Children inspired by yoga

Tatty Bumpkin 2014 Term 7/Summer Holidays Week 1. Tatty Bumpkin’s Kid’s Activity for this week is GIRAFFE Pose!

By Sue Heron – Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist

In this blog I focus on our weekly Tatty Bumpkin ‘Yoga Activity’, giving you all a description on how to do the pose or activity with your child and describing some of the benefits.

To find out about the Baby Bumpkin’s Baby activity – look out for my ‘Mid-week Baby Bumpkin Blog!’

Please remember though, for your child to gain the full benefit of all the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga and multisensory activities, find out about your local Tatty Bumpkin class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html or ask your child’s nursery if they are using the ‘Tatty Bumpkin Kid’s Activity Programme’.  Our qualified Tatty Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in child development and children’s Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians.

Or, maybe, you are thinking of a new career, which gives you:

  • The opportunity to work with kids
  • A great sense of job satisfaction and
  • Flexible working to fit around your own family?

In which case – find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html. 

 

The Tatty Bumpkin Multisensory Yoga Adventure This Week …

This week the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga Activity is ‘GIRAFFE’ – as Tatty Bumpkin sets off to explore  the Savannah!

On her adventure Tatty Bumpkin meets a little giraffe and his family. Now, giraffes are meant to love prickly acacia leaves – but this little giraffe just does not like them – uuuggh!

So Tatty Bumpkin and the little giraffe go off to visit some other animals, living nearby, to see if they can find something delicious to eat!

Come and join your local Tatty Bumpkin class and see if you can discover some lovely food for the baby giraffe – what do you think he would like to eat? Grass, fish…?

 

Giraffe eating acacia leaves – yium, yum!!

 

Because each Tatty Bumpkin kid’s activity session is carefully linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop your child’s communication, social and thinking skills. 
In this week’s activity session your child will have the chance to:

1. Develop their balance skills as they stretch up high on tiptoes and then reach down low to the ground like giraffes drinking from the waterhole.

2. Develop their awareness of ‘the midline’ of their body to progress their co-ordination and fine motor skills as they do Giraffe and Crocodile poses.

3. Use gestures or words to express their thoughts, for example:

  • Feeling ‘unhappy’ with the baby giraffe when he tries to eat the prickly acacia leaves
  • Being ‘caring’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she helps baby giraffe find something good to eat
  • Feeling ‘frightened’ with Tatty Bumpkin and baby giraffe when they hear a lion!
  • Feeling ‘happy’ with baby giraffe when he is back with his family …

4. Come up with their own ideas, and feel confident to talk about them. For example:

  • Deciding which animals to visit?
  • Wondering what a lion might eat!?

5. Develop their sense of rhythm as they move to the Tatty Bumpkin Crocodile and Lion songs. 

6. Think about healthy eating and ‘having a go’ at trying something new along with the baby giraffe and Tatty Bumpkin.

7. Most important of all – have fun with their friends as they: drink from the waterhole as giraffes, snap as crocodiles, and look out for lions! Picture courtesy of gardenofeaden.blogspot.co.uk.



Giraffe Pose for Children and Toddlers

Stretch up high to nibble leaves..
Reach down low to have a drink!

 

Description of Pose

There are a number of very good reasons to do Giraffe pose with your toddler or child:

  1. Firstly, children under 3 years, largely learn new movements by copying others – especially their parents and ‘key people’.
  2. Secondly, current research shows that young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and by communicating with them, but also by moving with them.
  3. Thirdly, as you do Mountain pose with your toddler, you will give your own body a chance to move, stretch and realign! See ‘Why it is Good for Me’ section.
  • Stand opposite your toddler or child and encourage them, by doing the movement yourself, to reach up high above their head with both hands. Like a giraffe with a long neck.

 

  • If your child is younger, encourage them by saying “1, 2, 3, up!” as you do the movement, and/or give them a ‘leaf prop’ to reach for (See Games Around Giraffe Pose section).
  • Then move your legs slightly apart and reach down, carefully, to touch the ground in front of you to be a giraffe ‘having a drink’. Once again, if your child is younger, encourage them to copy you by saying “1, 2, 3, down!” 
  • As you are touching the ground with your hands make pretend drinking/slurping noises! Research shows that even making pretend noises helps to develop a young child’s speaking skills.
  • Repeat Giraffe pose several times with your young child,  so they can enjoy ‘knowing what is going to happen next’!

