Monday, March 6, 2017

Say 'Hello to the Sun' with Tatty Bumpkin - Stretching and Activating Key Muscle Groups for Writing


By Sue Heron - Head of Training at Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist. 

At an education conference in 2015 Mr Bob Drew, headteacher at Grearies Primary School Essex, highlighted teachers at his school “had noticed very weak upper body strength particularly in four and five year old boys." 
He explained that over the past two years his teaching staff had initially noticed the children’s handwriting was becoming increasingly ‘spidery’. On looking carefully, they established that the children’s pencil grip was also very poor.  
Mr Drew speculated that this shaky pencil grip was related to weakness in the upper body, possibly a result of increased use ‘soft touch’ digital technology and less frequent physical activity. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/12031506/Children-physically-weaker-than-previous-generation-a-leading-teacher-has-said.html

Weak upper body strength related to poor pencil grip? 

As a paediatric physiotherapist I feel Mr Drew could be correct as we need strong shoulder, back and tummy muscles to support our arms as we write or draw. 

When your child does Tatty Bumpkin’s Sun pose they will not only be gently stretching tight shoulder and chest muscles they will also be strengthening their upper body. 


Tatty Bumpkin’s Sun Yoga Activity

Preparation 
  • With your child find a clear space on a carpet or mat. Make sure you both have room to stretch out your arms. 
  • Take off your socks and shoes to prevent slips and to help your child feel the floor accurately. 
  • Remember if you, or your child, start to feel uncomfortable as you do the pose - listen to your body and do stop! 
The Pose 

Stretch your arms out wide and above your head to be a lovely sun!
  • Start Sun pose standing on your mats with your feet hip width apart. 
  • Slowly stretch your arms out to either side with your palms facing upwards. Encourage your child ‘to reach as far as they can go’ or to see if they can ‘touch the walls on either side', they might be surprised how long their arms are!  Hold this position for a few seconds to make the stretch extra effective. 
  • Then take your arms above your head in a wide arc keeping your elbows straight - encourage your child to copy you. Try to do this movement slowly so your child has a chance to really work those upper body muscles i.e. their shoulder, tummy and back muscles. 
  • Gently bring your hands together above your head so your palms are touching, slowly look up at your hands and feel how tall you are! Caution - Don't extend your neck too far back. 
  • To finish, slowly bring your arms back down to your sides and look straight ahead. You have both made a big sun shape with your arms with you head in the middle!
  • If your child is younger they may find it easier to do Sun pose sitting on the floor or back on their heels - see below. As this is a more stable position they will be able to concentrate on the main movement of this pose -  stretching their arms out wide and above their head.

Would you like to make Sun pose harder?
Encourage your child to take a big breath in as they bring their arms above their head and to breathe all the way out as they lower their arms back down.

Why Sun Pose is ‘Good for Me’

Sun pose will give your child a chance to: 
1. Stretch and strengthen their upper body muscles 
Even young children can spend a great deal of time sitting and playing with objects,  toys, (and digital devices) which they hold in front of them. In this playing position they can tend to slump, hunch their shoulders and not work their upper body muscles. 
When your child does Sun pose they will exercise all these upper body muscles i.e. their chest, back, tummy, shoulder and arm muscles whilst giving these muscles  a really good stretch! 

2. Refine their head movements for whiteboard skills 
As your child moves their head in Sun pose they will be stretching and strengthening their neck muscles and refining their postural skills i.e. keeping their body still whilst they move their head. In the class room, your child will use these selective head and neck movements as they look up to the white board and back down to their desk. 

3. Become more aware of their breathing
As your child takes big breaths in Sun pose they will become more aware of their breathing and how it feels to take deeper breaths. When they breathe in and raise their arms above their head your child will be giving their chest muscles an even bigger stretch!  

Love Tatty Bumpkin x


Tatty Bumpkin Sessions 
Tatty Bumpkin sessions provide children with a chance to be active as they learn key skills. All the sessions are directly linked to the 'Early Years Foundation Stage' and the 'Curriculum for Excellence' (Scotland). Find out about sessions running in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html




Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or are You Interested in Running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?

It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense:
  • Flexible working around your family life
  • Great job satisfaction
  • Strong financial rewards
Discover more about owning your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html



Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To Wake Up Little Feet - Pick Up Tatty Bumpkin’s Penguin Pose

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



This week Tatty Bumpkin is off exploring the South Pole learning to how to do ‘Penguin pose’ with her penguin friends!

