Camping is a great way to disconnect from technology and connect with nature, and so is yoga for kids! Why not combine the two in a fun filled kids yoga themed camping lesson?
*scroll down to grab a set of some calming breathing activities, great for breathing the fresh outdoor air or for imagining it when you are inside!*
Camping themed yoga is an opportunity to explore and appreciate the outdoors, and show our love of nature and movement. Bring some of that outdoor appreciation to kids with mindfulness, yoga, and lots of fun.
This lesson plan is designed to introduce kids to mindfulness breathing, yoga poses with an outdoor and camping theme, an outdoorsy movement game, and relaxation techniques for mindfulness.
Start by introducing the concept of mindfulness breathing, or breathing with intention. Mindfulness means paying attention to what is happening in the present moment, and not letting yourself be judgmental.
Taking deep, slow breaths is a great way to become present and also calm our minds and bodies. Encourage the kids to close their eyes and take a deep breath in through their nose, hold it for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through their mouth.
Sit up nice and tall in fire log pose– criss cross at first, then put one foot directly on the opposite knee, and the knee directly over your opposite foot, so your shins are stacked on top of each other.
Reach your hands up as you inhale, palms together, snaking towards the sky like the light of a campfire. Exhale out and let your fingers flutter down like the sparks and ash of the embers.
Sitting tall, places your hands together with your fingertips all gathered to create a flower bud shape.
Breathe in and open the flower, spreading your fingers apart and away from each other while keeping your palms, thumbs, and pinkies connected.
Exhale and blow as if you are blowing the seeds off of a dandelion… letting your fingers float and flutter away.
Gather your fingers and hands together and breathe in to open the flower again, repeating a few times.
This is a good one to try lying down, envisioning you are warm and snug in your sleeping bag, ready to fall asleep.
Pretend to hold up five candles in front of you that you will blow out. Breathe in nice and deep. As you exhale, imagine you are blowing out one candle. Keep going until all five are out, then close your eyes to relax.
Grab this set of free mindfulness breathing printables here!
Yoga Poses with a Camping Theme
Next, introduce some yoga poses with an outdoor and camping theme. These poses are fun and help us connect with nature and explore the different elements of camping or exploring outside.
Explore the Woods – Tree Pose
Stand up tall with your feet together. Then, lift one foot and place it on the inside of the opposite thigh. Bring your hands together in front of your heart and hold the pose for a few breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Pretend to explore the trees that surround the campsite! What trees are in the area you live in, or where you are camping?
Search for Butterflies – Butterfly Pose
Sit on the floor with your legs bent and the soles of your feet touching. Flutter your knees up and down like wings, and reach your arms up like antennae or out like additional wings.
See how many different types of butterflies and moths you can name or learn about. When do they migrate in your area and where do they go?
Listen for Wolves – Downward Dog
Begin on your hands and knees, with your hands slightly in front of your shoulders. Lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs, so your body forms an upside-down V shape. Hold the pose for a few breaths.
Pretend to be a coyote, or a wolf! Who is the leader of the pack? What are the other roles in the family of wolves?
Following Garter Snakes – Cobra Pose
Start by lying on your stomach, with your hands under your shoulders. Lift your head and chest off the ground, keeping your elbows close to your body. Hold the pose for a few breaths or wiggle around like a snake!
Pretend to wriggle into a hole in the ground, hide in the grass, or reach up to strike something coming too close…
Going Fishing – Fish Pose
Sit on your bottom with your legs straight out. Lean back onto your elbows with your hands by your hips. Tilt your head and shoulders back, and press your heart up to the ceiling, arching your back and resting the top of your head on the ground. Hold the pose for a few breaths and purse your lips like a fish.
What other ways can you pretend to be a fish? Wiggle on your stomach, side, pretend to swim, or even “fish jump” and shimmy through the air with a big leap!
Other animal themed yoga poses for a camping yoga class
- Deer (Dragon pose with your hands up like antlers)
- Squirrel (Yogi Squat and pretend to dig for acorns)
- Birds (Warrior 3 and flap your arms like wings)
- Eagle (Eagle pose)
- Raccoon (Hero pose with your fingers up around your eyes to make circles)
- Frog (Frog pose with hops!)
- Turtle (Turtle pose)
- Hedgehog or porcupine (Child’s pose)
- Rabbit (Rabbit pose)
- Dragonfly (Dragonfly pose)
- Ladybug (Child’s pose)
- Spider (Spider pose)
Here are some other fun nature and campsite themed poses
- Flower (Flower pose)
- Waterfall (Extended Mountain with backbend)
- River (Upward Plank pose)
- Moon (Crescent Moon or Half Moon Pose)
- Sunshine (Extended Mountain Pose or a Sun Salutation)
- Tent (Star pose with feet apart and hands together above head)
- Campfire (Firelog pose)
- Canoe (Boat pose)
- Bicycles (Reclining bicycle “crunches”)
Camping-Themed Movement Game
Next, make sure you liven up your kids yoga lesson plan with a fun game. These games will help the kids practice their balance, coordination, and teamwork skills, along with trying some fun yoga poses.
