Our monthly pajama yoga class happens to fall on Groundhog Day this time. 6 more weeks of winter or not, we are going give a shout out to our friend Punxatawney Phil as we try out this Groundhog themed lesson plan. Some of these things have yet to be tested, so we will see how it actually goes down in class on Feb 2nd. Feel free to leave comments if you use any of these ideas to let me know what worked or didn’t work for you and if/how you tweaked it.
- Groundhog Gets a Say ~ This would be a good book to use as a tie-in. It presents groundhog facts in a cute story.
- Whistle Pig Breath (Groundhogs are also called Whistle Pigs) ~ Have the kids take a deep breath in and practice their whistle as they exhale…or blow on a whistle or bottle if they can’t whistle yet.
- Groundhog Sun Salute ~ Begin as the Groundhog underground in Child’s Pose, slide forward onto the belly through the tunnel into Cobra, then come up onto the knees to peek the head out of the hole, raise arms way over head to stretch out of the hole and then (still up on knees) Twist to one side and then the other looking for your shadow, then slide back down into Child’s pose as you climb back into your hole.
- I plan to use poses that signify directions that a groundhog might go: Gate Pose, Twist, & Triangle Pose pointing this direction and that, past a Tree, down a hill (Slide), over a Bridge, past his friend the worm (Cobra), sometimes maybe needing his Candle to light the way.
- Hog Tunnel ~ Downward Dog Tunnel where person crawling through is the groundhog.
- Me and My Shadow ~ Mirroring with a partner
- Groundhog Parachute Game ~ This is definitely a work in progress since I made it up…we’ll see how it goes, but here’s the idea. I will mark a stopping point on the floor. We will all grab the parachute and walk it in a circle, when I say stop, the child that is at that stopping point (wheel of fortune style) will be the groundhog. The groundhog goes under the parachute and chooses the pose they want everyone else to come into. I will leave pose cards under the parachute so they can look at them. They will give everyone 3 clues about which pose they chose, without saying the pose name (Pose Detective or Headbanz style). Those kids on the outside of the parachute will say a little rhyme…something like, “Groundhog, groundhog please come out. We’ll show you what we’re all about.” The groundhog will come out and see if everyone guessed it right. We will continue until everyone has had a chance to be the groundhog.
- Hibernation Relaxation ~ I plan to have the kids come down onto their mats in slow motion to prepare for relaxation/hibernation ~ Start to slow down your breathing, big deep breath in, big deep breath out. Close your eyes and snuggle in. Pull your blanket way up to your chin. Feel your body become more and more relaxed. You are nice and cozy in your little cave. There is a fire roaring inside the room, warming your feet, your hands, your face. Your breath slows and you relax even more. You are settled in for the winter. You begin to have the most amazing dream. Your biggest wish in the whole wide world is coming true. You are so happy. See it happening. What does it feel like? What are you doing? Slowly you start to come out of the dream. Your body starts to move and your breath deepens. Ahhh! It must be spring…time to wake up.
I really had fun with this one. However, it is always interesting to see how your plan translates into the class with the kiddos. We’ll see…