Welcome to the world of parent and me yoga classes, where you and your child can share the experience of a transformative journey of connection and self-discovery.

This yoga class will be an excellent way to start learning yoga with your child, or start to bring them into your established practice with you.

Together, you'll explore the many benefits of practicing yoga together: improving your physical well-being, emotional balance, and mindfulness skills. 

In this article, we invite you to dive right into the experience of doing yoga with your child, whether at home or if you are teaching a class in a studio.  There’s no better way to connect and move with your child, no matter their age!

Warm-up Activities for Parent and Me Yoga Classes

Begin your parent and me yoga class with a series of warm-up activities. You can choose to do a little stretching series, some faster paced warm ups, or a traditional yoga sun salutation.

Make them child friendly by using storytelling, music, or fun animal themed pose names. Kids learn through play and stories, so use these to help keep them interested and engaged in what you are teaching them.

My favorite little storytelling warm up is to pretend you are going through the butterfly life cycle:

  • Start as an egg in Child’s Pose
  • move to a caterpillar (Baby Cobra)
  • Pretend to eat leaves, grow bigger, then evolve into a beautiful butterfly (Butterfly Pose)
  • Reach your arms out like wings, pretend to fly from flower to flower (Flower Pose)
  • Finally fly all the way up to a tall tree (Tree pose)

Many different yoga poses can be used in similar stories. Learn more about storytelling yoga in this post here.

These brain break activities are great for the faster paced warm ups!

And a traditional sun salutation is made more kid-friendly by using call and response, like in this Yoga Flow sequence.  You will be surprised at how quickly they will catch on to the poses and movements if you just let them act as your mirror.

Partner Breathing Activities for Parent and Child Yoga

After getting warmed up, sync your breath with your child's through some breathing exercises, which will help you come back to a shared sense of calm.

We always do some back to back breathing to help establish a physical connection between the parent and child. Then, you can move onto back drawings, where you trace a simple picture on each other’s backs one at a time and try to guess what the other person drew.

Rainbow breathing is a fun face-to-face activity for children and parents:

  1. Sit criss cross facing each other, and touch your palms together with your child’s. 
  2. Breathe in and reach your arms straight up as high as you can while keeping your palm connected. 
  3. Breathe out, and reach your own hands apart, tracing the shape of a rainbow together. 
  4. Then breathe back in and trace it up again. 
  5. Repeat as many times as you like.

These child friendly breathing exercises are another great way to learn some new breathing techniques together.

Playful Yoga Poses for Parent and Me Yoga

After regulating our energy a little more with some breathing exercises, let's dive into the world of playful yoga poses, where your child's imagination and creativity will come to life. 

Try to use animal or nature-inspired poses, like Downward Dog and Cat-Cow, as you both discover strength and flexibility with a hint of fun. Making animal sounds is always encouraged, too!

Enhance your focus and stability together with balancing poses like “swaying in the breeze Tree pose”. Mimic everyday activities such as gardening with Butterfly and Flower poses, or flying like an airplane, or a bird in Warrior 3.

Use a kid-friendly theme to inspire your yoga poses or class: something like pirate yoga, circus yoga, or jungle

These are some of our favorite themes to use with kids yoga.

Or, find a favorite book and add in yoga poses to each page to help tell and act out the story.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Little Blue Truck, or Rainbow Fish are all great books to use with a kids yoga lesson plan.

Simply read a page, then do a playful yoga pose that corresponds to the animal or object on the page. Then keep going!

Here's a list of some awesome books that work great for adding in yoga poses.

Partner Poses and Activities for Parents and Kids

Take a moment to deepen your parent-child bond through various physical connection activities in your yoga class. 

Give each other a hand massage, a foot massage, or a back rub.  Help each other stretch more through some of the seated stretches like Forward Fold, folding Butterfly, Seated Side Bend.

