Have you ever been teaching kids yoga only to find yourself with 7 or 8 minutes at the end of the class, not sure what to do? It’s too little time for a big activity but too much time to finish early.
It’s those few minutes after you’ve already done the yoga, relaxation, a meditation, and a game.
It’s in a setting, like a school or daycare, where kids get story time and drawing – so you don’t want to repeat.
I’m referring to the places where you charge them for a full hour, which usually flies by, but on these days, the last few minutes seem like eternity.
This happened to me this week in a summer day care class with a group of 3-4 year old kids. The class was small (8 kids) so all the yoga and games went by fast (compared to when there are 15 kids). Yoga was right after nap time (3-4 pm), so the kids didn’t need a long relaxation. Plus an hour with this age group is already on the long side of the class length.
Here are three things I go-to when I want to fill those last few minutes on days like these:
- Reflection Time: Ask the children to list all the poses we did in class. Which were difficult to do? Which were easy? Which was the most fun?
- Dancing: Free form dance or a Freeze Dance (like Move and Freeze) gives the kids some unstructured movement. Play many different styles and rhythms of music. End with a slow song and then a minute of sitting quietly to leave the class in a calm state.
- A Goodbye Song: Have you ever heard of Lawrence Welk? He had a Goodnight song for the end of the show. I also have another song that uses kids names that involves a bathtub, a giraffe, and a plug.Make a slight adjustment to the words, but use the same tune and you have a sweet song to finish class (bubbles optional):
Lawrence Welk’s Good-Bye Song
Here’s one version I’ve used:
So Long Maya (or change the name each time if you have a lot of kids)
It’s time for me to go.
Hope you had a happy time, happy time, happy time.
Hope you had a happy time, I had a happy time too.
(repeat with another name)
When you have a few extra minutes at the end of a class do you end early or fill it? What do you do in those extra few minutes?