SUMMER CAMP at home!
Week 2: The Beach
Theme: THE BEACH!
Go with the flow, from silly to calm: exciting, uplifting, stormy, wavy, peaceful
BOOKS: The library is brimming with “beach, ocean, sea” books – check it out!
How Will We Get to the Beach: Brigitte Luciani (our all time favourite yoga beach story)
The Memory Stone: Anne Louise MacDonald
Commotion in the Ocean: Giles Andrea
Stella Star of the Sea: Mary Louise Gay
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach: Melanie Watt
Activities and Crafts
Messages in Water:
- Dr. Emoto a Japanese Scientist studied water with profound conclusions
- He found that he could take pristine water from glaciers or very pure water sources, exposes it to unkind words and thoughts, even heavy metal music; then study droplets under a high power microscope and find the water had become murky and unpleasant looking
- Conversely, he could take polluted water, expose it to kind words, prayers, beautiful music, good thoughts and study droplets under a high powered microscope and discover the water had formed beautiful crystal like formations
- Take a water bottle, glass or water source and place kind, loving words on it to infuse it with beauty and light
- When drinking this water or bathing in it or using it to water your vegetables, the beauty within the water will become part of you or whatever is receiving the water
- We are on average 70% water – to infuse our body with kindness through the water we drink can only be a good thing!
- Throw and catch water balloons for brain balancing (the brain comes into balance as both left and right hemispheres are used – this is accomplished by crossing over the midline. Throw a balloon with right hand across the left side of body – partner catches with left hand in front of right side of body, etc. Repeat using the other hand)
- Lie on a tarp or something water resistant and have partner trace around your body with a paint brush soaked in water – with permission place a drop of water on each of the primary chakras – crown, 3rd eye, throat, heart, belly, navel and feet
- Draw pictures (abstract, geometric designs are fine!) on cotton fabric (old pillow cases, sheets, etc. work well); trace over the drawing with glue; when dry, paint the fabric in multiple colours of acrylic paint; when dry wash out the glue and see the most beautiful results
- This can actually take a couple of days or more to do
- Do sun painting – place leaves, stones, flowers or any object on a piece of coloured construction paper and place in the sun for some time; take the objects off later in the day and see the impression the objects have left on the paper – so pretty!
- A clear container with lid is necessary for a lasting ocean
- Place some rocks and shells and other ocean trinkets in the bottle
- Fill near the top but do leave some space
- A drop or dish detergent helps make white caps and waves
- A drop of food colouring is OK but not too much so the items in the bottle remain visible
- Secure the top with glue and duck tape – mostly this is just water so if it spills it is not going to make too much of a mess!
- This illustrates how the ocean can be very stormy, the whole world around us can be in chaos but at the bottom of the sea it remains calm and still – we also have that calm, still place within each of us. It is not easy to see or even remember it is there so we must practice being still within even when it is chaotic around us. Our breath is like a wave. Use your wave breath to help you find the calm place within. It may take some time – practice and practice and practice. It is there.
- This is similar to the idea above but super fun!
- Clear Bottle (plastic if adult feels there is a chance it could get broken – glass should be OK for older child but you do NOT want this to break!
- Place small beads, sequins, tokens and GLITTER in the bottle – LOTS of glitter
- Fill the bottle (almost full but not to the top); PUT THE LID ON TIGHTLY – give a little shake and see how you feel – it might need more glitter, more sequins, more anything – decide
- Once the desired effect has been reached – GLUE THE TOP ON – then DUCK TAPE the top on
- Shake the bottle and watch the glitter, sequins, etc. float down to the bottom or up to the top very slowly, breathe slowly and deeply until the pretty bits have all settled
- The idea is to allow your slow breathing to match the slow descent (or ascent) of the glitter until a state of calm is reached
- ANOTHER WAY to use this is to assign a feeling to the glitter and other items you put in. A pinch of red might be for anger, a pinch of yellow might be frustration, some orange might be worry, etc. As you shake the bottles all of these colours (feelings) can mix together denoting a scattered mind – as you breathe slowly, watching the glitter settle, your mind becomes more focused and mindful making it easier to respond to situations rather than just reacting.