Penguin pose is a fun way to bring activity into your child’s day. Little movement breaks over the day - all add up. The British Heart Foundation  website has some great ideas see http://www.bhfactive.org.uk/earlyyearsguidelines/index.html




Tatty Bumpkin’s Penguin Yoga Pose 

Try to do Penguin pose with your child, or encourage brothers and sisters to join in. Research shows young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch but also by moving with them.
For further great games to strengthen the bond with your little one see http://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2014/08/5-attachment-based-activities-to-strengthen-parent-child-relationships/# 

Move, play, have fun, get to know each other better!

Tatty Bumpkin's Penguin  Pose
  • Find a clear space on the carpet or a mat with your child. Make sure you both have a space around you so you don’t waddle into each other!
  • Take off socks and shoes. Your child will greatly benefit from doing penguin pose barefoot. They will be able to move their feet and toes properly and receive accurate sensory information up through their the soles of their feet.
  • Stand up tall together. Show your child how they can rock back onto their heels, so they have their toes, and the balls of their feet, off the ground. This can be quite hard for some children – so be patient. Placing a small beanbag under the front of their foot may help them to get the idea.
    (When they first start to walk, less than fifty per cent of children use a heel strike. Instead, most children will put the whole of their foot on the ground as they step. Heel strike usually develops at around 18 months.)
  • Now, just balancing on your heels, see if you can both shuffle/waddle forwards, backwards or even sideways together! 
  • A great rhyme to recite as you waddle:

"Penguins shuffle. Shuffle to the left, left, left
Penguins shuffle. Shuffle to the right, right, right
Do a little wriggle, do a little hop, 
Shuffle round the iceberg - never want to stop!"

Do the 'Penguin shuffle!' 
  • Put your arms by your side and turn your hands up and outwards to be little penguin wings.
  • Want to make it harder? Carefully place a bean bag or a rolled up pair of socks on your feet, then see if you can waddle in penguin pose - just like a penguin carrying its egg! 

Picking Up Penguin Eggs – with your feet!

Supervise your child closely during this game to prevent then falling backwards. 

Have a go at picking up ‘eggs' - but not with your hands - with your feet! 
  • Sit down with your child and your egg props (bean bags or rolled up socks are ideal) and a shallow tray or basket. 
  • Guide your child to put their hands down on their mat by their sides so they can safely lift their feet off the ground whilst taking weight through their hands. 
  • Show your child how they can pick up the ‘egg’ with their feet and put it in a container. A shallow container will be easier than a deeper one. 
Picking up with your feet!
  • Encourage your child to watch you for a few goes so they get the idea. You might have to help them though - place the ‘egg’  prop between your child’s feet and encourage them to wrap their feet round it so they are holding it between the soles of their feet.
  • Keep practising. Then enjoy the look of triumph on your child’s face as they realise they can use their feet like their hands! 

Why Penguin Yoga Activity is ‘Good for Me’

Penguin pose will help your child to: 

1. Activate their tummy muscles
As your child balances on their heels in penguin pose they will increase the activity in their tummy muscles. This will help their overall posture. 

2. Improve their balance skills
When your child walks on their heels in penguin pose, they have less of their feet on the ground, as a result they will be improving their balance skills.

3. Stretch their calf muscles 
Penguin pose provides your child with an excellent calf muscle stretch. This pose is an ideal, fun activity if your child has a tendency to walk on their tiptoes

4. Improve their co-ordination skills
As your child balances their egg prop on their on their feet they will be honing their eye-foot co-ordination - great for football skills.


5. Activate their foot muscles
As your child picks up their penguin eggs, they will be working their 'intrinsic' foot muscles. These tiny muscles support and control the foot. They are vital for balance and ensuring a good foot position through life.

Love Tatty Bumpkin x 


Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or Are you interested in running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?

It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense:
  • Flexible working around your family life
  • Great job satisfaction
  • Strong financial rewards
Discover more about owning your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html



Monday, February 13, 2017

Tatty Bumpkin's Swan Pose - Stretching tight muscles whilst soothing a busy mind

By Sue Heron - Paediatric Physiotherapist and Programme Coordinator at Tatty Bumpkin.



