Happy Independence Day everyone!
As of 2021, the United States of America will be 244 years old. In honor of that, what is a better way to celebrate our diversity than doing some yoga with your kids?
Yoga is in itself a celebration of freedom and independence. It can help us discover or rediscover our personal freedoms within our minds, bodies, and hearts. Yoga serves to curate a mindfulness that we are part of something larger than ourselves and realize that some things are out of our control.
Practice cultivating independence within ourselves as we celebrate the independence of our nation and the diverse population it holds.
So, get moving with your kiddos with this 4th of July themed yoga lesson! From yoga poses, breathing exercises to crafts, books, and games, there is always something for everyone.
4th of July Themed Yoga Lesson Plan for Kids includes:
- Facts about Independence Day in the United States
- Mindfulness breathing exercise
- Independence Day themed yoga poses for kids
- Books to learn about diversity in the United States to honor all Americans
- Yoga games and activities with a 4th of July theme
- 4th of July themed mindfulness arts and crafts
Themed yoga is a super fun way to teach kids yoga and get them moving in their everyday lives. Whether you are at home, with kids in school, or in a kids yoga studio, themes can help engage kids in yoga and mindfulness to help them stay active and healthy.
Practicing yoga and mindfulness with your kids helps them form lifelong habits and healthy ways to cope with their emotions. It encourages coordination, balance, strength, and focus that everyone can take into their everyday lives.
Introduction to an Independence Day Themed Yoga Lesson
To begin our fun-filled yoga journey, engage your kids with some awesome facts about the 4th of July! It will get them excited to learn and move around, and afterwards, ask them if they have any fun facts to contribute as well 🙂
- The United States Will Celebrate Its 244th Birthday in 2021
- Over 150 Million Hot Dogs Are Eaten Every 4th of July in America. That is only part of the 7 billion that are eaten every summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day
- Fireworks Have Been An Independence Day Tradition Since 1777.
- Americans Spend Over $1 Billion On Fireworks Every Year. The 4th of July is known for its extravagant firework displays. Only 10% of firework purchases are used by professionals. This may also account for over 12,900 firework-related emergency room visits every Independence Day.
- The 4th of July Wasn’t A National Holiday Until 1870. Almost 100 years after the United States was founded, Independence Day became a federal holiday.
Now that we know some fun facts about the Fourth of July, let’s begin the lesson with some mindful breathing exercises!
Mindfulness Breathing Exercise for 4th of July
Try this Fireworks Breathing exercise to clear out any extra energy from the day. Use this to relax and get excited for the holiday.
- Begin by sitting criss-crossed on the ground. Shake out your arms and relax your shoulders. Sit up straight and breathe.
- Press your palms firmly together near your chest. This will be your ‘Firework”.
- Start wiggling your firework like a snake upwards. Your fireworks are shooting up into the sky!
- Take a deep breath and when your firework gets into the sky, raise your arms above your head and keep your palms together. Your fireworks are about to explode!
- Clap your hands together above your head and say “SHHH” as you stretch your arms out. Move your arms down to the ground slowly, waving your hands and wiggling your fingers. Your fireworks have exploded!
- Repeat this a few times. Imagine what color your fireworks are and how they move!
Now that we have focused on our breathing, let’s move on to some awesome yoga poses! Make sure to keep taking deep calming breaths as we move forward.
Independence Day Themed Yoga Poses for Kids
Yoga is about finding freedom and independence in our minds, bodies, and hearts.
Use these fun 4th of July themed yoga poses to teach your kiddos about balance, flexibility, and strength!
Stand up tall with your feet apart. Bend your knees slightly and raise your left foot up. Balance on your right foot as you place your left thigh over your right. Point your toes and hook the top of your left foot behind your lower right calf. Raise your arms out in front of you and bend them up at the elbow. Cross your right arm under your left and attempt to press your palms together. Stretch and breathe!
Sit on your bottom with your knees bent. Hold onto the back of your knees, and lean straight back to balance on your sit bones. Straighten your legs and lift your arms to balance in boat pose.
