Try a fun pirate-themed yoga lesson for your next kid’s yoga class
Kids love playing pretend pirates and it is a great way to incorporate movement and yoga into their day. From walking the plank to searching for buried treasure, your kids or students will love this themed yoga lesson.
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 they can take into their everyday lives!
Table of contents
- Introduction to a Pirate Themed Yoga Lesson
- Mindfulness Breathing Exercises
- Pirate Themed Yoga Poses for Kids
- Parrot (Airplane Pose):
- Walk the Plank (Tandem Standing):
- Palm Tree (Tree Pose):
- Pirate Ship (Boat Pose):
- Cannon (Half Bow):
- Barrel (Bow Pose):
- Fish Pose:
- Peg-legged Pirate (Modified Dancer Pose):
- Hunting for Treasure (Forward Fold):
- Sword Fighting (Warrior Pose):
- Pirate Plank Pose:
- Treasure Chest (Reverse Tabletop Pose):
- Skull & Crossbones Flag:
- Pirate Books to Use in a Lesson Plan
- Pirate Themed Yoga and Mindfulness Activities
- Pirate Themed Yoga Videos for Kids
- Mindfulness Crafts for Scallywags
Introduction to a Pirate Themed Yoga Lesson
To begin our fun-filled yoga journey, engage your kiddos with some awesome facts about pirates! It will get them excited to learn and move around. Make sure to ask what they already know about pirates, too 🙂
- The skull & crossbones flag at the top of a pirate ship is called a Jolly Roger.
- Some of the most famous pirates were women. These fearsome pirates included Jeanne de Clisson, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, Grace O’Malley, and Ching Shih.
- Pirates did wear eye patches. People believe that pirates wore eye patches to keep one eye adjusted to seeing in the dark when they were below deck.
- Each pirate ship had its own set of rules and codes. They would discuss how to divide loot, chores on the ship, and what was expected of everyone. One of the most common rules was no fighting onboard. Pirates would wait and fight on land if they had disputes to settle.
- September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day. However, pirates didn’t have a uniform accent. Many of the phrases we think of when we think of pirates come from Disney’s 1950 film Treasure Island.
Now that we know some fun facts about pirates, let’s begin our yoga with some breathing exercises to help notice how we feel in our minds and bodies.
Mindfulness Breathing Exercises
Try these calming breathing exercises to get into a mindfulness headset. It is a great way of releasing tension and relaxing before beginning our lesson.
- Sit down on the ground with your back straight and legs crossed. Relax your shoulders and have your arms and hands at your side.
- Take a deep breath and imagine you are on the deck of your pirate ship. Pretend your deep breaths are pushing the pirate ship forward, like the wind in the sails.
- As you exhale, let out a big “Arrrghhh” and add some arm movement if you’d like
- Continue taking long, deep breaths. Let your breaths carry you forward in your pirate ship before opening your eyes.
- Sit criss-cross on the ground. Keep your back straight and place your hands on your stomach.
- Close your eyes and take deep breaths.
- When you inhale, move your hands in with your breathing.
- As you exhale, say “Yo-Ho-Ho!” and move your hands out.
- Continue breathing in and out and keep moving your hands with your stomach as your inhale and exhale
Continue your mindfulness breathing with this sun salutation. Act like a pirate sailing the seven seas and breathe! Have 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)
Congratulations! You are ready to begin this yoga lesson with a relaxed body and open mind.
Pirate Themed Yoga Poses for Kids
Use these fun yoga poses to teach your kiddos about balance, strength, and focus-all things that pirates need to sail the seven seas.
Parrot (Airplane Pose):
Stand up tall and place your feet a little bit apart. Bend at the waist and raise one leg behind you. Raise your arms out straight in front of you and stretch.
Walk the Plank (Tandem Standing):
Stand with your right foot flat on the floor in front of your left, toe to heel, as if you are balancing on a tightrope. Balance and repeat on the opposite side.
Palm Tree (Tree Pose):
Stand up straight and bend one leg at the knee. Place the bottom of your foot against the calf of the other. Raise your arms above your head and put your palms together. Balance,
Pirate Ship (Boat Pose):
Sit on the ground and lean backward a little. Raise your legs up and balance in a ‘V’ shape. Place your arms in front of you and balance.
Cannon (Half Bow):
Lay on your stomach and bend one knee. Reach back with the same side arm and grab your foot or ankle. Reach your opposite are straight forward and lift to your knee and shoulder into a half bow backbend.
Barrel (Bow Pose):
Lay on your stomach and bend your knees. Reach back with both arms and grab your feet. Press your feet away from you to lift your shoulders and chest up in a backbend.
Lay flat against the ground with your arms against the ground. Press your palms flat and raise your chest up. Bend backwards with your legs and head flat against the ground.
Peg-legged Pirate (Modified Dancer Pose):
Stand up tall and raise your leg up behind you, grabbing your foot with your hand. Lift your opposite hand up and balance.
Hunting for Treasure (Forward Fold):
Stand up straight with your feet wide apart and bend at the waist. Rest your hands by your feet and reach your chest forward and down towards the floor. Balance and breathe!
Sword Fighting (Warrior Pose):
Stand up and lean into a lunge. Place one foot in front of the other and twist your hips to the side. Keep the front knee bent and the back in a straight angle, leaning into the lunge. Raise your arms on either side of you, mirroring your legs.
Pirate Plank Pose:
Start by kneeling on the ground. Bend over and place your palms on the ground. Support your weight on your hands while raising your legs behind you. Move into a plank and balance!