This week, in our multi-sensory Yoga sessions, Tatty Bumpkin will be flying over hills, seas and castles on the back of a magnificent white swan.



Swan pose is an ideal pose for your child to do:
  • Just before they go to bed
  • After a long car journey 
  • After becoming overexcited or upset

The pose not only lets your child experience a great back stretch it also taps into those sensations which help your child to calm down.

Even if your child is on half term this week, Swan pose could be useful. Supporting your child to have a ‘reboot’ - enabling them move on after a long spell of sitting or after a busy, exciting activity. 

By Cicely Mary Barker 

Tatty Bumpkin's Swan Pose

Ideally, do Swan pose with your child, it will give you a chance to have a gentle stretch and perhaps have a moment of calm too! Remember, if you have issues with your muscles or joints, do check with a health professional to make sure that this pose is appropriate for you.




  • Find a clear space, ideally on a non-slip mat or a clear piece of carpet
  • Start on your hands and knees alongside each other
  • Slowly slide your hands forwards on the mat in front of you, at the same time, rock back to rest on your heels
  • Keep your arms stretched out in front of you. Try to straighten them as much as you can, letting your forearms and palms rest gently on your mat or carpet
  • Lightly rest your forehead on the mat in front of your knees and lay your chest on your thighs. See suggested modifications below if you find this uncomfortable. 
  • Take a few deep breaths together. Encourage your child to feel the movement of their chest rising and falling as they take each breath
  • Rest in swan pose for a few breaths. Encourage your child to imagine they are flying over seas whilst snuggling into their swan's soft feathers
The Birds of Rhiannon
  • If you are comfortable see if you can slide your hands a little further away, gently stretching your backs out into their natural curves
  • Then slowly come up – taking care to protect your back as you do so.

Modifications for Adults

As you do Swan pose with your child, you may find it more comfortable to:
  • Separate your knees a little, keeping your big toes together. If you do this adjustment you will find your chest rests almost between your thighs
  • Use a small cushion to support your head - especially if you find it hard to rest your forehead directly on the floor
  • Place a small cushion between your buttocks and your heels if your find your buttocks do not touch your heels. 

Why Swan Pose is ‘Good for Me’

As your child does Swan pose they will have a chance to:

Gently stretch out their neck, shoulder, arm and back muscles
Swan pose is a great way to stretch out tight muscles – especially the back muscles. For this reason, it is the ideal pose to do after sitting for a long time. Encourage your child to do Swan pose after a long car journey, or after they have been watching TV or playing with their IPAD- to give their back a lovely stretch.


Calm themselves
As your child folds their legs up, stretches out their back and rests their chest on their thighs they will be activating their deep touch and proprioceptive senses. These kinds of sensations have a calming and grounding effect on the body. Making Swan pose the ideal pose to do just before bed.

                     Sleeping Child by Brian Wildsmith

Love Tatty Bumpkin


Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or Are you interested in running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?

It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense.
•       Flexible working around your family life
•       Great job satisfaction
•       Strong financial rewards


Discover more about owning your own Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tatty Bumpkin's Crocodile Pose - A Snappy Way to Activate the Body and Mind Whilst Having Fun!

By Sue Heron – Training Coordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist 


On January 17th this year the British Heart Foundation's National Centre for Physical Activity and Health published a practice briefing. This gives parents and early years’ practitioners practical ideas on how to increase young children's physical activity levels. 

Suggested strategies include:
  • Bringing in chances for physical activity across a 'normal' day. The research showed physical activity is best incorporated into the normal day wherever possible. Aiming to reduce time spent sitting down. Ideas include:
    • Placing your child’s toys on the floor, just out of reach, or in the next room so they have to move to find them.
    • Encouraging your child to do the actions in story book they have recently read
    • Encouraging your child to play with their toys in different positions e.g. lying on their tummy or kneeling up.
  • Using physical activity to encourage all areas of learning and development. For example:
    • Promoting your child’s language skills by using 'positional' words as you move together i.e. ‘over’, ‘down’, ‘up’, or ‘under’ etc
    • Refining counting skills e.g. Crocodile activity below – count your snaps as you do them!
    • Developing social skills by guiding your child to make space others as they do the activities, or to wait their turn as part of the play.
  • Playing with your child. You are vital! If you play activity with your child – you will have a huge impact, not only on their physical skills but across all areas.  Fundamental movement skills are the building blocks that enable children to participate in sports, writing and even academic activities.
  • Providing specific opportunities for physical activity. Such as tummy time, crawling activities or energetic games.