Baseball Player Pose (Revolved Chair):
Stand up straight and breathe. Bend at the knees and fold your chest over your thighs. Turn your top half to the left so you are facing the left. Keep your hips and legs straight forward. Press your palms firmly together and breathe.
Statue of Liberty Pose (Extended Mountain):
Stand up straight with your feet slightly apart. Raise your arms above your head and press your palms together. Stretch upward and elongate your spine.
Fireworks (side plank):
Start in plank pose, then tilt to one side, stacking your feet on their edges and lifting up one arm. Reach up with your hand, and try to float your top leg up in a star shape.
Still standing, move your feet above two feet apart. Raise your arms out to your sides, parallel to your shoulders. Slowly raise them further up into a V shape and stretch.
Shooting Fireworks (Reverse Warrior):
Go from standing up into a lunge. Place your right foot a few feet in front of your left and bend into the lunge. Bend your back slightly backwards and turn to the left, keeping your hips straight. Raise one arm above your head while the other reaches for your left foot. Stretch and lean backwards slightly.
Golden Gate Bridge Pose:
Lay flat against your mat with your legs straight and arms to your side. Bend your knees and place your feet flat against the ground. Raise your hips and keep your arms flat at your sides.
Hills and Valleys Pose (Down Dog to Up Dog):
Start with your hands and feet on the floor and shift your hips up to the sky. Shift forward and lower your hips and legs to the ground, pressing your hands into the floor to lift your head and torso up and gaze forward. Move back and forth like the many hills and valleys across the United States.
Bonus Pose: Hot Dog!
Lay flat against the ground at the top of your yoga mat. Keep your arms flat against your sides and toes pointed. Have someone (or yourself) tuck the yoga mat firm against your side and roll until the mat is completely around you. Now you’re a hot dog!
Books for Kids Yoga and Celebrating the Diversity of Our Country
Now that we have done some fun yoga, try these cool books exploring empathy and acceptance along with celebrating America’s diverse population!
You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel
The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story by Uma Krishmaswami and Ruth Jeyaveeran
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
Marta! Big & Small by Jen Arena and Angela Dominguez
Call Me Tree/ Llamame Arbol by Maya Christina Gonzalez
I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo
My Friends/Mis Amigos by Taro Gomi
Enjoy these kids books that will inspire mindfulness and empathy!
Independence Day Themed Yoga Games and Activities for Kids
Red, White, and Blue Light:
This has been a fan-favorite for generations with a yoga twist!
Originally called Red, Yellow, Green Light, we have changed it to celebrate the Fourth of July with red, white, and blue colors instead! Kids will move from one side of the room to the other, going past the caller (person saying the colors).
The goal is to be the first one to reach the caller or the other side of the room.
- Blue Light Means Go: Kids can move quickly towards the caller
- White Light Means Walk: Kids should move towards the caller in slow motion. Be as silly as you can! Crawl, walk backwards, pretend you are moving through slime, etc!
- Red Light Means Pose: Kids should freeze in a yoga pose!
They can do any yoga pose or one we learned above!
Kids might need a second to choose a pose, so give them some leeway for how quickly they pose. If they fall or move, they go back to the start! Calling white light after red light is a fun way to make the slow motion look extra silly!
Kids will be ‘out’ or told to go back to the start if they are doing the wrong movement or don’t switch quickly enough.
This game is a super fun way to practice the Independence Day themed yoga poses we learned while also showcasing listening skills! You can play in a circle or from one side of a room to the other.
The premise is that you are in a museum and all of the kids are statues! They have a secret power of coming to life like the movie ‘Night At The Museum!
How to Play:
- One person is the curator (or watchperson) and stands in the middle of the circle. All of the other kids are posed at statues using the poses we learned earlier.
- Once the curator is NOT looking, the statues come to life and are able to change into different statues.
- If the curator catches them moving, they are ‘caught’ and have to sit down. The last one standing wins!
