Kids Yoga Story: The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. Enjoy this lovely story with twenty one yoga poses.

There was once a girl who had tiger slippers (Tiger: Coming on all fours, claw out with one arm forwards and the opposite back paw/leg at the same time), and a ceiling with stars on it (Star: Standing tall with your legs wide and arms outstretched. You are a big sparkly star), and a butterfly hair slide which she kept losing (Butterfly: Sitting tall, bring the soles of your feet in touch and flutter your knees up and down like a butterfly’s wings), and two goldfish (Fish: Lying on your back, prop yourself up on your elbows and point your toes down. Then pop your chest up to the sky and look all the way back behind you), and a nice mother who helped her to make some paper dolls. They were Ticky and Tacky and Jackie the Backie and Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow. They danced and jumped and sang (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)

And they met a dinosaur who roared and said “I am going to get you!” (Dinosaur: Standing up, legs wide, bend forwards and take hold of your ankles. Lift up one foot after the other going clump clump). But the paper dolls sang “You can’t get us. We are holding hands and we won’t let go”. And they jumped on to a bus (Bus: Sitting with our legs out forward and holding the steering wheel we bump and bend our legs as we steer side to side stretching each way as we go, up hills leaning back, down hills folding forward) and rode to a farmyard and danced with farm animals (Cat/Cow: On all fours, round your back up, then down). Then they lay on a rooftop (House: Standing with your legs wide, hands together above your head, making a pointy roof) and stared at the stars (Star: Standing tall with your legs wide and arms outstretched. You are a big sparkly star) till a tiger slunk out of his den and said “I am going to get you!” (Tiger: Coming on all fours, claw out with one arm forwards and the opposite back paw/leg at the same time). But the paper dolls sang “You can’t get us. We are holding hands and we won’t let go.”

And they floated down the stairs and explored an island (Child Pose/Island: We kneel down and tuck ourselves into a little tiny ball) till a fierce crocodile gnashed his teeth and said “I am going to crunch you!” (Crocodile: Lie on your side with your arms long over your head. You can open your crocodile jaws by opening your arms or feet, then clapping your hands or feet back down together). But the paper dolls laughed and sang “You can’t crunch us. We are holding hands and we won’t let go.”

And they hopped into the garden. They sniffed the flowers (Flower: Sit on your bottom. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Balance on your sitting bones and weave your arms under your legs. Hold your arms steady under your legs with your arms facing up), and they chatted to a ladybird (Ladybird/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). And they lay down in a forest of grass (Relaxation: We lie back, our arms and legs heavy and long, enjoying this rest).

But along came a boy with a pair of scissors and he said “I will snip you!” and he did. He snipped them into tiny little pieces and he said “You are gone forever” (Windmill Breath: Take a deep breath in through your nose and breath out through your mouth slowly). But the paper dolls sang “We are not gone. We are holding hands and we won’t let go.” And the pieces all joined together and the paper dolls flew into the little girl’s memory (Flying as group pose: Standing up tall, step forward and tilt, lifting your back foot off the ground, sending it long and strong behind you like a tail. Stay steady and balanced as you take your arms out wide to the sides like wings and fly).

And the girl grew (Growing up /from Ragdoll position to Hello Sun: Standing tall, drop your chin and you are looking at your legs. Then reach up to the sky) into a mother (Rock the Baby: Sitting up tall, legs out long, pick up the baby by taking our leg, putting the knee into our elbow and our foot across into the other elbow. We rock and cradle the baby back to sleep) who helped her own little girl make some paper dolls.

Relaxation:

What a nice story of the girl. How lovely she plays with her paper dolls, running from adventure to adventure… We do not always have to play with real toys. Sometimes we can create our own toys by using our imagination and creativity. Our own games that we create can be more fun just like the Paper Doll game. 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!

At the end of the class, you may make a paper doll craft activity.