Practice Yoga for Behavior Management in Early Childhood Education

children doing yoga

With awareness for early childhood education on the rise, it’s important to take a deeper look into the myriad building blocks that make up the education of young children. When kids play with each other in the classroom, they not only gain foundational concepts of formal learning, but they also achieve socialization, modeling, and behavior management, among other lifelong lessons. The latter adds value at school and in the home, and there are many strategies you can implement as an educator or parent to instill behavior management from a young age.

Instructors Kathleen Kelley and Kristie Bodamer in the College of Education at Ashford University say that finding and implementing ways to effectively manage behavior in the early learning environment is where early educators spend a lot of their time. “Young children need a lot of guidance and support in understanding how their personal interactions with others affect the learning environment as a whole,” says Kathleen. Kristie agrees, “Early childhood educators need to have a wealth of behavior management tips up their sleeves in order to meet the needs of each diverse group of children in their care.” One approach is practicing yoga techniques, such as movement, breathing, and mindfulness.

Yoga for Behavior Management

If you thought yoga was reserved for Saturday morning classes at the gym, think again. Yoga offers benefits for people at all ages, skill levels, and body types. Nicole Rich, keynote speaker for the Early Childhood Education Virtual Conference hosted by Ashford University, explains that educators, therapists, caregivers, and parents can use simple and effective yoga techniques to improve behavior and self-regulation in the school, home, and community. Yoga, and its core components of movement and mindfulness, can enhance focus, attention, and learning in young children. “There are many effective strategies for improving attention in children with developmental challenges, allowing them to process information more efficiently to improve both academic and social skills,” says Nicole.

Gaining National Recognition

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognizes the interrelation of all domains of learning and supports activities that improve attention, focus, and emotional regulation. It’s crucial that young children, especially those with autism, ADHD, and developmental delays, are provided ample opportunity to strengthen their ability in choosing appropriate behaviors. Doing so enhances growth and development. Further, many school districts across the nation have adopted health and wellness policies that support physical activity for students, and practices such as yoga support these policies while teaching important self-regulation techniques to our most vulnerable learners. Research on the impact of yoga on children is more prevalent than ever and has documented positive effects on childhood development.

The next time you consider behavior management for young children, be sure to include yoga techniques. Yoga, along with other child development resources, can add great value to early childhood education. Attend the Early Childhood Education Conference to confer with faculty and learn more about early childhood education.



Written by Kelsey Bober, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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