Music for Kids Yoga - Johnette Downing, Fins and Grins & The Second Line: Scarf Activity Songs

Do you get a sense of glee when you discover new music?  Music that is perfect for kids yoga? I know I do! Have you heard of Johnette Downing?

Here are two albums that are great for kids yoga classes:

Fins and Grins

fins and grins

Here are the songs (which you can tell are good for kids yoga just by the titles):

1. Rock Hopper Penguin

2. Amazon ABCs

3. Amphibians

4. Clamshell Clap

5. Circle of Life

6. L'ecrevisse

7. I Want to be a Frog Today

8. A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea

9. Moving Along

10. Stingray Shuffle

11. Camouflage

12. Most Fish Swim

13. Seahorses Listen

14. I Went to the Aquarium

15. Tooth Fairy

16. Turtles

This is a wonderful CD with an aquatic theme.  I’ve found lots of songs about cats, dogs, and barnyard animals, but this CD has songs about penguins! Clams! Stingrays! Turtles! Sea Horses! Johnette’s voice is great, and the music is fun and lively. She reminds me of Laurie Berkner, but with a New Orleans style of music. Pretty much all of the songs are great for an ocean themed class!

The Second Line

Scarf Activity Songs

Song list:

1. Introduction

2. The Second Line

3. Shake Your Scarves

4. Scarves Up and Down and Around

5. Water, Wind and World

6. The Sacroiliac

7. Thread the Needle

8. Scarves on Your Laps

9. Flitter Flutter

10. Crazy Eights

11. Wow!

12. Rhythm In The Scarves

13. Circus Parade

14. The Second Line Reprise

I like to integrate Music and Movement activities into my yoga classes. Is it technically yoga, maybe not, but I think it provides child-friendly body awareness and helps burn off some of their energy so we can do some calming yoga poses. And isn't everything yoga if you are doing it with awareness? These songs are really fun scarf activity songs. Sometimes when we use scarves, I have a few ideas on how to use them and then my mind draws a blank. With these songs you could do a whole class with them!

P.S. This isn't a formal review or anything... I just found something that I like and wanted to share.

Her work can be found at her website and at Amazon.



Carolyn Clarke




10 Inexpensive Yoga Props for Kids Yoga Teachers to Use in Class

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 -Pom Pom Again

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-Easter Egg 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, 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.

Have fun!


Carolyn Clarke

YogaKids of San Diego is proud to unveil!

I'm super excited to announce, a new online children's boutique ! It's been a big project creating an e-commerce site, but we are up and running! Here are some of the great things you can find at the young yogi:

1. Natural Rubber Kid-Sized Yoga Mats! 2. Relaxation Eye Pillows! 3. Fun Music for Yoga Practice! 4. The Yoga Garden Game! 5. YogaKids Silly to Calm DVD!

For your child's elementary or preschool teacher:

1. YogaKids Toolkit (Yoga flashcards for the classroom) 2. The Silly to Calm DVD for rainy days (ages 3-6) 3. Fun Music for the Classroom

I know that many people's holiday shopping budget's are tight, so each gift needs to be that much more meaningful and special.  Kids are feeling the stress of the times right now, too, and yoga inspired toys combine play AND relaxation, two things great for kids! Why not give kids the gift of well-being through yoga!

So start shopping at!

The Holidays

I can remember being a kid and thinking that the time from Halloween to Christmas seemed to take years! And now I'm realizing that I haven't made a single post since before Halloween and now it is almost Christmas, and the time seemed like a few days! So here are some holiday things that I've taught for the last few months...