Challenge them by having them move in a certain way, or only choosing specific poses! Make sure they are changing poses to keep things interesting. Also, statues can’t talk!
If you are playing moving from one side of the room to another, you can talk and move around. If the curator catches them, they go back to the beginning and start over. The first person who reaches the curator first wins and gets to be the next curator!
Mindfulness Arts and Crafts for Celebrating America
Shaving Cream Fireworks:
These fun and adorable paintings will be a blast to make with your kiddos! Easy to make and fun to do, it might be a little messy!
Materials: shaving cream, red and blue paint or food coloring, toothpicks, paper, pan with low sides, and stiff paper or cardboard.
- Start by filling the pan up with shaving cream! Apply generously. It might be helpful for kids to wear swimsuits as they are easy to wash off in.
- Use stiff paper or cardboard to level the shaving cream. This is necessary so the paint or food coloring won’t run.
- Drop the paint or food coloring onto the shaving cream! Take a toothpick and start in the center, drawing out. This will make fireworks! Try using opposite colors for a two-color effect.
- When done, lay paper lightly over the top of the shaving cream and pat gently to make a print. Let sit for a minute or two before slowly peeling paper off.
- Use a clean side of stiff paper or cardboard to remove excess shaving cream.
Now you have a beautiful firework painting! Enjoy!
Image and Idea from I Can Teach My Child
Patriotic Paper Plate Noise Makers:
These will be sure to get your kids excited about Independence Day! Easy to make and fun to use, this craft will make fun for hours!
Materials: paper plates, hot glue or tape, scissors, red and blue cardstock or paper, markers, dried pasta or beans (beads will also work), and ribbon (optional).
- Make stars from the red and blue paper or cardstock, carefully cutting them out and gluing to the paper plates. Use the markers to decorate both bottoms of the plates before letting them dry.
- Place one plate decorated side down on a flat surface and fill with dried pasta, beans, or beads. If desired, place ribbons along the edges, leaving about 2 inches within the plate.
- Glue hot glue or tape to seal the edges of the plates together firmly. They shouldn’t have any gaps or openings. Seal together and let dry.
These noise makers will get everyone into the holiday spirit! Make sure everyone follows safety measures when using scissors or hot glue guns.
Image and Craft by SheKnows
Mindfulness Fourth of July Pinwheel
Independence Day is a great day to practice mindfulness, noticing how we feel, paying attention to our senses. What better way to do that than making this awesome patriotic pinwheel to teach it?
Materials: scissors, glue stick, cardstock paper, markers, paper straws, pins (map pin or thumbtack), and stopper (rubber earring back, bead, or styrofoam ball).
- Begin with a square of paper. Fold the square corner to corner and then unfold. Make a pencil mark about ⅓ from the center.
- Cut along fold lines, stopping at the pencil mark. Bring every other point into the center and stick a pin through all four points. The pin will become the center of the pinwheel.
- Pinch the end of a straw so it is flat. Press the pin through the straw so it is clear through both sides of the flattened straw.
- Place a rubber earring back or styrofoam ball to the back of the pin so it completely covers the sharp point. Tape, glue, or cover so it will stay on and not move. This is extremely important!
- Decorate your pinwheel with markers, glitter, ribbons, etc!
- As you blow on the pinwheel with long, deep breathes, ask these questions:
- Am I sitting up straight, relaxing my shoulders and unclenching my jaw?
- Do I feel calm and relaxed?
- Is it easy or hard to sit still?
- Now, blow on it with short, quick breaths. Ask these questions:
- How does your body feel now?
- Do you feel the same way after breathing quickly as you did breathing slowly?
- Breathe on the pinwheel normally. Ask yourself these questions:
- How does this feel?
- How is it different than previously?
- What do you notice about how different ways of breathing makes you feel?
Craft by the Spruce Crafts
Enjoy this fun mindfulness craft this 4th of July. Use this pinwheel to practice mindfulness and focus on your breathing, especially in hot weather 🙂
Have fun and be safe this holiday!