- Using small glass containers from the $ store with both holes to shake and a white plastic top are excellent for this project
- Using sprout seeds place a few in the bottom of the container, rinse with water and shake it out and lie the container on its side overnight
- Repeat this procedure every day until you begin to see the seeds begin to sprout
- Using your blessed water from Mr. Emoto’s experiment is a great idea
- We did this accidentally one time – the morning camp kids had not made their blessed water so used regular water for their seeds
- The afternoon kids used their happy, blessed water for their seeds and theirs grew faster than those that were planted sooner but had been rinsed in regular water
- Plant flower seeds in a pot and use Dr. Emoto’s water idea and watch them grow - talk to them, say kind words, think kind thoughts, play some pretty music if you want
YOGA POSES: In week 1 I mentioned how yoga can be integrated into a storybook so for those details, check that out. This week, I will just offer some beach appropriate poses both traditional poses (some with kid friendly names) and some created for beach purposes. I didn't mention last week, that I begin every yoga class with the same routine. It is comforting to know what to expect and it sets the tone. I will include that here as I didn't last week.
NAMASTE: (the light in me greets the light in you - often children interpret light as love)
SINGING BOWL: (you could use a chime or bell or anything that would indicate you are about to begin)
BREATH PLAY: (Balloon Breathing is an excellent beginning breath - remembering to inhale deeply and slowly through the nose and exhale out the nose or the mouth. A longer slower exhale than inhale is more relaxing, while I longer slower inhale than exhale is more energizing).
Short Focusing Song
WAVE POSE (Seated Side Stretch): Sit in easy pose (crossed legged) imagining you are sitting in sand. Settle in so the spine is straight and shoulders are relaxed. Allow the head to lift naturally upward. Imagine the left hand is in the sand. Wiggle your fingers imagining the sand seeping through them. Inhale the right arm up and over the head and as it comes down toward the floor (towards the left side of your body), stretch the right side of the body open. Imagine waves crashing over your head or gently cocooning you in its arc.
1/2 SEATED FORWARD BEND: Stretch your toes out towards the sea (ocean, lake, water). Bring one foot in to rest beside the opposite leg. Inhale and then exhale as you creep your fingers down your leg toward your toes to see if you can touch the water. Inhale your fingers back to your thighs and repeat on the other side.
FULL SEATED FORWARDED BEND: Repeat the above pose with both legs forward with toes reaching towards the water. Creep your fingers down your legs to see how close they can get. Can you feel the water?
CRAB: Sit in L place both hands behind you close to your body, bend both knees, push into hands and feet and make a table. Scuttle back and forth across your mat making your crab body move towards the water.
BOAT: Sit tall in L. Bend both knees so feet are flat on the floor. On and inhale raise your feet off the floor while bringing your arms parallel to each other up in front of you. Exhale and balance. Begin to row your arms singing Row, row, row your boat. Try not to capsize. See what creatures are in the sea today.
SEAL: Still in your balancing pose, continue to breathe. Stretch your flippers (arms and legs) out in front of you and begin to clap (hands and arms, feet and legs) making seal noises. If all participants are siblings or in the same social bubble, you could toss a beach ball to each seal and see if any can catch the ball between their feet flippers!
WHALE: Lie flat on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Breathe in and lift your body off the floor, making a big whale belly! Take your hands together over your chest and spray water out of your blow hole as you raise your hands upwards with a whishing sound.
FISH: A simple fish is to lie flat with legs either out straight or feet touching making a fancy tail. Place your hands together in prayer on your chest and open and close your elbows to make breathing gills. A more challenging fish is to sit in L and then lean back placing weight on both elbows. Look at your fish tail toes and they exhale your head back as you tip it towards the floor. It might not touch the floor this is OK but be gentle with yourself. Watch that the stretch is not to much for your neck. Rest and breathe. SLOWLY inhale your head upright.
It's time to hit the water yourself! Standing tall zip your WETSUIT all the way up to your chin. Take your fingers at your belly button and run them up to your neck curving your body and neck back slightly so not to catch your chin in the zipper. Put on your oxygen tank. Take one hand up over your back while taking the other arm behind you (In Head of the Cow Pose) and adjust your OXYGEN TANK on your back. Reverse your arms and turn the oxygen tank on. Now it is time to dive to the bottom of the ocean to get a look at the ship wreck down there.
BREATH PLAY: Imagine you are using your under water oxygen tank to breathe. Breathe in through your nose creating a sound in the back of your throat (imagine Darth Vader!)
