Celebrate Earth Day with Yoga and Learning About Our Planet
Happy Earth Day! Get your kiddos moving and active with fun and engaging activities while fueling their interest in nature and our planet.
Yoga and mindfulness are excellent ways for kids to celebrate the Earth, since many poses are related to things we find in nature. Mindfulness is also something that is easily practiced when we spend time outdoors and notice the beauty around us.
Celebrate the Earth by doing a yoga class outside, going for a nature walk, and spending some time in nature enjoying the present moment.
Today is a day to celebrate and appreciate the gorgeous, wonderful planet we live on. However, today is not the only day we should be taking care of Mother Earth. We need to protect our planet every day to ensure that it stays healthy (and we do too!)
Warm Up with a Game of Keep Up the Earth
This a great game to play either with balloons, or an Earth shaped beach ball.
Start in a circle or spread out around the room. Or, lay on your backs with your heads close together if there are only a few of you in the group.
Instruct the kids that their job is to work together to keep the Earth up in the air and not let it fall.
That means working together and taking turns, communicating, and being careful of where you are in space.
Toss the Earth ball or balloons up in the air and work together to Keep Up the Earth!
Conversation on Climate Change and How We Can Work Together to Keep up the Earth
After the game, sit back down and take a few deep breaths to calm your bodies again.
Start a discussion on why it’s important to be a team when it comes to protecting our Earth and helping stop Climate Change.
Climate change is an important issue to learn about in order to fully understand how and why we should be taking care of the Earth.
What is Climate Change?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to climate change, but scientists agree that Earth has been getting warmer in the past 100 years due to humans. As the planet warms, it can create lots of changes and disturbances in the weather and climates of the world.
All of these things (and more) can contribute to climate change:
- Burning fossil fuels
- Massive factories with pollutants
- Garbage dumps
- Cars, trucks, planes, and anything that runs on fuel
- Big agricultural farms that create more carbon than they replace
The warmer planet can cause many changes in our ecosystems and climates such as rising seas levels, shrinking ice glaciers and rapidly changing environments that can be harmful to animals and plants.
What can we do about Climate Change?
The first step is education. Tell others what you learn, and talk about the changes that we can make.
- Recycling, composting, and taking steps to limit our waste can help lower our carbon footprint and aid in the fight to stop climate change.
- Get outside and encourage others to do so as well! Visit parks and bring others along to help them appreciate nature and learn the value in caring for Mother Earth.
- Reuse old items, donate things you don’t use, and buy things secondhand.
- Walk or ride your bike when you can instead of taking a car.
- Turn off the lights when you aren’t in the room, use less water, and open windows for fresh air when you can.
- Plant trees and a vegetable garden to help reduce carbon in the atmosphere and grow your own food.
- Pick up trash! Anytime you go for a walk, bring a small bag and a glove so you can clean up any trash or recycling that may be on the ground.
What we do matters and though one person cannot change a system designed to ignore Mother Earth’s needs, every little bit helps. Work together to stop climate change!
Community Tree Pose with Mindful Breathing
In order to remember that we can all work together to help slow the effects of climate change, try a community tree pose:
- Start in a circle and hold hands with your hands down low.
- Shift your weight to one foot, and rest your other foot on your ankle or calf to come into tree pose.
- As a community, breathe in and raise your arms all the way up.
- Breathe out and lower your arms back down.
- Repeat for three more breaths.
- Shift to the other side.
To learn more about climate change, check out these awesome and informative websites designed for kids:
And these videos on climate changer are great for kids!
Yoga for Kids to Celebrate Earth Day
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.
If you are ready to teach a fun kids yoga class with Mother Earth as your theme, keep reading!
Start an Earth Day Yoga and Mindfulness Lesson with Fun Facts About Earth for Kids
Before you get started with your kid’s yoga lesson on Earth, it’s important to engage your kiddos and get them excited about the topic (if they aren’t already!).
Ask them what fun facts they already know, and then add to their knowledge!
