Kid's yoga classes are fun to do with a theme, and this rainforest themed yoga lesson for kids is no exception. Rainforests are so much fun to learn about, as are jungle animals and of course, giant trees.

Tree pose is a popular kid's yoga pose, so it's no wonder this lesson plan based on The Great Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry, is such a popular one with students of all ages.

This is a great lesson because you can encompass many different themes, according to what age of students or kids you are teaching:

  • rainforest
  • South America
  • environmentalism
  • Earth Day
  • indigenous cultures
  • community
  • giving
  • gratitude/respect

All you need to do is change the focus questions, or add in different words and language to help emphasize one theme over the other when you are teaching.

Books are a great way to bring more learning and student voice to your kids' yoga lessons. You can read the story and add yoga poses in at each page to keep kids moving and active while they are learning about something else at the same time

Here's a list of great books that you can use to add in yoga poses while still learning about a specific theme or topic with your students:

The Best Library Books for Teaching Kids Yoga (and other things!)

Keep reading for a lesson plan based on the rainforest and using the book, The Great Kapok Tree.

rainforest image with text, free kids yoga lesson plan , literacy and yoga in the classroom, the great kapok tree

Reading and hearing stories is a wonderful way to engage kids in learning.

Plus, it focuses our movement on one theme and gives us some wonderful things to talk about.

The yoga poses and movement in this lesson plan can be done with kids of all ages.

If you work with kids in early elementary or preschool, you can look at the pictures in the book and talk about what you see while doing the matching poses and the movement.

Each page of the book, The Great Kapok Tree, has quite a few words so it's not really recommended for kids younger than 6. However, the full story and yoga lesson plan works really well for kids 6 and up.

Even preteens and teens will get a lot out of a rainforest yoga lesson theme because they can have discussions based on more mature themes like climate change, deforestation, and indigenous peoples.

the great kapok tree, kids yoga lesson plan

Either way, make sure you grab a copy of the book here to go along with your yoga lesson plan.

Here's a fully scripted lesson plan with full size images that's also available in the shop.

The full kids yoga lesson includes:

  • Overview of the yoga lesson
  • Scripted Entrance, Warm Up exercises, Breathing activity, Discussion Questions and Story Introduction
  • Teaching tips for classroom management
  • Images of the poses with pose descriptions in the lesson
  • Full size pose images to print and show with descriptions on the back
  • Community Tree/Human Mandala activity
  • Scripted Savasana
  • Printable pages for writing and drawing activity
The Great Kapok Tree Kids Yoga Lesson, child and adult doing tree pose outside practicing yoga in nature

Here’s an overview of the kids yoga lesson plan based on the book, The Great Kapok Tree.

Entrance/Welcome (1 min): 

Form a circle and do a Community Tree greeting: each person stands in Tree Pose, one at a time, joining hands with the person next to them.

You can say names as you go around the circle or just stand and do tree and smile. Once the circle is complete, reach your hands high like tree branches, then switch feet as whole team.

Warm Ups (3-5 min):

Go on a jungle adventure! Name all the jungle animals you can and either act out their movements or do a matching yoga pose.

Breathing (2 min):

Lion’s breath: Breathe in deep while sitting on your knees. Exhale out and stick out your tongue and cross your eyes. Make a hhhaaaaaaaa sound!

Opening Discussion Question (3-5 min):

What do you know about the importance of trees?

Why do we need trees in the world?

What might happen if there were no longer any trees?

Introduction to the Story (1-2 min):

This is a story about a very special tree in the jungle. We see a man who goes to the jungle to cut it down, but is taught an important lesson instead.

Listen for the lesson that he learns as we read the story and do the animal poses.

Story/Movement (10-20 min):

Read through the book one page at a time. Do poses that match the animals in the story.

Thinking job: is there another pose we could do for each animal?

Community Tree activity:

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.

gratitude circle

Relax/Savasana (3-5 min):

Imagine yourself as a strong tree in the jungle, a forest, on a beach, or in a city.