This time last year, Sam Petter, founder of Tatty Bumpkin, explained on Sky News how inspiring children to be more active can be achieved through playful activities which ignite their imagination and nurture the innate love of movement they are born with - setting the foundations for a lifelong awareness of 'how to keep your body healthy'  https://www.facebook.com/tattybumpkin/videos/873853476047035/?theater

Watch Sam Petter, founder of Tatty Bumpkin on Sky News
Increasingly we realise physical activity needs to become ‘a way of life’, for ourselves and our children. Something which is enjoyed - not a chore to do. It shouldn’t be daunting, rather something that can be part of the day.

So this week laugh and have fun with your child rolling and stretching in crocodile pose - maybe doing your own moves to the Tatty Bumpkin crocodile song! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/this-is-the-life/id376347823. 


Tatty Bumpkin's Crocodile Pose

Ideally, try to do Crocodile pose with your child, or encourage brothers and sisters to join in, as: 
  • Children, and definitely those under 3 years, learn new movements best by copying the actions.
  • Research is showing that toddlers and young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch but also by moving with them.
  • Crocodile pose will give you a chance to stretch out your back and upper chest muscles. 
Remember though, if you have issues with your muscles or joints, do check with a health professional to make sure that this pose is appropriate for you. If you know your back is vulnerable be very careful and only do the ‘snapping’ actions on your side! 


How to Tatty Bumpkin's Crocodile Yoga Activity

Snap as a crocodile!
  • Find a space on a carpet or mat where you and your child can safely stretch out and roll as crocodiles and take off your shoes and socks.
  • Lie on your tummies facing each other and gently smile, show off your crocodile teeth! 
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you, keeping your hand palms together  - roll over onto one side.
  • Once on your side, stop and balance in this position - you will be giving both your tummy and your back muscles a good workout! Move your arms apart a little way, keeping elbows straight, then bring the palms of your hands together to ‘Snap’ like a crocodile! Repeat 3 times.
  • Then roll over and do three snaps on the other side!! Repeat the whole game maybe 3 or 4 times.
  • Importantly, to keep backs healthy, finish the game by rocking back on your heels and curling your body forwards – stretching your backs the other way –  be a crocodile snoozing behind a rock! This is an example of ‘counter posing’ and ensures the body, specifically the spine, is stretched in balanced way. Try it it feels lovely! 
'One should follow a bend in one direction with a bend in the opposite direction, so as to always return the body to a state of balance' Swami Kriyananda, 

Hide behind a rock!
If your child is younger, start crocodile pose by showing them how to lie on their side. Then encourage them to join you lying down, so you are facing each other - see picture below. In this position you can gently guide your young child’s arms into a snapping action. Once they have the idea – they can then do the snaps by themselves – copying you. 

Snap facing each other!

To Progress Crocodile Yoga Activity 

Imagine you are a crocodile in the river, catching a fish!  
  • Cut out a ‘fish’ shape out of card or spongy paper and thread a piece of string through one end. Make sure your fish is big enough so it is not a choking hazard for your child and never leave your child unattended with the fish prop
  • As your child does crocodile pose on their tummy, dangle the fish in front of their out-stretched hands and encourage them to reach up and snap at it! See your child can catch the fish between their hands. This great activity helps your child improve their eye-hand co-ordination and it is fun as well! 

Why Crocodile Pose is Good for Your Child

1. Develops body awareness and core muscles for sporting and classroom skills
Crocodile pose gives your child a great opportunity to up-date and refine their body memory. As your child grows, it’s important they build and keep an accurate memory of their body shape, knowing where their body starts and finishes. This mental map tells your child how their head, body, arms, fingers, legs and toes work together. A refined body memory gives a deep inner body confidence - enabling your child to tackle a wide range of tasks in different situations.


Specifically crocodile pose challenges you child to work their core muscles i.e. those in their shoulders, back, tummy and hips. Strengthening and increasing awareness of these muscle groups will improve your child’s sitting posture and help their hand skills. 

2. Increases awareness of the 'body midline' for dressing quickly! 
As your child brings their hands together to ‘snap’ as a crocodile, they will be increasing their awareness of the ‘mid-line’ of their body. As zips and buttons tend to be placed in the middle of clothing – crocodile pose can help your child with their dressing skills. 

