Physical Development

Space Activities #19: Space Yoga for Kids

Space yoga for kids combines yoga and imagination to give both young, developing bodies and brains some stimulation. Together, it’s out of this world.

space yoga for kidsOuter space is full of stars. Our sun is a giant star. An easy yoga pose is the star pose. Kids stand with legs apart and arms outstretched. Two hands, two feet, and one head make five points, just like a star. Kids can imagine they are a star high up in the sky and far away in space. What might they see looking down on the world? Stars give light and the sun warms the Earth. What does it feel like to be light?

space yoga for kidsThe sun is for day and the moon is for night. The moon is not always the same shape. Since it sometimes has a crescent or letter C shape, there is a yoga pose called the crescent moon. To make this shape, kids stand with feet together. Hands stretch high up in the sky with palms together. Curve the body over to one side and then to the other. The moon is far away, but not as far away as the other planets of the sun.

Only twelve people have ever walked on the moon. What might it be like to go to the moon?

yoga for kidsTo get to space, we use rockets. Rockets are a tall, straight shape. Trees are that shape too so this pose is named the tree pose. Start with feet together. Balance on the left leg and bend the right knee out to the side and slide the foot up the left leg. Slowly lift the arms high over the head until hands touch together, pointing up. Imagine how exciting it would be to be a rocket.

Squatting is such a natural position for children. We often see kids squatting as they play. From a squat, kids count down. When they get to blast off, they can jump up from the squat and zoom around.

There is, of course, more to yoga than this but it’s a beginning. In her article, 7 Ways Kids Benefit from Yoga, Karen Fabian writes:

“Yoga helps kids to:

  • Develop body awareness
  • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way
  • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement
  • Build concentration
  • Increase their confidence and positive self-image
  • Feel part of a healthy, non-competitive group
  • Have an alternative to tuning out through constant attachment to electronic devices”

There are discoveries for inner space not just outer space. Would your child like to explore some space yoga for kids?

Space Activities #15: Planet Playground Fun

The cloudy weather cleared up and the sun came out so we headed outside for some Planet Playground fun. This can happen at any playground in most weather, but warmer days often mean more time outdoors.planet playground fun

Since we’d been talking of outer space with the Jupiter probe Juno and the anniversary of the landing on the moon, it didn’t take much stretch of the imagination to turn a tube at the playground into a rocket. It’s too bad there isn’t a circle cut out anywhere on the tube so kids can see out, but they can certainly be heard counting down. A gear section on the outside served as the rocket launch controls. Little Sister ran from one to the other and then back again after each blast off.

planet playground fun

Big Sister came over to play too and they begged to have their photo taken. The easiest way to take a picture was from inside but with no room to back up, it’s a sort of bird’s-eye view of our feet. This time, the spaceship landed on a new planet and the kids made up different kinds of games as they explored all around.

planet playground fun

Time on the playground is certainly beneficial for bodies. Kids strengthen their large muscles as they climb, run, balance, wiggle, jump, swing, and engage in other actions. It’s also helpful for brains. To develop coordination requires the brain and body to communicate and work together. On the playground, kids challenge themselves to climb a little bit higher, stretch a little bit farther, and jump a little bit longer. Sometimes, we can see them preparing their body for an action as they get brains and bodies in sync.

planet playground fun

  1. Do you know how to organize a space party? A. You planet.
    When it comes to what kids learn on a playground, we can’t “planet” but we can know fun and play is one of the best ways to learn. Can you organize some space in the day for planet playground fun for your child?

Space Activities #12: Planet Movement Activity Fun

No need to go into orbit for this planet movement activity fun, kids can do it right at home. They will need a space for moving and a flat space ship.

