By Sue Heron – Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist
In this blog I:
- Describe how to do the activity with your child or toddler
- Give reasons why this week’s Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity is beneficial for your child or toddler
- Give you some ideas on progressions for the activity and games you can play around the activity.
Boat Pose – Tatty Bumpkin’s Yoga Activity for the Week
|Row across the seas in boat pose!|
Ideally, try to do boat pose with your child as:
- Young children, especially those under 3 years, largely learn new movements by copying the actions.
- Research is showing that toddlers and young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and by communicating with them but also by moving with them.
- Rowing pose will give you a great opportunity to stretch out your lower back and hamstring muscles.
If you have issues with either your back or hips - do check with a health professional first to make sure that this pose is appropriate for you.
with your child opposite you on a non-slip mat or area of carpet and
take off your shoes.
You may find it more comfortable to sit on a flattish cushion.
- Stretch your legs out in front of you and encourage your child to sit in between your legs facing you. If your child is younger you can sit them on your thighs. Remember to keep smiling and talking to your child!
- Gently hold hands or hold each other’s wrists. Holding wrists is often more reassuring and supportive.
- Rock forwards and backwards together – keeping a steady rhythm. You can sing the ‘row, row the boat song as your sway back and forth!
- Once you child or toddler learns the movement - encourage them to ‘lead’ the rocking movements - as they do this they will be refining their balance skills.
- If your child is older - they can work on their balance skills further by rocking side to side by themselves – putting their hands down to each side as they sway.
Why Boat Pose is Good for Your Child
As you do boat pose with your child you will give them a chance to:
1. Gradually develop their ‘postural control’ and balance skills
- From about 8 months of age your toddler and child would have started to learn how to put their hands down to save themselves when they sway side to side and back and forth in sitting. This ‘saving reaction’ is a mature ‘postural reaction’ which we all use to protect ourselves throughout their lives.
- As your child moves back and forth and side to side in boat pose they will be refining their balance skills in sitting – which will help them to sit comfortably on a school chair without arms.
2. Gently stretch their hamstring muscles
- As your child rocks back and forth in boat pose they will be giving the muscles which run up the backs of their thighs a gentle stretch – their hamstrings. These muscles can become tight after sitting for long periods.
3. Activate their tummy and spinal muscles in a coordinated way
- As your child gently rocks back and forth with you in boat pose they will be alternatively activating their tummy and back muscles. These muscle groups have to work together for activities such and sitting and rolling
4. Learn how to calm or alert themselves to help attention skills
- As your child does boat pose they will be stimulating their body senses: their proprioceptive and vestibular senses. This can help to alert, organise and calm their brain.
- If your child is fretful and over anxious – boat pose, if done slowly and rhythmically, can help to calm and ‘organise’ them.
- If your older child is fidgeting and struggling to focus on their homework, doing boat pose for a few minutes may help them to raise their level of alertness so they can regain their attention.
|Row steadily and in a rhythm to 'organise' the brain!|
The Tatty Bumpkin Adventure this Week
- Remember though, 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 this means the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop their communication, social and thinking skills.
Your child and will have a chance to:
- Physically, refine their sense of balance as they rock in boat pose and stand still as statues!
- Progress their communication skills as they say ‘hello’ to the octopus and dance with him to the Tatty Bumpkin octopus song.
- Develop their imagination and thinking skills as they come with ideas on how to build their boat or make their own statue.
- Have fun with friends as they row across the seas, wave at the octopus and build statues!
Thinking of Working for Yourself?
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
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.