 

Games to Play Around Giraffe Pose      

Make a ‘Sensory African Savannah’ Play Area – Inside or Out!

Give your toddler or young child the chance to stimulate their senses and practise their movement skills whilst having fun with you!
Materials you might use for your ‘play area’:

  • Light material for a leafy canopy. Fabric or charity shops are good places to find ‘offcuts’ of interesting materials. Sheer material, which is fairly transparent, is best. Your toddler or young child will love to look at the light as it passes through the material If outside, drape the material over a whirly-gig washing line or a garden chair. If inside, drape the material over a sofa or chair.
  • Leaves – either use real leaves or make some out of interesting ‘leafy coloured’ fabrics. Hang these under your canopy, so your toddler or young cild is encouraged to reach up for them. If you’re using real leafy branches – these are excellent for a game of peek-a-boo.
  • Blue material of a different texture to sit on or reach down for – to be your giraffe ‘waterhole’.

 

 In the ‘Giraffe Camp’ outside!

 

‘Drinking from the Waterhole’

Looking though the leaves

 

Reaching down to drink!!

Lay a blue piece of material on the ground for a ‘waterhole’ and pretend to be ‘drinking Giraffes’!  Encourage your toddler/young child  to reach up above their head in Giraffe pose and then to bend forward to touch the blue material on the ground with their hands.

 

Why Giraffe Pose is Good for Your Toddler or Child

As your toddler or child does Giraffe pose with you they will have the opportunity to:

1. Stretch out their upper back, shoulder and arm muscles 

As your toddler or child does Giraffe pose they will be gently stretching out the muscles in their upper back, shoulders and arms. After your child has been sitting in a buggy or car seat – Giraffe pose gives them the chance to stretch out stiff muscles. Remember muscles need movement to lengthen!

2. Develop their eye-hand co-ordination
Progress Giraffe pose for your child by encouraging them to reach up for ‘leaf’ props. Your young child’s early reaching skills are closely linked to their developing vision. Hence reaching up for objects, not only improves their control of their arms, it also refines their eye-hand co-ordination.

3. Develop their rib cage movements

As your toddler/child reaches above their head and back down again, they will be moving their chest or rib cage up and out and then back and down – moving and exercising the bones and muscles of their rib cage. How our rib cage shape changes as we age is rarely considered, unless you are a physiotherapist! However, the development of our rib cage, and the muscles which support it, is vital for:

  • A good breathing pattern.
  • The refinement of good posture and physical skills.

 

A Word on Rib- Cage Development

Our ribcage consists of:

  • 12 ribs – down each side.
  • The breast bone or sternum down the front of the chest.
  • 12 thoracic spine (12 vertebra).
  • The diaphragm: a dome shaped sheet of muscle and tendon which separates our rib cage, or thoracic cavity, from our stomach and bowel areas (abdominal cavity).
  • Lines of ‘rib muscles’ in between the ribs – the intercostal muscles.

At birth your young child’s : 

  • Ribs and sternum are mostly made up of cartilage, having not yet matured into bone. This means their ribs, at this age, would have been much more flexible.
  • Ribcage is a great deal ‘rounder’ than an adult’s, this maybe because they have not spent a great deal of time sitting or standing. As a result of this rounder shape your young baby would have relied on their diaphragm muscles to breath as opposed to the muscles in between their ribs.

From birth to 3 years your young child’s rib cage shape would have altered dramatically. Changing from the ‘round, ‘narrow at the top – flared at the bottom’, shape to the more adult ‘elongated, barrel’ shape.  This is partly due to:

  • Growth, as your child grows their ribs will naturally lengthen and become stiffer.
  • Developing movement, as your child rolls, crawls, twists, walks and runs they will be strengthening their layers of tummy muscles. Strong, active tummy muscles help: to ‘tie down’ the lower ribs, preventing the flaring shape and to stretch out the spinal muscles allowing the rib cage to lengthen.
  • Posture, as your child learns to sit, stand up and move around up against gravity the weight of their rib cage and lungs pulls the their rib cage into a more elongated shape.

As a direct consequence of this change of rib cage shape, your young child’s breathing becomes far more efficient. They can now start to use their ‘rib muscles’ (intercostals) as well as their diaphragm to breathe and can take deeper breaths in and out.

‘Movement in the early years can improve your child’s chest health for life’

Remember:


or find out how you could be trained to deliver Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html.


Love Tatty Bumpkin x

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