I recently began yoga and took a certain liking to it. So much so that I have ordered a yoga mat and other accessories, so as to be able to practice at home.
When my children are about (and allow me to do so!), I unroll my mat and follow one of the many yoga videos available online. The first time, my kids looked at me as if their mum had gone mad! 😀 But very soon, my 6-year old asked to join in my “gym”. I was a bit surprised yet discovered it reminded her of her gymnastic classes at school that she likes very much. So we set up her foam playmate as an improvised yoga mat. Obviously, I am no yoga instructor, but thanks to an acquaintance, I discovered there is actually quite a lot of children-orientated yoga material out there. Including yoga videos for children…in English!
This has been a real discovery yoga-wise as well as minority language (ml) wise. I can use our common interest to generate extra fun exposure to our ml. Since then, I have played several online videos in English that my eldest followed religiously, purchased children’s yoga cards which we studied, discussed and executed together, giving rise to some complicity and laughter. I also got her a very beautiful and poetic yoga book called “Goodnight Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story” My daughter took a liking to it and began reading it on her own and even practicing on her own; hence stimulating her reading in the ml, creating more ml exposure.
I have also recently discovered www.kidsyogastories.com which seems like a wealth of yoga-related information that I have yet to fully discover and use to maybe create a weekly “Yoga Time” with my eldest.
Now, I agree that yoga might not be everybody’s cup of tea. However, the underlying message here is to look at sharing an activity in the ml with your child, to make it an opportunity to spend not only quality time together, but also to create a learning opportunity in the ml and generate additional ml exposure. This activity can be anything, from yoga to music, from learning to draw with online videos to joining a ml book club to share book reviews such as Toppsta.com.
I have yet a lot to do to build on this new interest from the bilingual education perspective. However, I wanted to share this initial reflexion here.
Do you have any tips or ideas on child-parent activities? Please share them in the Comment section.