Have the kids stand in a circle and pretend they are building a fire. It’s like a version of telephone but with your body.
One child starts by saying a camping-related word (e.g. tent), and then they do a yoga pose to match the word (e.g. Downward Dog). Then they go back to standing.
The child next to them repeats the word and pose, and so on until everyone in the circle has had a turn. Then, the next child starts a new round with a different word and pose. The important part of this game is waiting your turn until the pose comes to you. Watch and listen carefully!
Level up the challenge by removing the word, then the last person has to guess what it was.
This works best on a slippery floor!
Divide the kids into pairs and have them sit facing each other with their legs bent in front of them, touching soles of their feet. All the pairs should be lined up next to each other on one side of the room.
Have them hold hands and connect feet with legs bent. The goal is to lean forward and back while scooting from one side of the room to the other. One person is scooting back, and the other scooting forward the whole time. Don’t let go of your partners hands!
Encourage them to work together to move their imaginary canoe across the lake or river of the room! They’ll have to lean backwards or forwards, straightening or bending their legs at opposite times to make it work.
Sleeping Bag Relay
You need one sleeping bag per kid.
Divide the kids into teams and have them line up at one end of the room. Place a pile of blankets or sleeping bags at the other end of the room.
On “go,” the first child in each team runs to the pile, grabs a sleeping bag and steps into it. They jump or crawl bag to their team and tag the next person. That person runs to the pile, climbs in a new bag, and jumps back and tags the next person.
The first team to have all their members in sleeping bags wins.
Option to use yoga mats instead. have them all laid out flat and the person must instead roll themselves up into the mat and then roll back to their team inside the mat.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
This game is perfect for kids who love exploring the great outdoors. Create a list of natural items that can be found in the campsite or surrounding area, such as pinecones, rocks, leaves, and flowers.
Divide the kids into teams and give each team a copy of the scavenger hunt list. The first team to find all the items on the list wins! To make the game more challenging, you can add riddles or clues to the list.
Gather the items together and make a mandala out of them at the end!
This game is a great way to get everyone laughing around the campfire. To prep for the game, write down a list of camping-themed words or phrases, such as “pitching a tent,” “roasting marshmallows,” or “sleeping in a sleeping bag.”
Divide the kids into two teams and have one member from each team act out the word or phrase without speaking while the rest of their team guesses. The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins!
To make the game more challenging, you can add a time limit for each round or require that the actor perform the charade while wearing a camping-related prop.
Camping Themed Arts and Crafts for Kids Yoga Class
Provide the kids with coloring pages of camping-themed images, such as tents, campfires, and animals. Encourage them to color mindfully, focusing on each stroke of the marker or crayon and paying attention to the colors they choose.
Leaf rubbing is a classic art activity that’s perfect for camping trips. All you need is paper, crayons or colored pencils, and leaves.
Have the kids collect leaves, or bring some of your favorites ahead of time. Then place a leaf under a piece of paper and rub a crayon or colored pencil over the leaf until the texture and outline of the leaf appears on the paper.
Use specific colors to match the season you are in, and make patterns or mandalas with your leaves to make the artwork even more mindful.
Rock painting is a great way to encourage creativity or positivity. Check out these beautiful mantra-based rock painting ideas here.
Have the kids collect rocks of all sizes, or bring or buy your own. Then provide them with acrylic paint, brushes, and water. Encourage the kids to paint pictures of things they love in nature, such as mountains, trees, or animals.
You can also have them paint inspirational quotes or words related to camping, such as “adventure,” “explore,” or “campfire.”
Friendship bracelets are a classic camp craft that can keep kids busy for hours. To make a simple bracelet, cut a length of embroidery floss or yarn and tie a knot at one end.
Have the kids separate the strands and tie another knot about an inch down from the first. Then, have them take one strand and tie a knot around the other strands, repeating this process with each strand until the bracelet is long enough to wrap around their wrist.
You can provide a variety of colors for the kids to choose from and even show them different knotting patterns, such as the chevron or diagonal stripe pattern.
Relaxation Techniques for Csmping Themed Kids Yoga
Finally, it’s time to wind down and practice relaxation techniques for mindfulness. This will help the kids calm their minds and prepare for a restful imaginative sleep under the stars.
Have the kids lie on their backs with their eyes closed. Guide them through a body scan, starting at their toes and moving up to the top of their head. Encourage them to notice any sensations or feelings in each part of their body, and then release any tension as they exhale.
Have the kids imagine they are in their sleeping bags, snuggled up and cozy. Encourage them to imagine the sounds of nature around them, such as birds chirping or leaves rustling in the wind. Guide them through different scenes, such as walking through a forest or climbing a mountain, to help them feel calm and relaxed.
A camping-themed yoga class is a great way to introduce kids to mindfulness, yoga, and relaxation techniques. By incorporating breathing exercises, outdoor-themed yoga poses, movement games, and relaxation techniques, kids can learn to appreciate nature and develop a sense of calm and relaxation.
This lesson plan can be adapted to different age groups and skill levels, and can be done in a variety of settings, from the backyard to the local park. By helping kids connect with nature and their own bodies, they can develop a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors and a sense of mindfulness and relaxation.