Our learning groups are restarting June 10 with very limited availability and lots of new adjustments to create safety. Here’s what you need to know before joining us and options for how to join!
Looking for a little in-home inspiration?
The quarantine cycles are real and I find myself drifting between extreme bursts of creativity and heavy lethargy. The past week has been a bit brighter and I want to share some of its fruits with you all.
Meet Yoga Cat — your guide through a 20-30 min at home yoga practice for 3 to 10 year-olds. This little printable yoga book was created for those at home looking to incorporate some playful movement with their children.
Using a visual aid for yoga is especially helpful with children under the age of seven or for those who are trying yoga for the first time. Try printing it in color, cutting each page in half and binding for a little yoga break in your child’s day. You can also print the book in black and white and let them color it in and add their own personal details.
With repetition, you may find your little one sharing poses with you throughout the day.
❤ It’s FREE, fun and filled with love for you and yours.
Download it now:
It’s time to celebrate the small things and whip out the sidewalk chalk for some imaginative fun. Balloons, bunny ears, superhero capes? Anything you imagine is possible with a little collaboration and creativity.
This cutest of cute inspiration arrived to me this week from my dear cousin back in the states and her daughter Henley. Cassie Cline is a specialist in special education, fierce mama, and fitness maven who’s been working from home while balancing the various roles of her life for the past month. To all you moms making it work right now in your various situations, please know that your efforts are making a difference and the world is better because of your care.
By now we recognize you may be running out of materials to keep your kids playfully enthralled in the joy of living and sidewalk chalk is long gone. Did you know you can make sidewalk paint from baking soda or cornstarch?
Just mix up:
1 cup latex paint
3 Tbs. cool water
1/2 cup baking soda
We like to mix colors in old muffin tins so that they are easy to use without spilling. Use old paintbrushes or a piece of sponge clamped with a clothespin and watch the color appear as it dries on pavement.
Once you’ve taken the photos, send them to a family member or friend far away for some instant cheer.
Thanks again Cassie and Henley for the great idea!
Try it out and let us know what you think!
Whew, is it getting real enough out there for you?
The days go by and we know that coming up with inspiring projects to keep your little one active is no small task.
That’s why each day on the Kids Yoga Garden Facebook page I have been sharing a resource that can be used as a part of your homeschool / unschool / or online schooling routine. Some of the shares have been activities we do at our learning center, and others have been more directed towards our parents and caregivers to offer extra support in this time of need. I’ve also tried to highlight teachers and communities that have a wide breadth of online materials available for use so you can use these projects as a starting point for online searches.
To keep things simple, I will collect all the project links here organized by category and update as this project continues. If you’d like to see something in particular, like more art projects or cooking recipes, please let me know so I can keep it tailored to your needs.
- God’s Eye Weaving Craft. Video
- DIY Play Dough with Kru Georgie of Chiang Mai Drama Centre
- Draw Along with Me “Happy Sun” with Deep Space Sparkle
- Magical Thailand Coloring book by Magical Thailand
- Crafting with Shabby Tree Paper Plate Hats
- DIY sidewalk chalk photobooth from Kids Yoga Garden
Yoga and Movement for Children:
- Rub Your Hands Yoga Warm-up Song by Karma Kids and Kids Yoga Garden
- Wiggle Like a Worm Sun Salutation Song by Yogiful
- Full free yoga classes with Cosmic Kids Yoga – Pokemon Episode
- Chair Yoga Video with Calm Classrooms and worksheets
- KidFit water bottle workout video and KidFit Easter with Reenie Brooking
- Sun Salutations for Kids Video by Kids Yoga Garden
- Gratitude Relaxation by Yoga 4 Classrooms
- Papaya Salad Recipe by Kids Yoga Garden
- Banoffee Recipe by Eco Logic Thailand
- Taste the Rainbow cooking class by Sunny Days Organic
- Tiny Green Chef Free Cooking Lesson
- Mystery Science Adventures with Doug. Mini Lesson on Viruses
- COVID activity book: “Why is this virus making me stay home” printable
- Daisy Creek Farms regrow your vegetables video tutorial
- Imagination Tree 5 Things to Do in the Rain activity list
- Bird Snacks by Sprouting Wild Ones
- Earth Day Printablesby Little Bins for Little Hands
Math & Music:
- The Princess and the Pea with Fairy tales with Belle by Cascadia Cosplay
- Free Adult Yoga classes by Yogamour
- Free Live Streaming Yoga Classes with Chiang Mai based Annie Bliss.