Treasure Chest (Reverse Tabletop Pose):
Sit on the ground with your legs in front of you. Place your hands firmly behind you and bend your knees so your feet are securely on the ground. Raise your hips so your torso and thighs are horizontal and balance like a pirate’s treasure chest!
Skull & Crossbones Flag:
Stand up straight with your feet firm on the ground. Raise one leg straight behind you and bend at the waist. Place one hand on the ground and one arm straight up. Imagine you are the pirate flag on top of the ship’s mast!
Pirate Books to Use in a Lesson Plan
After some fun yoga, wind down with these awesome books about pirates! It keeps your kiddos engaged while also giving them a break in between activities.
On A Pirate Ship by Sarah Courtauld and Benji Davies
Pirates of the Sea by Brandon Dorman
PortSide Pirates by Debbie Harter and Oscar Seaworthy
There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish by Jennifer Ward and Steve Gray : This is a pirate-themed version of the rhythm ‘There was an old lady who swallowed a fly’. It would also be easy to create a yoga adventure by matching the story to yoga poses we have learned!
Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting and Julie Fortenberry
1001 Pirate Things to Spot by Rod Llyod Jones and Teri Gower: A search-and-find book that can inspire other pirate yoga poses!
Pirate Themed Yoga and Mindfulness Activities
Continue this yoga adventure with these fun activities to do with your kiddos!
Mindfulness Treasure Hunt:
Have your kids move around the house or outside and look for treasure like pirates! You can hide objects like shiny coins, pretty stones, or stuffed animals around for your kids to find.
- Stay quiet, calm your thoughts, and move quietly during the treasure hunt.
- Turn your senses of sight, touch, and sound onto high
- Search for beautiful objects and creatures to observe and explore
- Ask these questions during your treasure hunt
- What does it look like?
- What color is it?
- Does it have a scent?
- Can you touch it?
- What does it feel like?
- When you find a ‘creature’ watch it in silence for as long as you want and think about these questions.
- What does it look like?
- How does it move?
- What colors can you see?
- Act like a pirate as you move around! Make pirate noises and have fun! You can hop around on one leg or act like your hand is a hook!
- Continue for as long as you’d like and be mindful of what you see and experience.
Sea, Plank, Ship Game:
This is an active game with lots of movement and lets kids practice listening carefully. Have a long rope or a piece of tape to divide the room.
There will be a leader or ‘captain’ who calls out each action and the rest will be pirates on the boat.
- Divide the room in half with a rope or piece of tape on the ground.
- The captain will say ‘sea’ and everyone will jump to the sea-side.
- If the leader says ‘ship’, they will jump to the other side.
- When the leader says ‘plank’, the little pirates will do a yoga pose they learned!
Try going quickly and mix them up! Your kiddos will have a blast!
Ship’s Captain Yoga Game!
To make the above game even more complex and add more yoga poses, try my favorite kids yoga game, Ship’s Captain.
You need a large space, and quite a few kids. They’ll be following the cardinal directions of the ship and other directions that they need to follow as quickly as possible. Most of them are yoga poses or partner poses!
Once they know the rules, it’s a BLAST. Check out the game description in this post, or grab the free printable directions from my Free Resources library here:
Pirate Themed Yoga Videos for Kids
For those who prefer to visualize yoga poses, watch these fun videos!
Pirate Kids Yoga-Cosmic Kids by Cosmic Kids Yoga
Popcorn and the Pirates: A Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure! by Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yoga Time! Pirate Adventure-Kids Yoga and Nursery Rhymes by Cosmic Kids Yoga
Yogabugs Pirate Adventure by Yogabugs
Yoga Time! Pirate Adventure for Little Ones by Cosmic Kids Yoga
Mindfulness Crafts for Scallywags
Making crafts is a great way to practice mindfulness! Do these with your kiddos and have a blast bringing mindfulness and self-awareness into your everyday life.
Ocean in a Bottle (Sensory Activity):
Make this quick and easy pirate sensory activity that is a great way for your kiddos to keep calm. Plus, it’s mesmerizing to watch!
Materials: plastic or glass bottle, oil (baby oil recommended), water, and blue food coloring. Optional: little toys and glitter
- Wash out the bottle and dry it.
- Mix the water and blue food coloring and set aside.
- Pour the baby oil into the bottle and then add the mixture of water and food coloring.
- If wanted, add the glitter and small toys to the bottle and mix.
- Close the bottle tight or use a small amount of hot glue to seal the bottle!
Super cute and easy to make, your kiddos will love watching and playing with this!
Let your kiddos make their own spy glass as they act like pirates! They could even use this while playing the yoga games and doing yoga poses!
Materials: paper cup, empty toilet paper roll, empty cardboard roll from tin foil or plastic wrap box, paint, clear plastic, colored paper, marker, scissors, ribbon, and glue
- Paint the inside and outside of the cardboard your color of choice
- Once dry, slice an ‘X’ shape into the bottom of the cup.
- Insert the cardboard roll into the bottom of the cup.
- Glue the toilet paper roll into the cup and allow to dry
- Cut out a piece of clear plastic and color with markers
- Hot glue it to the end of the large end
Image and Craft from Living Chic on the Cheap
Enjoy these fun yoga and mindfulness activities to do this summer!
Get you and your kiddos moving and having fun with this pirate-themed yoga lesson, from yoga poses, breathing exercises to crafts, books, and games, there is always something for everyone.
Have fun and enjoy playing pirates with your kids 🙂