- Earth is the only planet with tectonic plates! These plates shifting and moving against each other cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mountains forming over millions of years, and oceanic trench formations. But they are also important to the carbon cycle. When microscopic plants rich in carbon die, they fall to the bottom of the ocean. They are carried to the Earth’s interior and recycled, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. This helps prevent a runaway greenhouse effect, which happened on Venus. Without tectonic plates, the Earth would become overheated.
- A Year on Earth Isn’t 365 Days. It’s actually 365.2564 days. The extra .2564 days is the reason we have a Leap Year every four years.
- We Have Uneven Gravity. Because the Earth is not quite a sphere, the gravity is distributed slightly unevenly. One place is Hudson Bay in Canada. This area has lower gravity than others because of the ice caps and glaciers melting. The gravity during the Ice Age depended on the weight of that region, so when the ice started melting, all that extra weight was gone, leaving the gravity a little lower.
- The Longest Mountain Chain is in the Ocean. The underwater chain of volcanoes called the Mid-Ocean Ridge spans 40,389 miles (65,000 km) and is 18,000 ft (5.5 km) tall! As lava erupts from the sea floor, it makes more crust and adds to the mountain chain.
- There Was Once a Supercontinent. The Earth is thought to have had multiple supercontinents during its 4.5 billion-year history. The most recent one was Pangaea, which broke apart about 200 million years ago and formed the current placement of continents!
- The First Earth Day was April 22nd, 1970. The first Earth Day helped inspire the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day became internationally recognized in 1990 and about one billion people celebrate it each year. This year will be the 51st anniversary!
Try Lion’s Breath exercise to clear out any extra energy we have from our day.
- Sit on your knees with your bottom resting on your feet.
- Inhale deeply through your nose.
- Exhale and open your mouth wide, sticking out your tongue. Say AAAAHHHHHHH like a lion, clearing out your throat.
- Cross your eyes for extra fun, and hold your hands up like claws!
- Sit criss-cross or on your knees.
- Reach your arms out and down to the floor.
- Breathe in and stretch one arm up and over towards the other side, tracing an arch up above you.
- Say “red” as you exhale up and over the other way, imagining painting a rainbow as you go.
- Continue with the next colors and using the opposite arm each time, inhaling and exhaling as appropriate.
Earth Day Sun Salutation for Kids
Celebrate different elements in nature by having kids repeat what you say and copy what you do. The sequence is a variation of a Sun Salutation. The wording is simple, and goes with the movement:
“Hello Sun! (Mountain Pose)
Hello Rain! (Waterfall)
Hello Earth! (Forward Fold)
Hello Wind! (Low lunge)
Hello Ocean! (Down Dog)
Hello Grass! (High Plank)
Hello Ocean! (Down Dog)
Hello Wind! (Low Lunge)
Hello Earth! (Forward Fold)
Hello Sun! (Mountain Pose)
Earth Day Tree Pose Growing Activity for Kids
For this activity, tell kids to find a special spot on the earth (in the room or on their mat) where they will plant their seed. Remind them that we are calling Child’s Pose SEED pose for Earth Day.
- Start in Seed Pose, bent forward with their forehead on the ground and stretching their arms in front of them
- Take deep breaths and make PITTER-PATTER sounds for rain by hitting the ground, like a drumroll.
- Slowly raise from Seed pose into resting pose. Feet underneath you and arms at sides or in lap.
- Make WHOOSH noises for rain while continuing the rain drumroll.
- Begin to raise arms above you like the sun coming out, and move to your knees.
- Continue to raise up, ending in Tree Pose.
- Open your fingers like flower buds on the branches.
- When everyone is blossomed or grown, take a deep breath together
More Earth Day Themed Yoga Poses for Kids
Mountain Pose: Stand up tall and raise arms high above your head. Press hands together and breathe
Tree Pose: Stand up and place your foot on the opposite leg, making a point. Raise arms above your head and press hands together.
Community Tree Pose: Do tree pose as a whole community! Make a big circle and support each other in Tree Pose. Then, try it on the floor and make some different shapes with your bodies to create human mandalas.
Waterfall: Stand up tall and reach your arms up above you. Breathe in a reach slightly up and back to come into a tiny backbend like there is water flowing off your hands behind you.