TREASURE CHEST: the first thing you see is a treasure chest. Sitting tall, place your feet sole to sole. The area between your feet and your body is the treasure chest. Inhale your arms over your head and exhale them down with your hands touching your feet and your curved body making the treasure chest lid. Inhale it open every now and then to see what is in the chest - gold, diamonds, jewels of every kind. Exhale it closed quickly. I think I saw a
SEA SERPENT (Cobra Pose): Lie flat on your tummy. Tighten your whole body. Place your forehead on the floor and as you inhale bring your head across your mat, slowly until you are looking up in front of you. Exhale with a long hissssss. Inhale and exhale your body down again. Repeat, each time, bringing your sea serpent body higher and higher but remembering to keep your shoulders down, your elbows close to your body, look up!
SHARK: Lie flat on your tummy. Take your hands behind your back and hold onto your hands, stretch your fin up and swim!
ROCK: Sitting on your knees, fold your body forward. Place your head on the floor and take your hands beside your feet. Imagine your back is the top of the rock just peaking out of the water.
MERFOLK (including maids, children and male mers): Sit up tall, bend your knees and swing your tail (legs and feet) to the right of your body. Twist your head to the look over your left shoulder allowing your long mer hair to slink down your back. Place your hands on your knees. Repeat on the other side.
SEAGULL (Pigeon pose): Sit on your knees and all right leg to slide forward with knee bent across the front of your body. The left leg slides back behind you. You can bend your body forward to stretch for some crumbs (or fish) or sit up tall and take your wings out to your side and fly! Repeat on the other side.
SANDWICH: after a long day in the sun and surf, hunger sets in so sitting tall in L, settle your bottom piece of bread (legs) on the floor. Put some ingredients on that bread. Reach behind you for some cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, mayo - whatever works for you and then pat each one on your bread. When you have enough, stretch up and fold the top piece of bread (your upper body) over the ingredients. Cover tightly and take several bites, counting each one.
ICE CREAM CONE: Standing tall inhale your arms in a twist up over your head to make a soft ice cream twist. Cross your legs tightly to make a pointy cone. Begin to slowly melt down as your ice cream cone gets smaller and smaller and smaller. YUM!
1/2 Moon: It has been a long day at the beach. Nightfall is upon us. Standing tall, inhale your arms overhead and bring hands together in a peak. Exhale and bend directly over one side to make a 1/2 Moon. Inhale up and repeat on the other side
STAR: From standing, inhale your feet apart and your arms stretched out to the side, making five points including your head. Exhale. Inhale your right hand star point down to your right foot star point, creating a triangle. Twinkle stardust on that side of the ocean. Inhale up and exhale down on the other side. Sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as your feel your body beginning to long for a nap in the sand or floating in the water.
STAR FISH: Lie down with your body in starfish pose - just like the standing star. Feel the warm sand beneath you. Feel the last rays of the sun warming you as the moonbeams begin to cover you with soft shimmery light. Listen to the waves lapping onto the shore, tickling your starfish toes. Imagine you are beginning to float right into the water. You are safe. This is just your imagination. Nothing can harm you. The waves gently rock your body just like your mom rocked you when you were a baby. Notice your breath is just like a wave. As you breathe in your body rises up and as you breathe out your belly sinks down, just like the waves rolling into shore and them back out to sea again. Feel your body beginning to relax and release. Listen to some music with waves if you would like to add to the sense of being at the seashore. After while, begin to imagine your body moving gently towards the shore. The water is becoming more and more shallow. Finally you feel the sand beneath you again. Feel your body sink into the sand. Feel comfortable, safe and loved. Begin to wiggle your fingers and wiggle your toes and slowly roll over to one side and curl up like a seashell. Rest there a moment and then come to a seated position.
Draw a picture of your imaginary sea journey. Share your story with someone. Remember that even when there is a lot of noise and busyness around you, there is a quiet, still place in the center of your being, just like the bottom of the ocean is still and quiet even if there is a storm and crashing waves on the surface. Be like the ocean. Quiet and still even when life is not.
This is a goodly number of poses that can be split over a number of days if shorter sessions work better and yet there are many, many more poses that would work with a beach theme as well. Find your own way around the session, using more or less poses as works best for you. Include a storybook to help instill the poses and the story line to memory.