GROW WISE in KINDNESS
Grow together with the children in your life and teach them ways to PLANT SEEDS OF KINDNESS everywhere they go and show them how to EMBODY these acts of kindness with themselves and the world around them with these simple and FUN yoga activities.
These tools can be used in combination for one long (30 minutes or more ) yoga lesson or as bite - sized mini lessons (choose 1 - 2) throughout the day.
Appropriate for ages 3 and up. Can be modified for older children.
1. Tune – In Time/ Chime Time
· Listen to chimes 3 x’s
Encourage children to listen to all of the sounds outside of the room, inside of the room, and all around. Then ask them to listen to the sound of the chimes 3 x’s with quiet and still bodies.
2. Warm - Up/ Breathing & Sharing
· Seated Sufi Circles/Side to Side Stretching/Twisting/ Sun Sal's (sing LET'S BE KIND song to the tune of Frere Jacques tune):
Let’s be kind, let’s be kind.
In our heart and in our mind.
To our ourselves, our friends, our families
Let’s be kind, let’s be kind.
**singing can be modified to chanting for older kids**
· Breathing Ball Sharing
Give each child a turn with the breathing ball and ask:
What is one way you can show kindness to yourself or others? (give them the option to answer and always let them open and close the breathing ball even if they choose not to answer).
Breathe in kindness (open ball), breathe our kindness (close ball).
**Use a slinky or other object that opens/closes/expands if you do not have a breathing ball**
3. Community Building/ Sharing/ Breathing
· Role Playing
Act out a scene in which a person needs help (i.e. falling down). Call on one child at a time to show how they would show kindness in this scenario (i.e. helping someone up, asking are you ok?, etc..). Allow the conversation to unfold as you transition into the next activity.
· Plant Seeds of Kindness Exercise
One child at a time curls up into child's pose (seed or bulb) in the center of the circle. Call one child at a time by name to "water" their friends garden with kind words (i.e I like you, you are a good friend, etc..) as they gently tap their friends back with their fingers. Take turns and give children the choice to participate.
4. Embodied Yoga
· Use a BOOK about growing a garden (I use Planting a Garden by Lois Ehlert) as a visual aid and analogy to help the children connect the concept of spreading kindness to growing a garden.
Spreading kindness is like growing a garden. We HELP a garden grow by watering it. We take good CARE of our gardens. We are GENTLE with our gardens. We wish GOOD THOUGHTS for our garden. We SMILE at our gardens. We HOPE the BEST for our gardens (that they grow).
Ask children for their ideas on how caring for themselves and others is the same as caring for a garden.
Ask: what would happen if we were to stomp on the flowers in the garden? Draw parallels to treating flowers/fruits/veggies the same as we would treat ourselves and others.
5. Quiet Time/ Rest Time
Let the children know that it is time to rest their bodies on the ground without a sound and that resting is another way we can send kindness to ourselves. Smile at them, make eye contact, sing/chant to them (option to sing or chant LET'S BE KIND song/chant again) , provide loving touch if they choose to have a massage.