Thanks to https://www.clel.org/single-post/2015/01/26/Crossing-the-Midlin

3. Enhances eye –hand coordination - for sporting skills, reading and writing
As you child snaps for the fish prop they will be refining their both their eye-hand co-ordination and their visual tracking skills. Not only are these skills useful for sports they are also key for reading and writing. 

The Tatty Bumpkin Adventure this Week

Remember, for you and your child to gain the full benefit of all the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga and multi-sensory 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 doing Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity sessions as part of their day. 

Our qualified Tatty Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in aspects of child development and Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians. All the Tatty Bumpkin stores are aligned to the Early Years Foundation Stage and the Curriculum for Excellence this means the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop their communication, social and thinking skills.

If your child is going to a Tatty Bumpkin class this week they will go on an adventure with her to find the crocodile in the river. On this adventure your child and will have a chance to: 
  • Physically, develop their balance and co-ordination as they roll as crocodiles, stomp as elephants and tiptoe as giraffes!! 
  • Develop their imagination and thinking skills as they come up with own ideas on how to cross the river safely.
  • Progress their communication skills as they listen to Tatty Bumpkin Crocodile song and tell Tatty Bumpkin how they plan to cross the river. 
  • But, best of all, your child will have fun with others as they snap and smile as crocodiles or make an elephant train altogether! 
Crocodile pose altogether!

Love Tatty Bumpkin x

Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or Are you interested in running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?

It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense.
  • Flexible working around your family life
  • Great job satisfaction
  • Strong financial rewards
Discover more about owning your own Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html




Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tatty Bumpkin is Blowing Feathers to Calm her Mind, Organise her Senses and Activate her Core Muscles!

By Sue Heron Programme Co-ordinator at Tatty Bumpkin and paediatric physiotherapist. 


As I sit writing this blog the wind whistles round the windows and walls. Very appropriate as this week Tatty Bumpkin finds herself in the middle of a blustery, winter's day when a lonesome feather falls to earth on front of her….

Tatty Bumpkin 'Blowing Feathers' Yoga Breath Activity 

Firstly, be safe - supervise young children at all times whilst they are playing with feathers. Feathers can go up noses, into eyes and, of course, end up being chewed or swallowed - always check for sharp ends! If your child is younger try making:
See 'Fun at Home with Kids' 

Description of Feather Activity 

Gather some feathers, felt or real. Use just a few - 2 or 3. Lots of feathers maybe great fun to start with - but your child is likely to their lose focus and become over-exited fairly quickly! Sit down with your child on a mat or on a clear space of carpet and take off your socks and shoes.  
Encourage your child to slow down and truly explore the feathers with ALL their senses:
  • Visual sense - Take time to look closely at the feather – what colour is it? It may have many colours. What shape is it? 
  • Sense of touch - Show your child how they can stroke the feather over different parts of their body: down their arms, over their nose, forehead and cheeks - ask them how it feels? The feather will feel slightly different on your nose or cheeks compared to your arms. How does it feel between your toes?!
  • Body movement senses (proprioception and the vestibular sense) - Bring in movement to your feather exploration to activate your body senses. 
    • Reach out or kneel up, throw the feather in the air, can you catch it?! 
Can you catch your feather?
    • Thread the feather between your toes and see if you can wave it in the air using just your feet! Before you do this activity with your child check they have a clear space behind them then, if they do fall backwards, they won't bump their head. Show your child how they can support themselves safely through their hands as they do this game i.e. guide them to place their hands on the floor, behind or beside them, before they lift their feet up – hopefully your child will automatically start to take weight through their hands!  

  • Oral sense - Place a small container between you both, maybe put a toy bird inside – this is the nest! Encourage your child to blow their feather towards and into the nest. As your child blows their feather they will stimulate their oral sense whilst developing their eye-hand co-ordination and attention skills. Show your child how they can balance the feather on the back of their hand to blow it - this is often easier. 
Blow your feather towards your nest - this requires concentration, breath control and eye-hand co-ordination - but it's fun to do!
  • Hearing sense - Does the feather make a sound as it moves? Does your breath make a sound? You can also do all of these activities to Tatty Bumpkin’s Feather song. This song has been specially written and composed to go with the activity - meaning the rhythm, words and melody encourage your child to engage with the game rather than be distracted by the music  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/this-is-the-life/id376347823. 


