If I’ve learned anything in my teaching, it is to keep things fun and new (for myself and the kids!) I Nothing seems to spruce up a yoga class better than some new props! Sometimes I feel like I have to spend lots of money on expensive, fun props, but sometimes the cheapest really are the best… Here are some great, inexpensive props all under $20 and some for free: 1. Pom-poms -
Use them to have kids do breath work. Put them on the ground and blow them, or blow at them through a straw. My preschool kids go bananas for these!
2. Bubbles - Great breath play, and you can usually get a package of bubbles at a party supply store or at Oriental Trading Company.
3. Paper plates- A paper plate can be a steering wheel in Car Pose, a shell in Turtle Pose, a plate in Table Pose, a sun for sun salutations, a dish of milk in Cat Pose, a bowl of Dog Food in Dog Pose, and on and on… Decorate them with markers as a fun craft- make your own mandalas. For less environmental guilt, get them at Whole Foods where they are biodegradable or recycled.
4. Easter Egg Shakers- Take large dried lima beans and put them in plastic easter eggs- viola! Musical egg shakers to dance and move with.
5. Tulle- A long streamer of tulle (sp?) is a fun dance streamer. Fun for music and creative movement.
6. Dry erase paperboard- Use these over and over, for drawing crafts, visual displays, card games, etc…
7. Music- Download a fun song or two off of I-Tunes, or get a CD that you know you will use all of the songs over and over again to get your money’s worth (like Kira Willey’s Dance for the Sun on redyogamat.com, or any of the Laurie Berkner CD’s)
8. Library books- lots of fun books can be found at the library, and they are free! Just remember to return them on time (I seem to have trouble with that…)
9. Nature- Go on a nature walk at the beach, in the woods, etc. Gather anything that you might want to use in a yoga class as a prop. Rocks are fun focuses for balances and can be used to create worry stones or inspirational paperweights (decorate with words like “peace”, “love”, “Namaste”.) Or simply gather some flowers, feathers, driftwood, etc that would make a nice altar for the class. Of course, be respectful with what you take and use… Also, a bouquet of gerbera daisies are one of my favorite props. They cost only a few bucks, and can be wonderful for gazing meditations, or a gift at the end of a yoga class for each child. There is something magical about yoga and fresh flowers combined!
10. Stickers- Print your own or find fun packs. Use them as rewards at the end of class, as focus points for balancing, or use them on hands and feet for right and left.
Carolyn Clarke www.sdyogakids.com www.redyogamat.com