Who do you shelter? What is the weather like? How do you grow and stay strong?

(Optional) Journaling/Creative Project (5-10 min):

Draw your tree, the animals around it, and any poses that you can think of to match the animals.

Make sure to include an environment to keep the tree and animals safe!

Here are the pose descriptions!

A few images are shown, but for all of the printable images from Kumarah, grab the Full Yoga Lesson Plan here!

A tall tree in the rainforest (Tree pose)

Balance on one foot and rest your other foot against your ankle or your shin. Stand tall and proud like the Great Kapok Tree. Keep your hands at your heart, or reach them up like branches.

tree pose for kids, kids yoga poses, yoga at home with kids

Wood Chopper

Stand with your feet wide and pretend to hold your axe high above your head. Swing down with your arms and upper body, making a “whoosh” sound as you go.

Boa constrictor (Cobra Pose)

Lay on your tummy like a slithering boa constrictor. Wiggle back and forth as if you are coming down from the tree, hissing softly.

Pollinator Bee (Butterfly pose)

Sit on your bottom with your feet together and your knees wide like wings. Hold onto your ankles or put your hands on your shoulders to make another set of wings.

butterfly or bumblee pose for My Many Colored Days yoga lesson

Troop of monkeys (Monkey pose)

Start in low lunge and shift back so your front leg is straight. Bring your arms up under your shoulders and make monkey noises!

Birds of the Jungle (Airplane pose)

Balance on one foot and straighten your other leg behind you. Slowly lift your back let up and reach your arms out to the side like the wings of a bird.

Tree frog (Frog Pose)

Squat down to the ground with your feet and knees apart. Rest your hands on the ground, or do some frog hops!

crouch in frog pose for kids yoga, yoga at home with kids

Jaguar (Cow/Cat Pose)

Kneel on all fours like a cat. Arch your back up to the sky and tuck your chin. Then lower your tummy and chest and look forward with a strong king of the jungle gaze.

Option to stick one foot out behind you like a tail!

Porcupine (Eagle Pose)

Stand one foot with your leg bent and wrap your other leg around like you are holding onto a tree. Wrap your arms up in front of you at the elbows and hold on tight!

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Anteater (Forward fold with Hands Clasped)

Stand with your feet hip width distance and hang forward gently. Clasp your hands together like a long snout sniffing for ants.

Sloth (Happy Baby)

Lie on your back and reach your hands to your feet, bending your knees into your chest. Keep your back flat on the floor and rock gently side to side.

Young boy (Child’s Pose)

Come onto your knees and sit all the way onto your feet. Fold over your legs and rest your forehead on the ground, reaching your arms overhead to lengthen your spine.

Childs pose yoga for kids, girl sitting on her knees with her head resting on the floor and arms reaching over her head on the ground

The Great Kapok Tree (Tree Pose)

Balance on one foot and rest your other foot against your ankle or your shin. Stand tall and proud like the Great Kapok Tree. Keep your hands at your heart, or reach them up like branches.

Savasana (resting pose)

Lie on your back and take some deep breaths in and out through your tummy. Imagine that you are underneath a huge tree in the rainforest. You feel the warm air and the soft earth beneath you.

As you listen, imagine you can hear quiet sounds of birds and animals rustling in the leaves above you. There is a cool breeze, and wonderful floral scents waft past you. Take a slow breath in through your nose, and slow breath out.

Imagine the calm feeling of the tree, protective and strong, its roots going deep into the earth below you and its branches reaching tall.

I hope you enjoyed this rainforest themed kids yoga lesson based on the book, The Great Kapok Tree!

Don’t forget to check out the full-length printable lesson plan in my shop here for the all the pose images, printable writing and drawing activities, and more!

I also have a four lesson plan bundle here if you need more inspiration for other book-based lesson plans!

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      1. You are welcome, Katja, glad you like it! Check out my other lesson plans in the store, along with a few new free ones on the blog 🙂

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