Kids Yoga Story: Night Monkey, Day Monkey by Julia Donaldson and Lucy Richards

It is a lovely story about two monkeys who are as different as night and day yet still learn to be friends. Enjoy it with nineteen kids’ yoga poses and a relaxation about seeing the world in different ways.

The moon shone down (Crescent Moon: Standing tall with hands on the sides, sweep the arms up overhead palms touching. Lean over to one side so that the biceps touch the ears) on the jungle (Tree: Standing tall, bend your right knee. Place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Bring your hands in front of your heart or you can lift your arms up to the sky). Night Monkey climbed up the tree (Monkey Jump: Crouching down, leap up like a monkey into the air). She clambered and leapt to where Day Monkey slept and whispered “You can’t catch me.” Day Monkey woke up and chased her complaining “It’s much too dark!” (Standing Backbend: Place your hands on lower back fingers pointing down. Bring elbows together, shoulders down and back. Lift your chest up to the sky while arching back)

Look! Hundreds of eyes, winking and blinking and bright” said Day Monkey. Night Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, they are fireflies that flash in the night.” (Flying: Standing straight with your feet together, bend your upper body forward bringing it parallel to the floor. Balancing on your right leg, raise your left leg and stretch it behind you. Extend the arms out at shoulder level) “Help! Flying mice! Or maybe I’m wrong and they are rats” said Day Monkey. Night Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, haven’t you heard of bats?” (Bat: From standing position, open your legs wide. Placing your hands on your hips, fold forward from the hip. Move the head towards the floor looking upside down) “Stop! Listen to that! They are sawing the tree into logs” said Day Monkey. Night Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, it is only a chorus of frogs.” (Frog: Squatting down with your fingertips on the floor. Push up to your tiptoes, take heels off the floor.) “Hey! There is a banana! How does it manage to fly?” said Day Monkey. Night Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, that banana is the moon in the sky.” (Crescent Moon: Standing tall with hands on the sides, sweep the arms up overhead palms touching. Lean over to one side so that the biceps touch the ears) Day Monkey rubbed his eyes and said “Maybe I am dreaming. Night-time is creepy and I am feeling sleepy. I am going back to bed.” (Relaxation: Lying comfortably on your back, close your eyes. Feeling the ground, allow yourself to melt downward. Let your feet and arms relax.)

The sun shone down the next morning (Hello Sun: Stand with the feet hip distance apart. Lift your arms upwards and continue the movement doing a back bend). Day Monkey slid down the tree and leapt to where Night Monkey slept and whispered “You can’t catch me.” Night Monkey woke up and chased him complaining “It’s much too bright!” (Standing Backbend: Place your hands on lower back fingers pointing down. Bring elbows together, shoulders down and back. Lift your chest up to the sky while arching back)

Kids Yoga Flow of the Story with Stick Figures

“Look! Moths wearing make-up! Why are they in disguise?” said Night Monkey. Day Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, they are beautiful butterflies.” (Butterfly: Coming to seating position, bring the soles of the feet together. Flutter your knees up and down just like butterfly wings) “Help! Look at those giants swinging about in the trees.” said Night Monkey. Day Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, those giants are chimpanzees.” (Half Monkey: From Downward Facing Dog Pose, bring the right foot in between the hands. Drop the left knee on the floor. Bending forward, straighten the right leg by walking with the toes in front. Slowly lift the toes of the ground. Rest the head on the knee towards the extended leg) “Stop! Screeching owls, the color of peas and carrots!” said Night Monkey. Day Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, haven’t you heard of parrots?” (Parrot: Open your legs wide. Come halfway up into a flat back. Lift your arms out at your side like wings floating up and down as you fly like a bird.) “Hey! Naughty black monkeys! Can’t they keep out of our way?” said Night Monkey. Day Monkey laughed and said “Don’t be daft, our shadows are here to stay.” (Hello Earth: Standing tall, bend forward at the hips. Take the upper body downwards bringing it close to the legs.) Night Monkey rubbed her eyes and said “Maybe I am dreaming. Daytime is crazy and I am feeling lazy. I am going back to bed.” (Relaxation: Lying comfortably on your back, close your eyes. Feeling the ground, allow yourself to melt downward. Let your feet and arms relax.) Now Night Monkey sleeps in the daylight and Day Monkey Sleeps in the night. But now and again at sunrise when it isn’t quite dark or light (Hello Sun: Stand with the feet hip distance apart. Lift your arms upwards and continue the movement doing a back bend.), they share a bunch of bananas halfway up a tree (Tree: Standing tall, bend your right knee. Place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Bring your hands in front of your heart or you can lift your arms up to the sky). Day Monkey calls it breakfast; Night Monkey calls it tea (Sukhasana Eating: Sitting on the ground, cross the legs. Fold forward resting the elbows on the ground and enjoy eating!).

Relaxation:

Seeing the world in different ways:

Night Monkey and Day Monkey both live in the same jungle but their lives are quite different until one day Night Monkey wakes up in the day and Day Monkey wakes in the night. Day Monkey doesn’t recognize the creatures of the night, confusing the moon for a banana. Night monkey is baffled by the brightness of the sun and confuses moths for butterflies. When they each spend time in the other’s opposite worlds, they learn a lot and they also learn to be the best of friends. At the end both monkeys return to their familiar routines but have become firm friends occasionally meeting up at sunrise.

How important it is to share each other’s experiences and seeing the world in different ways! Looking at the world with someone else’s eyes, being open to new experiences, being open to different ideas, being respectful of others, learning new perspectives… those are very valuable to be more flexible and more peaceful in life. You can be open to different experiences in life. You may try new things such as spending some time with different friends than you… maybe tasting new things… or playing a new game…

When you are ready move your fingers and toes, hug your knees into your chest. Roll over onto your side. We press ourselves up to sit, crossing our legs. We bring our hands together at our heart. Thank you for doing yoga with me today. Namaste!