Friday, July 15, 2011

When work is play

Yesterday morning from 9 a.m. - midday I (Thou Art Yoga) led 14 children aged 5 - 11 in an environmentally-themed art, yoga, music session. It was part of a kids' camp for children of TDC staff members. My assistant for the morning was a young woman, Falima, the niece of one of my friends (who had recommended her). She turned out to be a great assistant—very good with the children, proactively attending to things that needed to be done without me having to tell her what to do and when, and quite apt at taking pictures while I conducted the session.
We introduced ourselves by saying our names and which animal or plant we thought we most identified with. The children then made name tags with their name and a drawing of the animal or plant they had chosen—shark, jaguar, cheetah, monkey, puppy, snake, rose, tarantula, etc. Melisha (see above name tag) decided she was most like a bat "because I like the night. I like to stay up late watching TV."

We separated into two teams—Flora and Fauna—for an exciting game of Pictionary, using names of local flora and fauna as the items to be drawn. The children were very intuitive and excellent at guessing each other's drawings, even when the depictions looked nothing like "the real thing". For example, would you have guessed that the above was a leatherback turtle? They did.
Storytime yoga followed, with an environmental story I had developed called "Susie and the Magic Knapsack". In the above photo the children make their way into tree pose, representing the trees in the forest where Susie goes to rescue endangered animals.

They seemed to enjoy it. I certainly did.

We also made sock puppets, using old socks and items brought from home—buttons and cereal boxes. Reduce, reuse, recycle. The morning snack was eaten while watching I SPY Things in My Garden (a ten minute environmental documentary made by children aged 7 - 10 under my guidance)—after which questions were asked to see who had been paying attention.
 The final part of the session was a composition of a song about keeping the beach clean, sung lustily to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", which some of the children were able to play on the pan.

Before lunch, we closed off by standing in a circle, each saying one at a time: "I promise __________________" and filling in the blank with something we promised to do for the environment.

Answers included:
I promise to pick up rubbish whenever I see it.
I promise to help my mummy clean the house.
I promise to not throw garbage in the water.
I promise to ride my bicycle (i.e. to help reduce toxic car exhaust)

Being around children, there are many things they say that are worthy of remembering and recounting to others for a laugh. The one that stuck with me above all was this one . . .

(Just after I had told them what our next activity was going to be).
Little boy: But I HATE yoghurt!
Little girl: It's not Yoghurt! It's yogaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

1 comment:

Lynn Cohen said...

What a blessed sweet day and thank you for the final laugh!!!! ;-))