Summer Themed Yoga for Kids to Stay Active and Cool

Looking for activities that are not only fun but also bring a sense of calm and focus for kids can make a huge difference, especially during the long summer months!

Summer themed yoga is the perfect answer for keeping kids active and mindful.

Dive into this post full of yoga poses and activities perfect for kids in the summer, either indoors or outside.

The Many Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Yoga isn’t just for grown-ups. In fact, kids as young as toddlers and preschoolers can benefit from the movement and mindfulness that yoga bring to them.

Yoga enhances flexibility, which is particularly important during growth spurts. It also improves their concentration and sense of calm through controlled breathing and focused movement.

For children, yoga can help build spatial awareness and control of their bodies in space. (What toddler can’t benefit from a little more body control!?)

What’s more, it’s a form of exercise that’s non-competitive and inclusive, ensuring every child feels successful regardless of their individual abilities.

For other indoor and outdoor ideas for kids during the summer months, try these summer bucket list activities.

Why Use a Theme for Kids’ Yoga?

Themes can be a powerful tool in keeping children engaged. They add an element of storytelling that captivates their imagination and encourages them to fully participate in the practice.

For a summer-themed lesson, the natural world is full of exciting avenues to explore, from the ocean to the jungle, from camping to picnicking. Have fun on the 4th of July with an Independence Day themed class too!

The possibilities are endless, and the thematic focus makes it fun and relatable. Use this summer themed yoga lesson during summer, or just when you need to dream up a little extra warmth.

Check out this master list of themes for kids yoga here.

Breathing the Ocean Breeze – A Summer Breathing Exercise

Before we begin with the poses, it’s important to start any yoga session, especially with children, with a focus on the breath. Here’s a breath exercise that meshes perfectly with a summer theme.

Have the kids imagine they are on a beach, feeling the sun on their skin and the sand between their toes.

Inhale deep and slow like the ocean tide rolling in, hold the breath for a second, and then exhale with a ‘whoosh’ like the ocean tide rolling out, carrying with it any stress or worry. Let them move their hands up and down like waves with each inhale and exhale.

Try some other fun and themed mindfulness breathing exercises here.

Summer Themed Yoga Poses for Kids

Now, it’s time to get moving with some summer-inspired yoga poses that will make your young yogis feel like they’re on a summer adventure.

Put them all together to create a story adventure, or just let kids play and move in each pose for coordination and balance focus.

The Sun Salutation

Start with a classic – the Sun Salutation. An array of poses flow together, warming up the entire body. Explain to the children how in summer, we look to the sun for warmth and light, and just like plants do, we can stretch towards the sky as the sun reaches its highest point.

Grab the free printable sun salutation for kids here.

Tree Pose with a Twist

The Tree Pose is perfect during summer when nature is in full bloom. Add a twist to challenge balance: standing on one leg, lift the other foot to your opposite knee, twist the lifted leg over the standing leg as you calmly hold your hands at heart center. Encourage them to reach their branches (arms) up high, swaying in the breeze.

Butterfly Pose

The Butterfly Pose mimics the fluttering of butterflies in gardens during summer. Sit on the floor, bring the soles of your feet together, and hold onto your ankles. Gently flap your ‘wings’ to open your hips and feel airborne, light, and free.

Try moving from Baby Cobra (caterpillar) to Child’s Pose (chrysallis) to Butterfly to mimic the life cycle of a butterfly!

butterfly pose

Starfish Pose

Starfish Pose celebrates the vast ocean and its treasures. Extend all limbs out wide like a starfish and encourage the kids to gently twist and stretch, imagining they’re underwater, exploring the depths without force, like the flow of the sea.

falling star pose, shooting star yoga pose for kids

Surfer Pose

Surfer Pose symbolizes balance and strength, essential for riding the waves of the ocean. With legs apart, one foot turned outwards, and arms extended, the young yogis can sway as if they are riding the waves. This pose also teaches kids about focus and determination.

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Boat Pose

Boat Pose is perfect for teaching kids how to stay afloat in rough waters. Have them sit on the floor, bend their knees, lean back slightly, and lift their legs up in front of them while balancing on their bottom. Encourage them to hold onto their ‘oars’ (arms) and row while singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

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Beach Ball Pose

Curl up into a ball with your knees tucked into your chest while sitting on your bottom. Roll back and forth on your mat like a giant beach ball.

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Crab Pose

Sit on your bottom with your hands behind you, then lift your hips up. Scuttle side to side or “dance” your feet like a crab.

Seashell Pose

Sit up straight with legs crossed in front of you, holding onto your ankles. Slowly round down towards the floor to mimic a seashell opening and closing. This pose helps calm the mind and body, symbolizing the peacefulness of the ocean.

Turtle pose

Sit on your bottom with your knees bent but slightly apart. Wrap your hands under your legs and tuck your head down like you are in a shell. Encourage kids to take deep breaths in this pose, practicing patience and self-care like a slow-moving sea turtle.

Skateboarding

Stand one one leg with arms out to the side. Move your other leg forwards and back and if pushing a skateboard. Then, jump your feet apart, extend your arms out like standing on a skateboard , and sway back and forth as if you are skating along the ocean boardwalk. This pose teaches balance, coordination, and creativity.

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Bicycle Pose

Lay on your back with your legs in the air as if pedaling a bicycle. Encourage kids to count their “bike pedals” while holding onto their handlebars (arms). This pose strengthens core muscles and promotes focus and concentration, just like riding a bike along the beach.

bicycle pose, kumarah kids yoga

Baseball Player Pose

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and extend arms out to the side, holding onto an imaginary baseball bat. Bend your knees and swing your “bat” as if you are hitting a home run. This pose promotes strength, coordination, and imagination.

