Parents often comment to me after a class with their energetic 5 year olds “Wow! How do you do it?” They’re impressed with how I can skip to the beat of these little people, with patience, and grab their attention in those rare (ha!) moments when their minds begin to wander. Here’s my secret: I have a WHOLE bag of tricks! And I’ll share the contents with you, in hopes that they may help you just when you need them.
- Singing Bowl – I can’t live without the singing bowl. The singing bowl is the pinnacle of my classroom management plan. I use it for breathing and mindfulness activities, bringing back attention, savasana (resting period), and at the end of class the kids love having a turn with the bowl.
- Kimochi plush feeling faces – As most of our grade schoolers are developing their throat chakras and would love nothing more than to just talk for a full hour, I often times open up class with my Kimochi’s. Each child receives a face, we go around the circle revealing our face and sometimes a story about a time when we felt this way, or when someone we know did. And we finish with making our own face match our Kimochi… For example, if I were to receive the ‘Excited’ face, I’d tell a story about a time when I felt ‘Excited’ and then together we’d all make our ‘Excited’ faces. If I skip this activity, I’m often reminded so!
- Flashcards – You can get really creative with flashcards. I have a pack of our very own YoKid flashcards, I have the Baron Baptiste Daddy is a Pretzel flashcards, as well as the Yoga Warriors flashcards. Lately, the kids have enjoyed a game where I place a flashcard face down in front of each of them telling them that it is TOP SECRET! We each then take turns leading the class through the pose on the flashcards. They usually ask for a second round of this. Flashcards are also very helpful in playing Yogi Says (our version of Simon Says).
- Books – Just before Savasana (and sometimes if time is limited, in place of Savasana) we lie in a circle and read a book together. YoKid has provided an extensive list of our Top Book recommendations, and here’s what I have in my bag. From the YoKid book list, All I See Is Me. From my own childhood, I have The Great Kapok Tree and Quick As A Cricket.
And a book given to my 1 year old by his grandma which is fitting for ALL ages… The Peace Book.
Now you know what’s in this YoKid teachers bag, do you have any tools or tricks of your own? We’d love to hear from you!