Hills and Valleys (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 you are creating hills and valleys across the land.
Butterfly Pose: Sit with your legs bent and your feet pressed together. Flap your knees like wings, or reach your arms out like big butterfly wings.
Flower Pose: Sit on your bottom with your feet together and knees wide. Reach your hands under your shins and lean back slightly to balance on your bottom, lifting your feet up off the ground
Boat Pose: Sit on your bottom with your legs together and knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Hold your hands behind your knees and keep your back straight. Imagine you are rocking forward and back on the ocean waves.
Rainbow Pose: Start facing a partner with your knees bent and toes touching. Reach for each other’s hands on the outside of your knees. Slowly lift one foot, then the other, leaning back slightly. Create a rainbow shape with your partner!
Savasana: Lay flat on your back or with your knees bent so that you can relax your whole body into the floor. Close your eyes if you are comfortable, and imagine staring at the sky.
Take deep, slow breaths to relax your body even more. Imagine the feel of grass beneath you, the clouds moving slowly through the sky, and the sound of wind brushing through the trees. Keep breathing and relax until you are ready to open your eyes once more.
Earth Day Themed Books for Kids
Check out these other great books on Mother Earth to use in your kids yoga class or with interested kiddos!
(Check out this written kids yoga lesson to go with The Giving Tree here)
Mindful Earth Day Crafts for Kids
I love crafts! It’s even better when you get to practice mindfulness as well! What a better way to celebrate Earth Day than with some fun, easy, Earth-friendly crafts?
Earth Day Mindfulness Craft with Writing Prompt
Photo image and inspiration from: I Heart Crafty Things
You will need: Coffee filters, markers, a spray bottle filled with water, newspaper or paper bag, glue, and a writing piece of paper.
- Get a coffee filter and the markers. Color parts of the filter green for land and blue for water.
- Spray the filter with water so the marker fills the empty spaces and blends together.
- Let filter dry and cut out people from newspaper or paper bags. Color the people if you want
- Glue the people to the coffee filter so it looks like they are holding hands.
- Cut out a heart shape and color red. Glue that between the people.
- While waiting for it to dry, write out what you can do to help the Earth.
- Optional to splatter paint white drops for stars on a black background to glue your Earth into outer space!
This is a super cute and easy craft to do with your kids! It only uses biodegradable items and helps promote mindfulness as well!
Newspaper Sunflower Craft for Kids
Photo image and inspiration from I Heart Crafty Things
Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers and these are such adorable crafts to do with kids. After some time, you could even take the seeds from your craft and plant them!
You will need: Newspaper, watercolors, paintbrush, paper plate, seeds, cardboard or paper bag, scissors, and glue.
- Paint the newspaper with yellow watercolor and set aside to dry completely. Watercolor works better than acrylic since the paper is thin and you’ll need a lot.
- Paint the inside circle of the paper plate brown.
- Cut out a flower stem and leaves from cardboard or a paper bag. Paint them with green paint or watercolor.
- Cut out petal shapes from the dried painted newspaper. Glue them around the outside rim of the paper plate, making several layers of petals to really fill it in nicely.
- Glue seeds to the brown-painted inside circle for your growing sunflower seeds!
Check out some other inspiring themed yoga lesson plans for celebrating our Earth here:
More Full Yoga Lesson Ideas
Looking for more in-depth activities? Check out my kids yoga literacy lesson plan based on the book “The Great Kapok Tree” by Lynne Cherry to teach kids environmental awareness and the importance of trees!
Perfect for Earth Day, try this fully scripted lesson that includes breathing activities, poses, guided meditations, and writing/drawing prompts. Keeping them engaged and having fun, this is perfect for kids of all ages!
Lesson Plan on the The Great Kapok Tree
Enjoy these fun yoga and mindfulness activities to do with your kids this Earth Day! From yoga poses, lesson plans, crafts, and books, there is something for everyone.
Make sure to get outside and enjoy our beautiful world! Take a walk, pick up litter, and appreciate our Earth. Be mindful of how we treat Mother Earth every single day, not just today! 🙂