With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to embrace the spirit of gratitude and celebration with your little ones.
Did you know that yoga can be a fantastic way to introduce mindfulness and gratitude to children? Here’s an awesome lesson plan on gratitude for kids yoga.
Well, get ready to embark on an exciting journey of yoga poses, playful games, mindful activities, and serene meditations, all infused with the flavors of Thanksgiving!
*Scroll down for your printable poster of Thanksgiving themed kids yoga poses*
10 Best Kids Yoga Poses with a Thanksgiving Twist
Turkey Pose – Gobbling gratitude
Try Toe Stand pose, with your hands tucked into your armpits like wings. Flap those wings and feel the thankfulness soar within you!
Pumpkin Pose – Embracing abundance
Sit in Jack in the Box pose with your arms wrapped around your knees. Imagine yourself as a big, round, thankful pumpkin ready to spread joy.
Cornucopia Pose – Celebrating harvest
Sit in Wide Legged Seated Forward Fold. Then, stretch your arms wide like a bountiful cornucopia, brimming with the goodness of life. Imagine all the food you have in your giant basket between your legs.
Grateful Tree Pose – Finding balance and gratitude
Stand tall and steady in Tree pose. Root yourself like a sturdy tree, and let gratitude flow through every branch.
Harvest Moon Pose – Embracing nature’s cycles
Stand with one arm out, and reach down to the side to touch the ground by your foot, with your toes facing the side as well. Lift your opposite leg up and out to the side for Half Moon pose. Reach up with your top arm and down to the floor at the same time, embracing the fullness of the majestic harvest moon, and life’s beautiful rhythms.
Brave Mayflower Boats – Honoring bravery and expeditions
Sit on your bottom and lift your arms and feet in front of to balance in Boat pose. Rock forward and back embodying the spirit of the brave pilgrims who took on challenges during the first Thanksgiving.
Abundant Harvest Pose – Expressing abundance and gratitude
Lay on your stomach and reach your hands back to grab your ankles. Press your feet up and back, lifting your shoulders and creating a basket shape in Bow pose. Feel open like a field full of harvested crops, grateful for the abundance of nature.
Fall Leaves Pose – Appreciating Change
Stand with your feet far apart and your arms out to the sides in Star Pose. Start to shift your weight to one leg, tilting sideways, but then sway back the other direction. Go back and forth a few times like a leaf floating gently down to Earth.
Corn Pose – Fostering growth and gratitude
Stand tall and reach your arms over head, palms together, and stretch to one side in Crescent Moon pose. Bend and stretch, just like a resilient corn stalk, growing strong and grateful for each day.
Kids Yoga Game – “Thanksgiving Harvest Hunt”
Let’s spice up the festivities with a fun searching game “Thanksgiving Harvest Hunt”!
Hide gratitude-themed cards or affirmation cards around the yoga space. Encourage the everyone to work together and find as many as they can.
Bonus if you use these ABC pose cards that also have positive affirmations on them! Then you gather the ones you found and create a yoga sequence of the poses.
Remember, it’s not about winning; it’s about working together and sharing the joy of discovery.
Academic Integration – Poetry!
Get their minds moving and thinking as well with a little academic work if you have time. Try out a pumpkin acrostic poem activity to help them use their creativity skills in writing!
We want to teach kids to be thankful in many ways and for many things, so give them the chance to express their gratitude in many ways as well.
Movement Game – “Dancing Turkeys”
Adapted from the game in Turkey Trot via Open Phys Ed.
Goal: To celebrate individuality by taking turns dancing to the music and showing off our favorite moves.
Preparation: Designate the person who picks the song as “DJ Thanks”. Everyone else is ready on their mats, preferably in a circle so everyone can see everyone else.
Game: “DJ Thanks” kicks off the jam by pressing play and showing off a few favorite dance moves. Then they pass the imaginary baton, or in this case, the Dancing Turkey, to someone else. They can point, put a beanie baby on their mat, or use some other signal to “pass the turkey”.
The new Dancing Turkey shows off their moves while they have the power. The DJ keeps switching it up to new “turkeys” through out the song. When the song ends, the turkey dancing becomes the new DJ Thanks!
Anyone who is not the “Turkey” is welcome to join in and try the moves that the turkey is showing off if they want, too 🙂
Mindfulness Activity – “Gratitude Journal”
Take a moment to delve into the “Thankful Journal” activity. Grab some colorful paper and have your kids jot down things they’re grateful for.
Encourage them to decorate the pages with mantras, stickers, or some fun drawings.
Guided Meditation – “Journey of Gratitude”
Now, let’s close our eyes and embark on a serene “Journey of Gratitude.”
Find a cozy spot where you can sit or lie down comfortably. Close your eyes gently and take a deep, calming breath in through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth. Let’s begin.
Imagine yourself in a beautiful meadow, surrounded by tall, swaying trees dressed in vibrant autumn colors. Feel the soft grass beneath you, and notice the gentle warmth of the sun kissing your skin.
As you continue to breathe deeply, picture a shimmering path ahead of you, leading to a special place filled with joy and appreciation. Take your first step on this path, and with each step, feel a sense of gratitude blossoming within your heart, like a beautiful, fragrant flower.
As you walk, recall moments that made you smile, people who have shown you kindness, and things that you are grateful for. Let these memories and thoughts surround you like a comforting embrace, filling you with warmth and happiness.
Now, visualize a sparkling stream running alongside the path. Dip your hand into the cool, clear water, and as you do, let go of any worries or doubts, allowing them to flow away like leaves on the gentle current.
Ahead, you notice a magnificent tree, adorned with twinkling lights and shimmering decorations. Approach this tree, knowing that each light represents a moment of gratitude in your life. Take a moment to add your own light to the tree, a symbol of your appreciation for the blessings in your world.
Feel the gentle breeze carrying your gratitude far and wide, spreading positivity and joy throughout the meadow. Know that your thankfulness has the power to bring happiness not only to you but to those around you.
As you stand in this magical place, take a moment to express thanks for the love, beauty, and wonder in your life. Feel your heart brimming with gratitude, and know that this feeling can stay with you always.
Now, slowly bring your awareness back to the present moment. Wiggle your fingers and toes, taking a deep breath to reawaken your senses. When you’re ready, gently open your eyes.
Carry this sense of gratitude with you throughout your day, knowing that you can always return to this journey of thankfulness whenever you need to feel its warmth and comfort. You are a beacon of gratitude and joy, lighting up the world with your positivity.
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We hope these delightful Thanksgiving-themed yoga poses, games, mindfulness activities, and meditation techniques have ignited a spark of thankfulness and joy within your little yogis.
Remember, practicing gratitude is a journey, not a one-time event. So, keep the spirit of Thanksgiving alive every day, spreading love, joy, and appreciation wherever you go. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!