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Getting young children active through yoga
|Sue Heron is a Paediatric Physiotherapist and Head of Training at Tatty Bumpkin. Working with Yoga specialists, educationalists and musicians, she has helped develop the Tatty Bumpkin inspired activity programme for babies and young children.|
Babies are born with a strong desire to reach out, move and explore their world - discovering both space and gravity.
- Being active from birth forges new pathways in the brain meaning young children start to feel confident and organised in their movements and their behaviours.
- Being active from birth makes sitting and holding a pen easier when it’s time to do so.
- Being active from birth helps ‘sensory organisation’. A child with good sensory organisation can start to pay attention to useful information and ignore distractions.
- But perhaps most important of all being active from birth is fun!
Over time the joy of moving can be lost a little. Children may feel daunted or lose motivation about exercise and that’s a shame. The trick is to keep movement fun and enjoyable and something which can be done by everyone. At Tatty Bumpkin this is our starting point.
The Best Start in Life manifesto calls for a ‘greater emphasis on the importance of physical activity across the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum’. As a paediatric physiotherapist I love to share aspects of my training and experience with teachers and in turn learn from their expertise on how children learn. I passionately believe we should aim for stronger links between education and health for both the training of new teachers and health professionals and the development of the EYFS. At Tatty Bumpkin we link our sessions to the EYFS so activity is combined with all areas of development and learning.
Tatty Bumpkin runs child and baby classes nationally and is celebrated for their quirky and unique approach to children's development. Inspired by yoga, and developed by paediatric physiotherapists, yoga teachers and educationalists, the fun, story-based classes inspire the children to develop flexibility, enhance creativity, support development and increase wellbeing.
Yoga inspired activities for the day from Tatty Bumpkin
Morning Wake up - Friendly Frog Pose!
|Hiding under the lily pad|
|Leaping into the air to 'reach for the sun'|
If your child is drowsy in the morning frog jumps will help them to become more alert. If your child is wide awake, curling up under a lily pad combined with the frog jumps will help them feel more ‘organised’.
- Curl up on the mat or carpet with your heads tucked in to be sleeping frogs under your lily pads. Do a few yawns just for fun.
- ‘Brrinng!’ That’s your froggy alarm, it’s time to wake up. Move into a squatting position with your feet on the floor and your arms between your knees so you can place your hands on the floor in front. Younger children may just wish to crouch.
- Poke out your tongue a few times to catch delicious flies for breakfast!
- It’s time to go! JUMP UP to ‘reach for the sun’ with your froggy hands. Younger children may just bend and straighten their knees. This is fine as children don’t usually learn to jump from the floor until they are about two years old.
- Do four leaps before curling up again to have a rest.
- Have a go at doing your frog Yoga jumps to Tatty Bumpkin Frog song. Remember to start curled up small - to hide, then to crouch for moment - to catch flies and finally leap in the air along to the words of the song.
For your daytime Clever Cat pose for clever hands and your Drowsy Duck pose to get ready for bed please visit the Tatty Bumpkin website
General advice: Before doing these activities with your child
- check you have space around you to avoid bumps
- find a clean mat or clear area of carpet and take off socks and shoes to avoid slips
- respect your body - check with a health professional if you’re unsure whether the activity is suitable for you right now.
Show your support for The Best Start in Life
Join the Tatty Bumpkin and numerous organisations to support our manifesto calling for politicians to give children The Best Start in Life.
See how you can support the manifesto by visiting www.bhfactive.org.uk/beststart