end of the class, there are a few wellness-inspired crafts that little ones may love to do. Don’t forget to include a sticker or a little personal note. Children love personalized notes!
Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Make a flexible yoga doll
- Make stress balls
- Make rain sticks
- Get one of our interactive yoga printable bundles!
Is Yoga for Kids Worth It?
Teaching yoga for preschoolers is a worthwhile and scalable business. While it’s a lot of hard work, it is also loads of fun and the rewards are priceless.
Just think: You are your own boss so you can set your own hours, and you will have school holidays off if you are teaching in schools! Also, as you learn a variety of poses to teach children, you will notice a difference in your own physical, mental and emotional well-being. So, becoming a kids yoga instructor is definitely a win-win!
Final pro tip: If you are interested in becoming a children’s yoga teacher and a business owner, then we are here to make it happen. Instead of thinking about getting the dream job, stop dreaming and do it!
About Samantha: Samantha is a mom of three living in Cape Town, South Africa. Being a single mom who is homeschooling two of her children as well as being self-employed, she understands the importance of keeping fit, eating healthy, and remaining calm – which sometimes can be tricky. She loves to travel and being on a safari in the African bush is her ‘peaceful place’. Writing is a great form of escapism, something which she believes everyone needs to have to stay sane in today’s fast-paced world!