Slide Pose

Sit on your bottom with your hands behind you and legs straight. Press your hips up to make a straight line from your head to your toes like a slide! It’s a fun way to imagine yourself sliding down a water slide at the beach.

Summer Yoga Games for Kids

Adding a game element is a great way to break up the summer themed yoga lesson and keep energy levels up.

Beach Ball Balance

Use an imaginary beach ball. Have kids stand in a circle, imagining they are passing around a beach ball using only their minds.

Each child takes a turn, miming throwing and catching the ball. This not only encourages balance but also focuses on creative spatial awareness, a crucial skill for young children.

Beach Ball Boat Pass

Use an actual beach ball for this game to strengthen core muscles. Sit in a circle with your feet in the middle, legs bent to start. One person starts with the beach ball between their feet and must pass it to the person next them only using their feet.

Teach the kiddos Boat pose first to help them practice using their core muscles to lift their legs up. Try to get the ball all the way around the circle without dropping it!

Freeze Tag

Play a classic game of freeze tag, but with a beach twist! Instead of tagging each other, players must freeze in different yoga poses.

The person who is “it” can call out different poses for the frozen players to hold. This not only keeps the game fun and active, but also incorporates mindfulness and physical activity at the same time.

Outdoor Obstacle Course

Take advantage of the warm weather and take your yoga lesson outside! Set up an obstacle course using different yoga poses as stations.

Let them hop like frogs to mats like lily pads, crawl through hula hoop tunnels, balance across yoga blocks, and crawl like a bear across the lawn.

Ship’s Captain

An awesome game of listening skills and cooperation, while also giving kids the chance to be competitive! The leader is the “ship’s captain” and gives out instructions for different directions of the ship to run to, and other pirate ship themed directions that are individual or partner yoga poses.

The ship’s crew must follow along, but if they mess up a pose or don’t listen to the instructions correctly, they are out of the game. Last person standing wins and gets to be the next captain!

Full directions and game prompts are in the Free Resources Library.

Do-It-Yourself Summer Crafts

Incorporating a craft activity into your yoga session further reinforces the summer theme, brings their focus to small motor activities (mindfulness!) and gives the children a take-home item to remind them of their fun.

Mindful Mandalas

Create a mandala using treasures from nature, such as shells, pebbles, or flowers. Kids can arrange their collections in a circular pattern, demonstrating balance and finding calm in the beauty of nature.

Make Your Own Pinwheel

Using colorful paper, scissors, a pencil, and a straw or popsicle stick, children can create their own pinwheel. As they blow on the pinwheel to make it spin, they can practice deep breathing techniques and mindfulness while admiring their creation.

Wind Socks Craft

Using materials such as paper cups, streamers, and string, children can create their own wind sock. They can decorate it with summer-themed stickers or drawings, then hang it up outside to see how the wind moves and practice being present in the moment.

Binoculars for Bird Watching or Adventuring!

Make your own toilet paper roll binoculars for some fun outdoor adventures with kids. Use them to go bird watching, pretend to be pirate, or go on an imaginary jungle adventure.

Plants and Bugs Crafts

After exploring outside and digging through all the plants for bugs and and new life, try this free plant life cycle worksheet to keep them learning.

Then make your own best bug buddy with a printable ladybug craft to keep the mindfulness and fine motor skills practice going.

Journaling

For a great mindfulness activity with a little less artistic need, try some journaling. It helps kids channel creativity in a different way. Use these summer journal prompts for kids to help get their wheels turning.

Mindfulness Games for Summer

Mindfulness is the art of being present in the moment, and summer is the perfect time to practice it with kids. Add mindfulness activities at any time during your summer themed yoga class for kids, or just for a little extra mindfulness.

Cloud Watching

Take the kids outside on a clear day and have them lie on their backs looking up at the sky. Encourage them to watch the clouds, noticing their shapes and movement without judgment. This is an excellent mindfulness activity that’s easy and enjoyable for kids of all ages.

Rainbow Walk

Go on a nature walk with the kids and challenge them to find items in all the colors of the rainbow. As they search for objects, have them focus on their breathing and being present in their surroundings. This activity helps children practice mindfulness while also getting some exercise and enjoying the outdoors.

Relaxation and Guided Mindfulness

Try this guided relaxation for your kiddos to help them feel at peace, cool, and relaxed at the end of the yoga session.

Floating on the waves relaxation

Imagine you’re a bright green strong leaf, gently floating on the ocean’s waves. 🌊 Close your eyes and take a deep breath in… and now breathe out. With each breath you take, feel yourself becoming lighter and starting to float. You’re safe on this vast, blue ocean, cradled by the waves. 🍃

Each wave is like a gentle hug, rocking you back and forth. Can you feel it? The sun is warming your face, and there’s a sweet, salty breeze whispering secrets of faraway lands.

Now, with every inhale, imagine the waves lifting you up, up, up… and each exhale gently lowers you back down. It’s like you’re dancing with the sea, a peaceful and joyful dance.

If any worries or loud thoughts try to bubble up, just imagine them as little bubbles in the water, popping and disappearing with a soft ‘pop.’ They’re not part of this ocean. Here, it’s just you, the waves, and the warm sun.

Keep floating and feel how your body relaxes more and more with each wave. You’re doing amazing! Remember, whenever you need a moment of peace, your ocean is here, waiting to cradle you with its soothing waves.

When you’re ready, wiggle your toes and fingers, bring some movement back, and gently open your eyes. Welcome back! How do you feel?

The Takeaway

Summer themed yoga for kids is a delightful way to mix the benefits of exercise, mindfulness, and storytelling. By engaging in these activities, children not only stay active and cool during the summer months but learn valuable life skills in an enjoyable and interactive manner.

Through themes, crafts, and games, yoga becomes much more than just physical movement; it’s a holistic learning experience for the young ones.

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