Kids Yoga Story: The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

It is the story of the bad tempered ladybird with twenty-two yoga poses. Have fun!

It was night and there was the moon on the sky (Crescent Moon: We stand up tall, feet together and reach our arms up above us. Then we lift and lean over to one side, still pointing upwards as much as possible). At five o’clock in the morning the sun came up (Hello Sun: Reach up to the sun and say “Hello Sun”). A friendly ladybug flew in from the left. And a grouchy ladybug flew in from the right (Ladybug/Happy Baby: Lying on our backs, we bend our knees and take hold of our feet, keeping the soles of our feet facing up to the sky). They both saw a leaf with many aphids on it (Leaf/Child: Sit on your heels, slowly bring your forehead down to rest in front of your knees, rest your arms down alongside your body). They both decided to have them for breakfast (Rub tummy/Pat head: Sitting with our legs crossed, we roll a hand round and round on our tummies, then we pat our heads at the same time).

“Good morning” said the friendly ladybug. “Go away” shouted the grouchy ladybug. “I want those aphids.” “We can share them” suggested the friendly ladybug. “No, they are mine, all mine. Or do you want to fight me for them?” screamed the grouchy ladybug. “If you insist” answered the friendly ladybug sweetly. The grouchy ladybug stepped back. It looked less sure of itself. “Oh, you are not big enough for me to fight” it said. “Then why don’t you pick on somebody bigger?” “I’ll do that, I’ll show you!” screeched the grouchy ladybug. And it flew off (Flying: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong out behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings – group pose).

At six o’clock it met a bumble bee (Bumble Bee: Taking a deep breath in, we close our ears and eyes and hum a buzzy bumble bee breath out). It asked the bumble bee if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the bumble bee showing his stinger. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At seven o’clock it met a stag beetle (Deer: Sitting tall, legs out long, we bend one knee up. We hug that knee, then placing our hand behind us, bring our other elbow round to the outside of the knee, looking back over our shoulder). It asked the stag beetle if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the stag beetle opening his jaws. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At eight o’clock it came across a praying mantis (Camel: Kneeling, we put our hands round to our lower back and press our bottom forwards, lifting our hearts to the sky, looking up). It asked the praying mantis if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the praying mantis reaching out with its long front legs. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At nine o’clock it almost flew into a sparrow (Parrot/Bird: Standing up, bend forward from your middle, keeping your back long and straight. Your arms become wide wings floating up and down at your sides as you fly like a bird). It asked the sparrow if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the sparrow opening his sharp beak. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At ten o’clock it saw a lobster (Lobster: Standing with your legs wide, toes pointed out, bend your knees and squat. Take your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows so your hands point up towards your head and snap your hands like lobster claws). It asked the lobster if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the lobster stretching his claws. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At eleven o’clock it bumped into a skunk (Mouse: We kneel down and tuck ourselves into a little tiny ball, like a mouse). It asked the skunk if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the skunk starting to lift his tail. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At twelve noon it spotted a boa snake (Snake: Coming onto our tummy, we place our hands underneath our shoulders. We wiggle up into a snake). It asked the snake if he wanted to fight. “If you insis-s-s-t, right after lunch” said the snake. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At one o’clock it met a hyena (Tiger: Coming on all fours, claw out with one arm forwards and the opposite back paw/leg at the same time). It asked the hyena if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the hyena laughing and showing his teeth. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At two o’clock it met a gorilla (Gorilla: Standing, legs a little wide and gently thump your chest and the floor between your legs with your fists). It asked the gorilla if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the gorilla beating his chest. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At three o’clock it ran into a rhino (Cat: On all fours, round your back up, then down). It asked the rhino if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the rhino lowering his horn. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At four o’clock it encountered an elephant (Elephant: Standing with your legs out wide, stick one arm out in front of your nose to be your trunk. Lift your trunk all the way up to the sky; then swing it down between your legs as you make a huge elephant trumpet sound). It asked the elephant if he wanted to fight. “If you insist” said the elephant raising his trunk and showing his big tusks. “Oh, you are not big enough” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off.

At five o’clock it met a whale (Whale: Lie on your back and bend your knees so your feet are flat. Arms lay down by your sides. Press into your feet, arms and hands and lift your bottom up). It asked the whale if he wanted to fight. But the whale did not answer at all. “Oh, you are not big enough anyway” said the grouchy ladybug and flew off. At five fifteen the grouchy ladybug asked one of the whale’s flippers if he wanted to fight. But it got no answer. At a quarter to six the grouchy ladybug asked the whale’s tail if he wanted to fight. And the whale’s tail gave the grouchy ladybug such a slap that it flew across the sea and across the land (Dog Wag Tail: We press our feet and hands into the floor as we lift our bottoms to the sky, lifting our leg into the air like a tail).

At six o’clock the grouchy ladybug arrived right back where it had started from. “Ah, here you are again. You must be hungry. There are still some aphids left. You can have them for dinner” said the friendly ladybug. “Oh, thank you” said the wet, tired and hungry ladybug.

Soon all the aphids were gone. “Thank you” said the leaf (Namaste: Sitting with your legs crossed, hands together at your heart, bow your head). “You are welcome” answered both ladybugs. And they went to sleep under the stars (Star: Standing tall with your legs wide and arms outstretched. You are a big sparkly star). The fireflies, who had been sleeping all day, came out to dance around the moon (Dancer: Standing tall, take hold of one leg. Lifting your other arm up to the sky, kick your back foot into your hand and tilt forwards).

Relaxation:

The grouchy ladybug does not say “please” or “thank you”. It does not know how to share. It thinks it is bigger and more important than anyone else. And it is always ready to fight. Therefore, there is a lot to learn from this grouchy ladybug. It is good to be like friendly ladybug. Let’s be kind, modest, sharing to the people around us. Now it is time to wake up. 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!