Light is essential to life. If all energy originates from the sun and we are made up of energy, then every living thing on our planet is made of light and we are all connected.
But...how can we present something that is so vast and universal to young children in an understandable way? We can start by exploring where we see light and how we experience light in our lives.
We can also encourage children to experience and trust the light within themselves and in each other and to think of creative ways they might share their light with their friends, their community and the world.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
Some ideas to explore light and darkness with young children:
1. Celebrate the sun
If you ask a child where they see light, many will immediately say "the sun." Throughout the world, many cultures and religions have practices that celebrate the sun and yoga is no different.
Try this: Sun Dance
There are many variations of the traditional sun salutation. Most are done moving on the breath. Use the song with children until they learn the sequence, then you can switch it up with humming, breathing or even silence.
2. Think about how we use light in our every day
Lamps, traffic signals, signs, flashlights, candles, cameras...we use light in many ways and in many settings. What are all the different ways you used light today?
Try this: Use light to communicate
With a flashlight or squeeze light, flash a light at a steady tempo. Have children play along using rhythm sticks or tambourines. Change the tempo or freeze. You could also try call and response - flash a beat pattern, and have the children repeat it with sound.
3. Observe how different animals relate to light
Some animals have a special relationship with light. Roosters crow at sunrise, baby sea turtles find their way into the ocean using light as their guide, fireflies make their own light!
Try this: Animal Yoga
ROOSTER: Squat down like a rooster crowing at sunrise.
SEA TURLE: Curl your body into a ball to make a sea turtle egg, pretend to hatch and then crawl into the ocean.
FIREFLY: Give each child a mini flashlight, turn off the lights and have them dance around the room in a firefly ballet.
4. Sing along with songs about sun and light.
Stay tuned this month as we explore Star Pose and a special relaxation based on the colors of the spectrum. In the meantime, comment below and share how you explore light with your kids.