In recent years, several libraries have started a Yoga themed storytime, to get the kids moving, focus on their breathing, and allow time to de-stress. These Yoga storytimes have proven quite popular! Alan Bern of the Berkeley, CA public library suggests several books and activities, which I have combined with some other suggestions.
Along with Yoga poses and some fun picture books listed below, you can offer some other movement activities using scarves, beanbags, or parachutes. If you would like to offer an art activity to conclude the storytime, make simple pictures based on the Yoga poses you use, such as Tree, Dog, Cat, Butterfly, etc. Give a Yoga themed storytime a try!
Tips on Yoga for Kids
- Use a balloon to demonstrate the concept of full belly breathing
- Keep poses and games brief (approx. 30 seconds for poses)
- Read a story between every other pose
- Preschoolers appreciate and learn from repetition – offer some of the same poses each time
- Be safe – no headstands, etc.
- Allow for quiet time with simple guided relaxation
- Involve the parents/caregivers
Books on doing yoga with children
- Whitford, Rebecca and Martina Selway Whitford. Little Yoga: a Toddler’s First Book of Yoga. Holt, 2005. Alan tends to read this entire book at a storytime; it works for toddlers as well as early elementary-age children.
- Yoo, Taeeun. You are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012. Alan recommends choosing a few poses from this book, changing or adding poses at subsequent storytimes.
Picture books to read-aloud at Yoga storytime
Baptiste, Baron. MY DADDY IS A PRETZEL: YOGA FOR PARENTS AND KIDS. Preschoolers will appreciate the story part of this book, describing various professions, and the main character’s father who uses yoga poses to become various things. Then, librarians can use the instructions for various yoga poses.
Boyd, Liz. I LOVE GRANDMA AND I LOVE GRANDPA. In these two brief stories, a child spends the day with a grandparent, where they do various activities including yoga.
Carle, Eric. FROM HEAD TO TOE. Preschoolers can copy the poses and movements of the animals in this delightful, short book with Carle’s signature colorful collage illustrations.
Cronin, Doreen. STRETCH. A dog demonstrates various stretching poses in this humorous rhyming story.
Haber, Tiffany. OLLIE AND CLAIRE. These two friends do everything together, including yoga, but Claire longs to try something new.
Jonas, Ann. COLOR DANCE. Three girls use scarves to show how colors combine to create new colors.
Lacome, Julie. WALKING THROUGH THE JUNGLE. In this traditional English nursery rhyme, a young boy imagines sounds made by various animals; ask children to use a yoga pose to reflect that animal.
MacLean, Kerry Lee. PEACEFUL PIGGY YOGA. A pink pig demonstrates various yoga poses.
McClure, Nikki. HOW TO BE A CAT. A very brief and simple text using action verbs is paired with strikingly bold illustrations to show a cat’s movements.
Power, Teresa Ane. THE ABCS OF YOGA FOR KIDS. Read just few of the rhymes that introduce 56 different poses.
Storms, Patricia. THE PIRATE AND THE PENGUIN. Penguin is bored in Antarctica where the other penguins spend all their time doing yoga, so he escapes on an ice floe.
Walsh, Ellen Stoll. BALANCING ACT. Two mice balance on a seesaw, but as more animals join them, it is more difficult to stay balanced!
Whitford, Rebecca. SLEEPY LITTLE YOGA. A girl in pink pajamas demonstrates nine simple yoga poses as she gets ready for bed.
Wong, Janet S. TWIST: YOGA POEMS. Offer one or two of the poems from this books of sixteen original yoga-themed poems.
Wood, Audrey and Don. QUICK AS A CRICKET. In this delightful rhyming story, children act out the behavior of the various animals mentioned in the text.