Christmas Yoga Fun For Your Toddler (and You!)
If you are looking for a great way to have some fun with your toddler this festive season that will keep their little bodies and minds active and strong, how about trying some Christmas themed yoga?
Depending on your child's age and stage of development, he or she might be able to do some of these independently, or may need you to help with some or all of them. If you can, show them how to do the pose by doing it yourself first, then encourage them to have a go, providing any support they need. Keep practising together and you will be amazed how quickly they will get the hang of it, and perhaps even start making up yoga poses for other things too.
Keep your yoga sessions short and fun as you practice making your bodies into different, Christmas themed shapes. Never force any of the movements, just encourage your little one to have a go and do the best they can. Here are a few ideas to try;
Stand up straight and tall then lift both arms up overhead and bring the palms of your hands together to make the shape of the top of the Christmas tree. Lift one foot, placing the sole of the foot onto your other leg as far up as you can and balance on one leg, which is the trunk on the tree. Hold for a few seconds then change legs.
Sit with legs stretched out in front, then bend the knees in towards the chest and hug them with your arms. Try to lift the feet off the floor so you are just balancing on your bottom and curled into a ball shape, like a bauble on the Christmas tree. Hold for a few seconds before releasing.
Stand up straight and bring both arms out in front as if holding the reigns of the sleigh. Bend both knees and lower your bottom as if you were going to sit on a chair,(or on your sleigh) keeping your arms out in front to hold those reigns tight and make sure the reindeer are under control! Hold that position for a few seconds then stand up straight again.
From a standing position, with feet shoulder width apart. Lift one arm straight above your head. Bend to the opposite side to the arm you have raised, so that your arm comes over your head and your body makes a crescent shape, like the curved top of the candy cane. Hold for a few seconds then return to an upright position and bend to the other side.
Stand with feet wide apart and arms stretched out to the sides, like you are doing a star jump. Shift your weight to one foot and lift the other one to the side. Place your foot down and rock to the other side, lifting the opposite foot this time. Repeat the rocking action to each side a few times.
Lie on your back with legs straight and arms extended above your head. Move your legs apart and together and your arms down to your sides and back up at the same time, like making snow angels.
You might need to practise moving the arms and legs separately at first, before trying both together.
Stand facing your little one, holding both of their hands, lean forward and bring one leg out straight behind you as high as you can, like an ice skater gliding, and encourage your toddler to do the same. This will give support for the balance. Once your little one can hold the balance with you, you can try releasing their hands and encouraging them to balance by themselves.
Make Your Yoga Practice into a Game
To really get your little one involved in the game, you could make some cards with images like the ones here (all sourced from Google images) to represent each yoga pose. Place the cards face down then have your toddler choose one. Turn it over and have a go at the pose together. For a greater challenge, and to work on numeracy skills, choose 6 cards and write the numbers one to six on the back. Roll a dice and help your child to match up the number on the dice with the number on the card to choose your next yoga pose.
Yoga at Tots Play
We love yoga at Tots Play as it has so many benefits. Not only is it a lovely way to enjoy special time with your little one, it can help with strength, flexibility, balance, concentration and so much more, which is why we incorporate yoga into all our classes, from birth right up to preschool. From co-ordinating movements to nursery rhymes with our younger babies at our Baby Development course to yoga games, like the one above, with our older toddlers and pre-schoolers at Action Tots, it is introduced in fun and engaging ways appropriate to the age group of each class that you can get involved in too.
And Lots More...
It's not just yoga you can enjoy at Tots Play though, our multi-activity programme of baby and toddler classes includes baby massage, sensory play, baby sign language, music and physical play - every class your child needs in one! For more details of our programme and what it's all about take a look HERE.
To find a class near you click HERE.
Tots Play is not just about our classes though, it's about giving you lots of ideas and inspiration to continue your play times at home too, so I hope you will be able to use some of what you have picked up, either at class or through our blog posts or activity guides to make your Christmas extra specially fun this year. If you haven't joined our Facebook Group - Tots Play Families, do come and join us there too for even more play time fun.
Have a wonderful time playing, laughing and learning with your little ones, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas from everyone at Tots Play. Happy Playing. xx
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