Yoga For Any Room!


Before beginning:

  • When you first start learning yoga and the poses keep your eyes open. As you get more comfortable with the poses, you may want to close your eyes and focus on how your body is feeling.
  • Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through your mouth.
  • All poses can be done sitting in a chair or on the floor (if you have enough space). Make sure each student or child has enough space around them to fully stretch their arms and legs.
  • Each pose should last for at least three full breaths. (One full breath is breathing in and breathing out.)
  • Always end yoga with a short relaxation exercise of just breathing, at least five full breaths.
  • Encourage the students to focus on their breaths and how their body feels.
    • Mindful Breathing
      Breathing is an automatic reflex. You don’t even have to think about it – it just happens! But being aware of your breath can help you feel more relaxed. An easy way to be more mindful is thinking about when you smell your favorite scent. Smelling is actually taking in a deep breath on purpose.
    • Birthday Balloons and Candles
      Sit with your legs crossed (feet flat on the floor if you are sitting in a chair) and your back straight. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs like a balloon. Imagine seeing your birthday cake with all its bright candles. Blow them out by breathing out strongly through your mouth.

Depending on how much time you have, you can take your students just through the mindful breathing and add in the Moon Walk Yoga activity to engage right and left brain thinking.

Optional: Do eight of our Power Charger yoga poses/movements in order:

Take time for each, doing at least five full breaths each. You can also time each pose/movement for one minute. Allow two to five minutes for the Sea Turtle: Deep Relaxation pose at the end.

Yoga For Any Room! Animal Pose: Cobra


Lie on your stomach on the floor. If you are sitting in a chair, sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor.

Put your hands on the floor under your shoulders. If you are sitting in a chair, put your hands on your knees or desk.

Stretch your upper body up high, with your arms straight and your stomach resting on the ground. If you are sitting, lean forward slightly, push your hands against your knees or desk and push your shoulders back to look up slightly, keep your neck as straight and in-line with your spine.

Stretch your head as far up as you can and HISS! Feel the stretch in your spine.

You are a very fierce cobra snake!

Keep stretching and breathing in and out,  and make a hissing sound when you breathe out, continue this breathing and hissing for a minute.

If you are on the floor, breathe in and lift your “tail” (feet) up by bending your knees. Try to bring your head and “tail” (feet) close together. Can they touch each other?

Feather Fun


Pass out one feather to each student.

Have the students spread out so they each have their own space to work.

Tell the students to hold the feather high in the air and let it go. Have them watch how it slowly and softly floats to the ground.

Now challenge the kids to the following feather tests. Have them hold the feather up in the air as high as is possible again and let it go.

As it floats down, see if they can catch it or have it land on the following body parts:

  • back of the hand
  • elbow or forearm
  • shoe or foot
  • lay on floor and have it land on your back
  • knee
  • nose
  • any other body part.

Additional Feather Activities

  • The feathers could be used to represent the colors of the five food groups:
    • orange for grains
    • red for fruits
    • green for vegetables
    • blue for milk and dairy products
    • purple for protein.

Spread the feathers out on the floor. When you say “go,” have the students run to the feathers, grab one, and then quickly go to a corner or area of the room that represents that food group. The students with the green feathers could group in one corner and so on. The students with black, brown or yellow feathers could all represent the fats/oils group.

  • Follow up this activity by having the students think of a healthful snack or food item that is the same color as the feather or think of a food item that is from the food category that their feather represents.

Yoga For Any Room! Space Pose: Sun Breath


Sit on the floor with your legs crossed, or in your chair with feet flat on the floor, and your back straight.

Put the palms of your hands together at the center of your chest.

Close your eyes and begin by taking three big sun breaths.

Here’s how: When you breathe in deeply, raise your arms above your head in the shape of a big round sun.

Then breathe out and bring your arms back down so that your palms are together at the center of your chest.

Do this at least three times. The sun breath allows you to become centered and focused on your breath.

Sports Charades


Write names of various sports on pieces of paper (e.g. Basketball, soccer, bowling, baseball, swimming, etc.) Depending on the number of students, consider writing the same sport name on more than one piece of paper.