Space ships aren’t usually flat, like magic carpets, but kids need something they can get into and out of, or on and off easily. The idea of this game is to count down, blast off and travel to a whole series of different planets for a variety of ways to move. This is how Little Sister played:

planet movement activity fun

Little Sister put together some foam mat squares to be her space transport. She got into her space gymnastic suit and counted down. After blasting off, she pretended her space ship zoomed in space and then landed. The first planet where she stopped was the Jumping Planet so she got out and jumped around a few times. Then, it was back in the space ship, count down, blast off, and zooming some more. The second planet was the Crawl Planet, so she could only move by crawling. After some time on that planet, it was time to do the whole sequence and land on another planet again. Planet #3 was the Swim Planet, which meant stretched out on the floor with arms and legs spread out in order to move by swimming motions.

Leaving the Swim Planet required a modification of blast off position. She stretched out on her space ship so she could swim away. The next planet was the Hop On One Foot Planet. Her visit there wasn’t too long. At this point, I was no longer needed to suggest a kind of movement activity. She thought of a few herself, such as the Twirling Planet and the Walk Like A Robot Planet.

play with color mats

We know from experience that kids move all the time, but might not know why. Movement activities support the brain to make connections used for thinking. Kids need to move, not just for body development but for brain development too. Muscles need strengthening and coordination requires a tremendous amount of brain activity. A game, like this planet movement activity fun, is a great way to encourage kids to move. What planets will your child land on?

For more outer space or down-to-earth activities, land on the blog or play-of-the-day tabs.  Welcome to Planet Play!

Transportation Activities #17: Transportation Yoga

Yesterday was International Yoga Day  which inspired a transportation yoga play-of-the-day for kids. Even if neither of you have done yoga before. These are some simple yoga poses suggested by a yoga teacher and preschool educator.: Car: Kids sit on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. Before driving, they buckle … Continue reading Transportation Activities #17: Transportation Yoga

Transportation Play #9: Transportation Movement Activities

How do cars and trucks go? Zoom, zoom. How do kids go? They go zoom, zoom too and more with these transportation movement activities. Kids will often zoom around like cars and trucks complete with sound effects. We can add in a few ideas to extend their movement play. How would an airplane go? Kids … Continue reading Transportation Play #9: Transportation Movement Activities

Transportation Play Activities #3: Red, Yellow, Green Light Game

Usually we don’t have to encourage kids to move around and be active. For both moving and stopping, kids can play a Red, Yellow, Green Light game. The rules of this game are very simple and easy to remember. They are like traffic lights. Red signals a stop, green means it’s okay to run around … Continue reading Transportation Play Activities #3: Red, Yellow, Green Light Game

Bubble Fun and Learning # 17: Bubble Wrap Stomp

We can give kids the most costly toys for presents, and they still end up playing with the box and wrapping. Here’s a new dance—the bubble wrap stomp. A parcel came to our house with bubble wrap. And what’s the most fun? Popping all those bubbles of course. Little Sister spend a good chunk of the … Continue reading Bubble Fun and Learning # 17: Bubble Wrap Stomp

Play Learn with Bubbles #8: Bubble Movement Activities and Game

Chasing bubbles outside is the best fun, but here are some bubble movement activities and game that kids can do indoors or out, in almost any size space. For some independent movement activity play, turn on some music and let your child dance around like bubbles. Of course, they need to have experienced blowing bubbles … Continue reading Play Learn with Bubbles #8: Bubble Movement Activities and Game

Movement Activities for Kids – No Matter the Date

Ants and Kids Go Marching March fourth is a unique day on the calendar; it can also be an action, to march forth. Marching around can inspire some movement activities for kids. To start some movement play, you and your child can think of different ways to move around besides marching. There’s walking, running, hopping, … Continue reading Movement Activities for Kids – No Matter the Date

Vigorous Active Play – Ways Children Play #4

There’s nothing like sun to encourage vigorous active play and that’s how L loves to play. Movement and whole body play are his play valentine. A happy, busy 3 year old, L likes to move. His outside trampoline gets almost daily use, when weather permits, as he jumps and runs. He sometimes chooses a ball … Continue reading Vigorous Active Play – Ways Children Play #4