Partner yoga poses make a great addition to your parent and child yoga class. These are some fun and simple poses to do with your kids:

  • Partner Boat pose
  • Back to back Triangle pose
  • Double Downward Dog
  • Dancing Crab pose (do Crab pose facing each other and try to tap your feet together as you “dance”)
  • Partner Tree pose
  • Seesaw Stretches (Seated Forward Fold, facing each other and helping one another stretch gently back and forth)
  • Partner Dancer pose (support each other one at a time as you do Dancer pose)
  • Lizard on a rock (the adult does Child’s pose and the child lays belly up on their parent’s back to stretch out and relax)

You can also make up your own partner poses! Ask your child what their favorite pose is, and try to come up with a way to fit together and support each other in that pose.

Arts and Crafts Time for Mindfulness!

Believe it or not, lots of arts and crafts activities are a great way to help teach kids mindfulness. They need to focus in on one thing, use small motor skills, and it builds their concentration skills, too.

It's also a great way to relieve stress. Toddlers in particular love stress-relieving art projects like tearing paper! Try these paper tearing activities for kids to really get involved in the fun of arts and crafts and mindfulness.

Here's my favorite list of mindfulness arts and crafts for kids of all ages.

Creative Partner Yoga and Mindfulness Games

Keep the excitement flowing in your parent and me yoga class with creative yoga games that inspire movement, balance, and imagination. 

An all time favorite is a yoga obstacle course, moving around the room across balance blocks, hopping through hoops, playing yoga bean bag toss, and enhancing your motor skills and body awareness. Add a variety of motor skill activities relevant to your kiddo’s age.

Yoga Jenga is a slower paced game that works great for parents and children alike. Mindfully remove a Jenga block from the tower and do a yoga pose that is written on the back (done ahead of time, or use stickers with a guide sheet).

Make your own Yoga Board Game with your child using this set of kids yoga games. Teach them math skills while adding in a fun movement element.

printable kids yoga games, yoga games for kids, diy yoga games for kids

Yoga Memory also works great if you print out your own yoga pose cards (find some favorites here). 

Print the poses 4 per page (make sure you have doubles!), cut them out, and glue to construction paper so you can’t see through the back. Then, arrange them out on the floor and try to find matches. For each match you get, do the pose for 10 seconds.

Here is a whole list of other partner mindfulness activities to do with your child.

The best ones involve cotton balls 🙂

If you love crafting, make sure to check out these popular mindfulness crafts to do as well.

Mindfulness and Relaxation for Kids and Parents

Mindfulness is a precious gift you can share with your child during your parent and me yoga class. Together, go on a journey of guided meditations or visualizations, promoting self-awareness and reducing anxiety. 

You can read these mindfulness guided visualizations to your child, or use an app like Insight Timer or Headspace for additional options.

Experience the tranquility of child-friendly relaxation techniques, like butterfly hugs and guided imagery across a rainbow, as you both unwind and let go of any worries. 

Don't worry if they are wiggly at first, just lead by example and take deep breaths while laying still. They may settle or not, but you are their guide!

Closing and Reflection

As your parent and me yoga class draws to a close, reflect on the experience shared by you and your child. Share your favorite activities with each other, and be sure to use descriptive language to share how you feel physically and mentally. 

Embrace yoga as a bonding activity, a tool for relaxation, and a means of mindfulness. 

Express gratitude for the journey you've embarked upon, recognizing the love and commitment you both bring to your parent-child relationship.

The magic of parent and me yoga classes lies in the journey of connection and self-discovery that you and your child will undertake together. 

Embrace the playful poses, mindfulness exercises, creative games, and bonding activities, as you create lasting memories and a strong foundation of love, trust, and joy. 

Grab your mats, open your hearts, and revel in the enchanting experience of parent and me yoga with your child. The bond you cultivate on the mat will be a cherished treasure for years to come.

Take a look at these other posts that have some great ideas for bringing yoga and mindfulness to your day with your kids:

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