Lay the pieces of paper in a row on one end of a gym, large open space or an outdoor area.

Divide students into teams of 6 to 10.

One player (per team) at a time runs to the other end of the room or outdoor area, grabs a piece of paper and runs back to their team to act out the sport. (Remember, don’t let your teammates see what it says on the paper.)

When the team answers correctly, the next player runs and grabs a piece of paper and runs back to act out the sport. This continues until each team member has had a turn.

The team who finished first wins. This game is a good way for students to learn about a variety of sports.

Hacky Sack Challenge


Keep it up and moving – hands free!

Pass out one hacky sack (often called a footbag) to each student. Explain and demonstrate the basic concept of using their feet, legs and head to keep the bag off of the floor.

Hands are only used to start the movement of the hacky sack, but shouldn’t be used once the bag is in motion. Once the students have had a few minutes to experiment with the hacky sack, tell them to pair up with another student or two. Have each group try to use the hacky sack between their group members. Remind the students to count the number of times it hits a body part before falling to the floor.

Other variations include:

• The person who can keep the hacky sack in motion the longest wins.

• The person who was able to bounce the hacky sack off of the most body parts wins.

• Challenge a group of three or more to pass it to each participant at least once before it hits the ground.

The Concussion Conundrum

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand the basic concepts of concussions. Youth will discuss brain injuries and complete a KWL chart (already Know, Want to know, what I Learned) to list facts about concussions. A hands-on learning activity gives young people a chance to experience what living with a brain injury may be like. Finally, the youth will reflect on what they learned about brain injuries and how to prevent them.

Instructor Notes

Before facilitating this lesson, you may want to review the following information about concussions. These facts can be shared with young people during your discussions.

Young people who play sports or are active other ways, such as riding bikes or playing on the playground, are at risk for concussion. This is a blow to the head that affects how the brain works. It is a form of brain injury. You can’t see it but it causes changes in a person’s behavior, thinking or physical actions.

Your brain is a soft organ that is protected by spinal fluid and your skull. Normally the spinal fluid acts as a cushion between brain and skull. When your head or body is hit hard enough, however, your brain can get knocked against your skull and be concussed. Signs of a concussion can occur right away or hours or even days after the injury occurs. It’s possible to have a concussion even if you never lose consciousness. Signs and symptoms of a concussion can include:

  •   headache
  •   problems with memory
  •   upset stomach (nausea) or vomiting
  •   balance issues or dizziness
  •   double or blurry vision
  •   being sensitive to light or sounds
  •   feeling hazy, foggy or groggy
  •   problems concentrating
  •   confusion
  •   not “feeling right”
  •   seizures.

Long-term problems are possible if a person has more than one concussion, or is re-injured before the brain fully heals. That’s why rest, seeking medical treatment, and following a doctor’s instructions are all important. Even better is to prevent concussions in the first place. The Centers for Disease Control recommends these prevention methods:

  1. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  2. Wear a helmet that is fitted and maintained properly when:
    • riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, scooter, or all-terrain vehicle
    • playing a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, lacrosse or boxing
    • using in-line skates or riding a skateboard
    • batting and running bases in baseball or softball
    • riding a horse
    • skiing, sledding or snowboarding.
  3. Ensure that during athletic games and practices, you:
    • use the right protective equipment (should be fitted and maintained properly in order to provide the expected protection)
    • follow the safety rules and the rules of the sport
    • practice good sportsmanship
    • do not return to play with a known or suspected concussion until you have been evaluated and given permission by an appropriate health care professional.
  4. Make living areas safer by:
    • installing window guards to prevent people falling out of open windows
    • keeping stairs clear of clutter
    • securing rugs and using rubber mats in bathtubs
    • not playing on fire escapes or on other unsafe platforms.


Introduce the lesson by discussing concussions, how they occur, and why young people need to be aware of this type of brain injury. Use the information about concussions in the Instructor Notes above.

Ask if anyone in the class has ever had a concussion. If so, ask if they are willing to share a little bit about what that was like.