- Supporting Children’s Emotional and Mental health with mindful meditation, free 3 part online workshop by Divine Light Yoga.
- Parent and Teacher Resource Center by Dictionary.com
We’d also like to remind you that when all else fails and you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and create some boundaries that create space for both you and your little. Maybe its a little play and dance break together, maybe its 20 minutes of “independent” time where you can both try something you love, maybe its learning how to fold clothes like Maria Kondo and getting some house work together. The biggest way you can support your child is by spending time with them, it doesn’t need to be completely structured and educational to aid in development. You are already doing enough. ❤
More to come! Take care out there and share your pictures with us, we’d love to see how they look through your eyes.
We often get asked by our parents, “What’s that song, the one with the sun in it that my child can’t stop singing.” It never fails to bring a smile to our lips as we know instantaneously exactly what they are referring to.
Sun Salutations are a part of both the Hatha & Ashtanga yoga lineages and have been incorporated into most schools of yoga today. They include a slightly variable set of yoga poses linked by breath to create a smooth circuit of prana (life energy) running throughout the body. Simply put, Sun Salutations help warm up the body, increase the heart rate, and create heat needed for deeper and stronger yoga poses that follow in the practice.
For children, Sun Salutations can be an essential landmark or focal point for the children to grab onto during a yoga class. Students who have heard the song many times before may feel comfortable singing and will link the movements automatically with ease while newer students may enjoy listening and following along their peers and the teacher.
It’s a fun and easy way to engage children in traditional practice without requiring a lot of teaching or modelling.
How to practice:
For a little context watch this video of one of our class practices.
- Do a light warm-up of the joints in the body especially the wrists and ankles.
- If students are new you can take a moment before to introduce:
- Mountain Pose
- Forward Fold
- Down Dog
- Play the song: Dance for the Sun by Kira Wiley.
- Follow the movements as directed by the song
Yoga pose vinyasa: The sun salutation is a group of yoga poses linked together by breath to create a sequence of movement. It is the only traditional part of the physical yoga practice that traditionally promotes cardio-vascular health.
Sequencing: Learning postures in sequence helps develop memory function as well as coordination and problem solving.
Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and builds respiratory endurance.
Yoga poses: help build good posture habits, stabilize the core, strengthen the extremities and develop balance.
Try it out at home and let us know what you think!
Interested in learning more about sharing the practice of yoga for children? Learn more about our training programs here.
It’s as good a time as any to get your little’s active in the kitchen. Papaya Salad is an easy, healthy and versatile option for little hands and fingers. Practice cutting different textures and preparing raw food the whole family will enjoy!
- 1 unripe green papaya
- 1 large carrot
- 2 long strings of green beans cut into 1 in. pieces
- 2-4 medium sized tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- Handful of unsalted roasted peanuts (opt.)
- 3-5 limes
- 2 tbs. palm or coconut sugar
- 1 tbs. fish sauce (leave out for vegans / vegetarians and the faint of heart)
- Salt to taste
1.) Remove skin from the carrot and papaya, then use a serrated peeler to cut them into long strips. Quarter tomatoes, cut green beans and set aside.
2.) Mash garlic in a wooden mortar (referred to in Thai as the Pok-Pok) until it is broken into small pieces. Add green beans and mash until slightly broken open. (Alternatively, if you do not have a mortar and pistil, chop garlic and mix with green beans).
3.) Add papaya and carrots, mash gently. Add tomatoes and toss together.