The Benefits of Blowing Feathers!

1. Mindfulness and Self-regulation
Children are naturally mindful; they can be completely absorbed by the world - exploring it with all their senses. A child is ‘caught in the moment’, not distracted by the ‘what ifs’ or
‘if onlys’. Look how your child becomes absorbed in the feather - maybe they are fully immersed in trying to thread the feather between their toes. Your child needs the space and time to cultivate this precious natural born mindfulness as it can be quickly lost in the ‘hub bub’ of life. 

Mesmerised by feathers!

Encourage slow, controlled breathing. As your child take deeper breaths to blow the feather, their heart rate will automatically slow and their blood pressure will lower slightly – helping them to calm down and relax.  

Look carefully at your child's tummy as they take their deeper breaths. You will probably notice their tummy moves outwards, as they take a deep breath in and moves inwards, towards their spine, as they breathe out. This diaphragmatic or tummy breathing is the natural breath pattern, free from social pressures ‘to keep the tummy in’! It indicates that your child is using their diaphragm muscle to breathe. Not only is this the most effective form of breathing it also leads to the activation of the core muscle area (see below). This tummy/diaphragmatic breathing pattern will help your child in times of stress and anxiety. With regular practice they will realise how breathing slowly and deeply can help them to self-regulate and calm their body and their mind.

A moment of cal

2. Sensory Processing Skills
Sensory processing is the way we take in, analyse and respond to sensory signals from our bodies the environment. Although these processing skills develop naturally as we mature and explore our world, evidence strongly suggests that early life experiences can also have a big effect on their development. Indeed sensory experiences can re-wire the brain! In their e-book 'Sensory Processing 101' http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/our-book-sensory-processing-101/ the authors (Teachers, OT and PT therapists based in the US) suggest “Thoughtful guided exposure to playful sensory experiences is the best way to promote healthy development of the sensory systems". At Tatty Bumpkin we agree wholeheartedly! 

Blowing feathers is a great way to develop your child’s oral sensory processing i.e. the way they receive, analyse and respond to information from their mouth and jaw. Children with good oral processing skills are able to:
  • Eat a variety of foods – not being overwhelmed (too much) by different textures or tastes. Not only does this mean your child has a healthy, varied diet it can also ensure that they have plenty of chewing and biting experiences just through eating and so do not seek these out in other ways – too much! 
  • Cope with experiences such as tooth brushing or visits to the dentist  
Blowing feathers for sensory processing skills

3. Activation of the Diaphragm and other Core Muscles
As mentioned above your child is likely to be engaging their diaphragm muscle as they naturally tummy breathe. The diaphragm is a vital core muscle in itself and, when working well, will help your child to activate their other core muscle i.e. those in their back, tummy and hips. If your child is learning a new skill e.g. learning to: catch a ball, skip, stand on one leg or ride a bike, guide them to take a few deep abdominal breaths before they start. These breaths will not only help your child to regulate their emotions. to calm themselves and focus, they will also help your child to activate their diaphragm and other core muscles. ‘Breath holding allows your child to compensate and not use the crucial core muscles’ http://theinspiredtreehouse.com/child-development-core-strengthening-for-kids/

Interestingly, our adult breathing pattern can be exactly the opposite to a childs. Our chest rises we take a breath in and our stomach is drawn in as we contract our tummy muscles – but our diaphragm is not engaged. Whilst this might present a pleasing profile in a mirror, it reduces the volume of oxygen available, as we only partially expand our lungs, and results in weaker core stabilisation https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/how-to-activate-your-diaphragm-to-improve-breathing-and-performance

If you are interested in learning how to retrain your breathing pattern for better posture and core stability two clear activities are shown by Blake Bowman at 'Guerrillazen Fitness'   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdGC4Qr3hfM.

Retrain your breathing pattern for better posture and care stability

So give yourself and your child a break - enjoy a few moments of exploration together with the sensory feather activity – it may well be the best thing you did all day!

Thank you to the staff and children at 'Nursery on the Green', Enfield, London for sharing their great Tatty Bumpkin class photos! 

Love Tatty Bumpkin


Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or Are you interested in running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?


It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense.
  • Flexible working around your family life
  • Great job satisfaction
  • Strong financial rewards
Discover more about owning your own Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html

Relaxation in a Tatty Bumpkin Session