Activity: Concussion KWL

Hand out the KWL Student Activity Sheet. Invite the youth to fill out the worksheet with a list of things that they know and things they still have questions about on this topic. On a KWL chart, full sentences are not necessary; the ideas are more are important. Suggest they use bullet points or numbers to make their lists easier to read.

Activity: Experiencing Altered Senses

In advance of the lesson set up the stations as described below.

Explain that you have some stations set up with activities that are simulations of some of the possible effects of a brain injury such as concussion. Divide the young people into groups and have them move through the stations before holding a discussion at the end:

    1. Sensory loss: Sometimes people who have a brain injury don’t feel things the same way anymore, either temporarily or even permanently. Simulate this by putting common items in a bucket filled with rice. Have young people put a thick rubber glove on their dominant hand and reach into the rice to feel the items. Can they identify what they are?[1]
    2. Vision impairment: Smear the lenses of several pairs of goggles with petroleum jelly. Have the youth do a variety of regular classroom activities such as sharpen a pencil, copy a sentence off the board, write their names on a worksheet, walk to the bathroom and so on while wearing the goggles.[2]
    3. Loss of taste: Have several types of snacks available. Have each young person choose one of the types of snacks to taste. The first taste should be with their noses plugged. Have them write down a few words to describe the taste (such as sweet, salty, spicy). Then have them taste the same snack with their nose unplugged and again write down a description.
    4. Sensory hypersensitivity: Give the youth a math worksheet that’s at their level. Have them complete the worksheet while wearing headphones blaring loud music.

After the youth have completed the stations, reconvene the group a debrief using the follow questions as guides:

    1. What was it like to do those different things? Describe the experience as well as your feelings as you trying to accomplish them.
    2. Were some of them more difficult than others? Why?
    3. Were some of them more frustrating or upsetting than others? Why?
    4. What surprised you?
    5. Did you know that having a concussion could cause these kinds of problems?

[1] Adapted from Sharon Thorson, Injury Prevention Specialist, and the Denver Osteopathic Foundation, and from the “Brain Injury Empathy Experience” of Mapleton Center for Rehabilitation.
[2] ibid.


To conclude the lesson, ask the young people what they now know about how to prevent concussions. (Discuss and make sure they touch on all of the information mentioned above.)

Ask the youth to complete the last section of the KWL chart on the student activity sheet, listing things they learned about concussions.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes these tips, so that families can continue discussing brain health and brain injuries at home.

Related Health Powered Kids Blog(s)

Additional Instructor Resources

Information about Concussion in Sports from

Brain Boost

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand what they need to do to protect and help grow their brains. They will learn about activities and habits that help their brains develop and function at their best.


The brain is a very important organ. Without it, nothing else in a body can function. Scientists are learning more all the time about how brains grow and develop, and how we can best care for them.

Guide young people through the Brain Basics online learning activity. The main points are also listed below.

  1. Nutrition: Brains need lots of fuel. What you eat can have short-term impacts on things like concentration and focus, as well as longer-term effects on how your brain grows and develop. A balanced diet that includes lots of whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals, healthy fats, and proteins, is your best bet. It’s also important for kids to to eat throughout the day…especially breakfast.
  2. Sleep: Specific sleep needs vary, but children and teenagers need more than adults do. Some general guidelines are:
    • ages 3 to 10: 10 to 12 hours each day
    • ages 11 to 12: about 10 hours each day
    • teenagers (ages 13 to 17): about nine hours each day.
  3. Stimulating thinking activities: People of all ages need to use their brains in lots of different ways to keep them sharp and effective. This means mixing it up with different activities that involve logic and problem solving, concentration and memory, reading, making plans, being silly and creative, and working hard on something.
  4. Physical activities: Exercise and movement are critical. Playing sports, free play, running, hiking, jumping, skipping…all of this and more promote health brain development.
  5. Mindfulness/relaxation/rest: Even little kids can get worried and stressed out. Too much of that isn’t good for how we feel in the moment or how our brains change over time. Everyone needs to find ways to quiet and calm their minds. Learn more through other Health Powered Kids lessons or the Change to Chill web site:
  6. Protection: Our skulls, which surround our brains, are fairly hard and tough and do a good job of keeping our brains safe. But our brains are actually pretty soft and they can be sensitive and sometimes when we’re doing more rough activities, like biking, skiing, or skateboarding, it’s good to have even more protection than usual. And if our brains get injured, we need to rest and following a doctor’s instructions for healing.