4.) Squeeze limes and combine juice with palm sugar, fish sauce and salt. Taste to ensure the balance of sweet, salty, sour and fishy is to your liking. Take time with this step and don’t be afraid to play with your proportions, every traditional Som Tam maker will have their own distinct blend of flavors.
5.) Add sauce to salad so that it is slightly dressed and well combined. Sprinkle in peanuts and serve with your favorite kind of rice.
** This dish is traditionally made with chili and is so spicy that it is eaten with rice to cool the palette. For adults who like spicy food add 2-4 Thai red or green chilies with the garlic in step 2.
** There are many variations of this dish so if you don’t have all the ingredients, experiment with what you have. Thai eggplant, corn and fried sardines all make tasty compliments to this famous dish.
Papaya Salad or Som Tam is traditionally paired with sticky rice, a plate of green herbs and veggies, and a protein like a bbq grilled chicken, pork or fish. We also love it with fried chicken or a plain omelette.
* Ask your kiddos to find their yoga seats and settle into a comfortable seated position with lots of room around their bodies. They can sit on the floor, a yoga mat or a pillow for a bit more support. Offer them variations of their yoga seat like cross-legged pose (Sukhasana), Hero’s Pose (Virasana) or Half Lotus (Padmasana).
* Talk with them about practicing yoga, what it means and create some safety agreements before you begin.
* Start the song and do a motion for each part of the song: you don’t need to explain the motions, just demonstrate and your little yogis should be able to follow along.
– “Rub your hands” – Rub hands together creating friction and warmth.
– “Sit up tall” – Lightly press hands into knees, lengthen the spine and roll shoulders down.
– “Take a deep breath” – Bring hands to prayer pose, close eyes and inhale to allow chest to expand and shoulders to rise.
– “Om” – Exhale by chanting the sound “Om” bring hands back to knees.
* After a few times, you can vary motions to include side bends, forward folds, any poses you like. This works especially well with older kids who may tire of the repetition of sitting in cross-legged pose for an extended amount of time.
Chanting helps develop concentration, calm the nervous system, and helps bring balance to the body.
Rhythmic breathing alleviates stress, oxygenates the brain, strengthen lung capacity and build respiratory endurance.
Yoga poses help build good posture habits, stretch the knee joints and build flexibility and strength.
Try it out and let us know what you think!
There’s no denying it, the smokey season is back. Thankfully this year with more press and awareness, we are seeing changes in our community that support more options for maintaining a healthy lifestyle indoors.
At Kids Yoga Garden we’ve got our air purifiers running all day during this time of year and have loaded up on board games, new books and a recycled art creation zone to keep our students active indoors. To make it easier on the families who stay in town during this time of year, we’ve also started promotions to make our programs more accessible to those living locally.
Each year we are visited by new students from around the world and this last year was no exception as kids from Korea, Spain, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Germany, the United States, Mexico, Canada, the UK, France and more came to join our programs.
Chiang Mai is a magical intersection of intersections and in recent years the offerings for children and families have risen substantially. Full day trips, new play-friendly cafes and an abundance of special course offerings help offer families creative options for education and childcare while travelling.
If your planning a trip to Chiang Mai we highly recommend these guides by local writers and long-time residents:
- Lonely Planet : What to do with Kids in Chiang Mai
- Chiang Mai Family Guide- 10 awesome things to do in Chiang Mai with Kids
- Cape Kantary V. 23 – Community Crossroads
Of course you are also welcome to come by and see us and we’ll have plenty of recommendations as well!
We know our families come from all around the beautiful city of Chiang Mai and want to make sure our classes are accessible and easy to reach! That’s why we are teaming up with Chiang Mai Drama Centre to bring you two weekday classes for early years yogis.
Tuesday evenings 5-6 pm is your chance to join our after school yoga club with 8 weeks of yogic learning and growth. Come in and join for a single session or sign up for a whole group of classes!
Wednesday morning is our class for little yogis 1.5-4 years old and their caregivers. Join us 9:30 am – 10:30 am for playful yoga, movement, chanting and lots of giggles and cuddles.
Send us a message to let us know you are joining in!