Halloween- Spooky Yoga Halloween

I love Halloween yoga! Here are some things we did:

  • We talked about bones  and skeletons
  • Made scary faces while stretching the muscles in our faces
  • Black cats- Meow!
  • Pumpkin squats (Sit in squat and make a Jack o Lantern face)
  • Gate pose- with lots of Squeaks
  • Work as partners back to back and move arms and legs to become spiders

Thanksgiving- Thankful Yoga

ThanksgivingThere are so many wonderful things to do for Thanksgiving because being grateful for what you have in the present moment is such a huge part of yoga. I always start off a Thanksgiving class with going around the circle to ask what the kids are thankful for ("my parents", "my cat", "trains", "chairs" and lots more things). Here are some other things we do:

  • Strut around like Turkeys
  • Make apple pies to Kira Willey's Making Pie
  • Table Pose
  • Chair Pose

This year I also read I wonderful book recommended to me by another YogaKids teacher, Heather Wurtzle. The book was Thank You World by Alice McGinty.

December Holidays- Peace on Earth Yoga 

Peace on EarthI love December and the holidays during the month. I celebrate Christmas, so many of the things that I include in the class are Christmas inspired, but we always do candle pose for the lighting of the  menorah. Here are some other things we do:

  • Christmas tree decorating- Kids work with partners. One stands in tree while the other decorates the "tree" with tinsel or garlands

Christmas tree

  • Pass the present- Similar to hot potato, but when the music stops, the person holding the present comes up with a yoga pose for us all to do
  • Star Pose
  • Acting out carols- Like 12 Days of Christmas!

I also always talk lots about peace- we send out peace to the whole world  during December. Did you feel it?

So, I know that it is probably too late to use most of these ideas, but save them for next year!

With love and light,

Happy Holidays,


Giving the World a Big Hug

Hugg A Planet I recently bought a Hugg-A-Planet. It's a giant stuffed earth. We had so much fun in yoga class with it. It was so inspiring to see each child hug it- it's like each child could grow up to save our hurting earth... It made me feel better that the world is in these fresh new hands.

Find it on:

Whole World

We also read Whole World and acted out the song with yoga poses. This book by Chris Corr and Fred Penner has great pictures and changes the emphasis from the traditional religious song of "He's got the whole world" to "We've got the whole world in our hands." This makes it more appropriate for a public school setting. A wonderful book for empowering children to take action and change the world. This book also has a CD so you can easily act out the song with yoga poses.


Carolyn Clarke

A Rumble in the Jungle

Yesterday I taught a fun class at a summer camp at a Montessori school. The theme was the jungle, and we had such fun romping around like animals. We read Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andreae. This is a great children's book about all the different animals in the jungle. We became Elephants, Chimpanzees, Zebras, Giraffes, and more. Lion was especially fun since we listened to the Lion Sleeps Tonight song. Rumble in the Jungle

Easter Egg Shakers

I had a feeling the day after Easter that kids in my preschool class would be hyper from the excitement of  Easter and jacked up on sugar.... So I planned an active class for Monday. As they say, if you can't beat them, join them! Brought some plastic Easter Eggs and some dried beans to my Preschool class. The kids filled the eggs with the beans to make musical egg shakers. We shook them as fast as we could, then we practiced shaking them one time, two times, three times, four times, five times. Then we had fun with Laurie Berkner's I Know a Chicken song. We stood in chicken pose (wings out, strutting like a chicken), and then laid our magical shaker eggs. Then we shook along with the song. BIG HIT! I love using props like this in class. We had a lot of fun, and they were able to practice fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and rhythm.  Once they were able to get out all that energy, we transitioned to some breathing and quieter poses on the floor.

You can buy fancy egg shakers, but I like having the kids make their own. They seem to enjoy it and it is cheaper!

Easter Egg

Kid made shaker

Egg shaker instruments

Fancier egg shakers for purchase

Have fun!



New Music for Yoga for Kids

I just discovered a wonderful CD that I can't wait to use in my classes. Here's the blurb from CD BABY:

KIRA WILLEY: dance for the sun

A totally unique album of kids' yoga songs - with a little doowop, a bit of jazz, and some African tribal music - that's great to listen to, as well as fun to use with the illustrated booklet for musical family yoga.


I listened to all the samples on CD BABY and it sounds like such a great CD for yoga with the kiddies!

I'll keep you posted as I start to use it in my classes!