Activity: Brain Drawing Worksheet

  1. Hand out the Brain Basics Drawing Worksheet (see What You Need).
  2. Explain that our brains are very important because they keep the rest of our bodies working, including things we don’t ever have to think about like our lungs breathing and our hearts beating. While we’re sleeping we don’t realize it but even then our brains are working hard to keep everything running smoothly.
  3. Explain that since our brains take such good care of us, it’s important for us to take care of them. Point out the sections on the worksheet and say that they each represent things we can do to take care of our brains. As a class, brainstorm some ideas for the sections. In the Protect Your Brain section, for example, young people could draw a picture of themselves wearing a helmet while riding a bike. For the “What Else?” category, choose another method that was discussed in the Brain Basics online learning activity, such as sleeping, meditating, or doing stimulating thinking activities. Have the youth draw pictures of things that help boost their brains.

Activity: Concentration Game

After giving students a bit of time to work on their activity sheets, play a game of concentration. There are lots of variations of this game, but here’s one: Players sit in a circle cross-legged and take a number each, starting with number one.

Students start chanting the following while slapping their thighs twice then clapping their hands twice:

Concentration (slap slap clap clap)

Are you ready? (slap slap clap clap)

If – so – (slap slap clap clap)

Let’s – go! (slap slap clap clap)

Then player one, continuing the rhythm, says their own number twice followed by another number in the circle.

For example: 1, 1, 4, 4 (slap slap clap clap)

Player 4 then does the same, starting with their own number and following with someone else’s:

4, 4, 7, 7 (slap slap clap clap)

Anybody who makes a mistake or doesn’t keep the rhythm is out but remains in the circle, making it more difficult for the other players, who must remember not to use the numbers of the people who are out.


After playing the game for a while, explain that games like concentration help your brain by forcing it to do more than one thing at a time (make your hands move, remember the pattern, think of a number, say and number, and so on). Ask if anyone has examples or ideas of other things that could help strengthen your brain. If anyone has an idea of a game give it a try if you have time.

If the youth did not have time to finish the activity sheets, encourage to finish working on them at home.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish so that families can continue discussing brain health at home.


Skin: Caring for the Largest Organ

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand the basic structure, function, and care of skin. Youth will be introduced to the topic with an online interactive quiz. They will read about the skin, including tips for its care, then get creative by designing products and giving persuasive presentations.


This lesson focuses on three aspects of skin: its basic structure, the jobs it does for our bodies and how to care for it. You can introduce the topic by having young people take the Online Quiz either individually or as a larger group. Discuss the answers. Were there any answers that surprised you?

Give each of the young people a copy of the Skin Handout. Review the diagram and headings. If time permits, youth may want to read this before starting the activity below.


  1. In small groups, invent new skin-care products and try to “sell” them to the rest of the class. The youth can do this as a written advertisement (preferably with some art…like a magazine ad), a pretend radio ad (spoken with no actions) or a pretend video/television ad (incorporating actions). Be sure to include:
    • a description of your product (a cream, a cleanser, or something less common…be creative!)
    • the problem it solves
    • why people should buy it.
  2. Young people do skits or presentations for others about skin health and skin care. Tell them the goal is be persuasive…to convince their peers to do their best to keep their skin healthy. If they have access to the Internet you can allow them to look up additional information.


Skin health and skin care will always be an important part of our lives. Encourage young people to take the handout and newsletter home as references they can keep and perhaps share with other family members.

Continuing the Conversation

Hand out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes these tips, so that families can continue discussing skin health at home.

Additional Instructor Resources