As Lausanne's PK2 program embarks on the second half of its introductory year, our littlest Lynx have been introduced to many new concepts and activities and grown accustomed to their learning environment.
While the early childhood learners love exploring shapes, colors and letters, their daily yoga and dance sessions have also become an exciting part of their routine.
"Like adults, yoga and dance for kids also have several health benefits," PK2 co-teacher Simone Lima shared. "When toddlers begin to learn yoga and dance and include the practice in their daily routine, there is a remarkable change in their flexibility and strength. Yoga and dance can bring additional benefits such as mindfulness, reduced stress and anxiety and increased cognitive development such as concentration and focus."
Yoga for the PK2 students begins with Lima and co-teacher Rayann Jabers gathering the students into a mindful moment to alleviate stress and regulate emotions using breathing techniques before helping them practice different poses.
"The yoga poses are translated into tiny children's stories, like the "Sleeping Cobra," the "Frog and Crab Race" and the famous "Tickling Warrior, and it's such a fun part of the day," Lima said.
Lower School dance instructor Bing Osterman leads the daily dance sessions and says her time with the PK2 class is one of her favorite parts of the day.
"It is a delightful, hilarious, busy, and magical experience," Osterman said. "They greet me with excitement when I walk into the classroom every day, and I am glad they associate my appearance with having fun. They are very creative movers andI love hearing them sing along with some of our favorite songs as we dance. It's such a refreshing point in the day for all of us, I think."
Along with the benefits of physical exercise, dance helps expose them to many different types of music and sharpen their listening skills through activities that ask them to interpret the music in their own way.
"Dance helps tremendously in developing spatial awareness and important skills such as coordination, gross motor, creative problem solving, patterning, storytelling, sequencing, and best of all, provides an encouraging space for them to express themselves creatively," Osterman said. "It is wonderful to see them develop body confidence and express themselves in such a joyful, fun way."