Hello Toula Kelikian,
Tai Chi or anything else they enjoy; especially, relaxation breathing, which can be used the rest of their lives, anywhere, anytime. I would offer a variety for them to get the taste of all: yoga, Qi Gong, etc. I mention Tai Chi first because you do not need anything but the body, no mats, blocks, etc. and it keeps the little active bodies flowing, who may not like to sit still. Look into the pose for the day of the week they are born which is very useful for the rest of their lives as well.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
For a camp setting I would recommend one or two mind/body modalities like yoga and Tai Chi to be an ongoing part of the curriculum. Then have a series of introductory type classes for as many other modes as you can incorporate. The ongoing classes should pay the instructor(s) a reasonable fee, but you can probably get instructors to donate their time for the intro classes. I do not think that any form of mind/body class would be inappropriate for your camp.
I am less familiar with the girl scouts than with the boy scouts, but I am assuming the camp focuses a lot on outdoor activities, with gross motor skills, as well as crafting and social skills.
Certainly yoga is a big go to for mind body exploration. Having props is great, but are in no way necessary for a good class. You might look at the Yoga Alliance web site. They are the professional association of yoga instructors and will have a data base of teachers you can check by geographic location as well as by specialization. Look for someone with some background working with youth. I’ve taught that group a bit over the years, though I am in no way an expert with them, and find their needs are a bit different from the average adult group. You can then see if you can find someone who matches what you are able to pay. You could also look for videos, and if you have the equipment do it as a video together. I think that is better than deciding to do yoga without having someone who is trained to teach it.
I also really like karate, if it is focused on self defense. There is a karate place here in RI called Self Defense Training Center where my boys went. I was always impressed on how they taught the kids to have good self image, and how to respond with both strength and restraint to bullying, by teaching them to make eye contact, raise their hands palm out and say loudly ‘leave me alone’. For girls that is just really great for sense of self, which is a part of the mind body continuum.
There is a technique I sometimes use in my mindfulness workshops you might also like. It is called a sensory walk, and involves exercise, sensory awareness, and cognitive function through journaling. You take a walk in nature, but before the walk you explain everyone is to be completely silent, and after the walk everyone will write a few paragraphs on the walk using descriptions of what they encountered with other senses than sight. Typically on the walk I will model reaching out to touch tree bark, or bringing flowers close to my nose to sniff, or turning my head to listen to a bird.
I would also strongly recommend meditation. You aren’t going to get 10 year olds to sit for 30 minutes, but beginning to teach them to still their heart and quiet their mind is really good. Time the practice after something physically demanding and a short yoga or stretch and they will find it easier to do.
I agree with Ariadne: “Certainly yoga is a big go to for mind body exploration.”
If you are interested in yoga, you might be interested in an epic resource I created for myself and other kids yoga teachers. It’s called: “The Kids Yoga Lesson Plan Kit”. It includes the largest collection of kids yoga lesson planning resources on the web and most importantly was created by a kids yoga teacher.
Every single resource I create for the Kids Yoga Lesson Plan Kit™ is tried, tested and tweaked within my Kids Yoga Programme. The stuff that doesn’t work is weeded out, leaving the really, really, really cool stuff that made a connection with the kids.
You can find out more here: http://georgewatts.org/kids-yoga-lesson-plans/
Below is one of the many kids yoga games from the Kids Yoga Lesson Plan Kit™…
The Yoga Alphabet
Move through the whole alphabet and be creative with your interpretations of the poses (and the kid’s interpretations). Don’t become concerned with how the poses flow together, rather let the children naturally move from one pose to the next.
Alligator for “A”
Boat for “B”
Cat for “C”
Dog is for “D”
Rag doll with an elephant’s trunk for “E”
Frog for “F”
Gorilla for “G”
Handstand for “H”
Inversion for “I”
Jumping Jacks for “J”
Knee to chest for “K”
Locust for “L”
Mountain for “M”
Namaste Mudra for “N”
OM for “O”
Plough for “P”
Quiet Sitting for “Q”
Reclining Bound Angle for “R”
Seated Forward Bend for “S”
Tree for “T”
Upward Facing Plank for “U”
Vayu Mudra for “V”
Warrior I for “W”
X Factor (make up a pose) for “X”
Yoga Mudra for “Y”
Zzz Relaxation for “Z”
Hope that helps a bit 🙂
BWY Yoga Teacher
Free yoga lesson planning tips & tools | http://GeorgeWatts.org