Andrea's Favorite Yoga Books for Children Part 2
Did you miss Part 1? Check it out, here!
A few months ago, I shared recommendations of my favorite yoga books for pre-school aged children. This post will focus on favorite books for elementary school children (ages 5-10).
There are so many amazing yoga and meditation books written for children in this age group, it’s hard to choose just a few! Below are my top 5 favorites:
My Daddy Is A Pretzel by Baron Baptiste
This fun book introduces yoga poses in the context of talking about jobs that moms & dads do each day. Before reading this book, I always ask each child what job(s) their mom or dad does and sometimes we create our own yoga poses for those jobs, too! One of the great things about this book is that it gives step by step instructions on how to do each pose. A great companion to this book is the Yoga Pretzels card deck! Although I’ve listed this under the elementary aged book recommendations, this book can be used with preschoolers, too!
Moody Cow Meditates by Kerry Lee MacLean
This book reminds me so much of the classic book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, except the main character is a cow, and he uses meditation to get over his bad day! Kids can all relate to having a bad day and feeling mad and frustrated, but the real bonus here is how the book helps to teach children a simple meditation practice that they can use to let go of these feelings. There are step-by-step instructions in the back of the book that explain how kids can make their own “Moody Cow Mind Jar.” Also, as a bonus for parents who love reading books out loud (like I do), this book is really fun to read aloud and act out with fun voices and facial expressions!
Master of Mindfulness: How To Be Your Own Superhero in Times of Stress by Laurie Grossman, Angelina Alvarez, and Mr. Musumeci’s 5th grade class
Whenever I share this book with children, I make sure to let them know that it was written, in part, by a group of 5th graders! This book is most appropriate for upper elementary-aged students (grades 3-5) and includes lots of personal anecdotes from kids about situations where using mindfulness helped them, and kid-friendly instructions for how to practice mindfulness and relaxation exercises.
Audrey’s Journey: Loving Kindness by Kerry Alison Wekelo
This book teaches the practice of lovingkindess meditation in a simple-child friendly way, through the eyes of a girl named Audrey. Audrey offers wishes of lovingkindness to herself, her brother, her mom, her dad, and all beings. Children can easily repeat these wishes along with Audrey. After reading the book, I like to ask each child in my class who else they want to offer lovingkindness to, and I love hearing all of their sweet responses, including wishing lovingkindness to their cat, their stuffed animals, grandparents, and friends. Even though I’ve recommended this book for ages 5-10, I’ve also had great success reading it and practicing the meditation with older preschool/pre-k students, too!
The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story by Uma Krishnaswami
This book is longer than the other books I have recommended and focuses more on a story rather than teaching specific yoga poses or meditation practices. The book tells the story of a girl named Meena who suffers from low self-confidence and worries that she doesn’t have the skills or talents to participate in the school play. After beginning to practice yoga she starts to feel more confident in herself and her abilities and realizes "I can change my body by how I feel inside…If I am quiet inside, my body will be still. That’s what yoga is all about.” Many children have worries and anxiety about different parts of their lives; this book helps children to see they are not alone with their worries, but that yoga can help them develop skills and tools they can use to feel more calm and confident and remember how wonderful they truly are!
I’d love to hear what yoga books you and your children love! Comment below or email me your book recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you peace, love & yoga!
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Andrea is the founder of Shining Kids Yoga, which began as an after-school program at her son's elementary school in 2014. She has been teaching yoga to all ages since 2005. Andrea completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training & prenatal yoga training at Tranquil Space Yoga in Washington, D.C. In addition, she received specialized training in children’s yoga from the Radiant Child Yoga program, training in postnatal yoga from Baby OM, and training in therapeutic yoga from The Samarya Center.
Andrea is also a Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) through the State of Maryland, having received her MSW degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore.
She has taught yoga for children at yoga studios throughout the DC area, including Tranquil Space, Budding Yogis, Rock Creek Yoga and Warrior One Yoga. She also teaches classes for adults at Yoga Bliss Studios and Extend Yoga, where she is on the yoga teacher training faculty.
When not teaching or practicing yoga, Andrea enjoys playing board games with her son, Quinn, singing karaoke, and trying out new vegetarian recipes!