Monday, July 8, 2013

2013 Week 23: Tatty Bumpkin's pose for the Week is OCTOPUS

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

The pose for this week in Tatty Bumpkin classes is OCTOPUS. Well we are in heat wave! So in the session this week your child will go on an adventure with Tatty Bumpkin to the seaside where the sand is hot and the rock pools are just waiting to be splashed in....

Jump in the rock pools - spish, splash!

However all is not well, Mermaid is very sad as she thinks everyone has forgotten her birthday. Will Tatty Bumpkin and her eight legged (armed) friends Spider and Octopus be able to save the day?


What OCTOPUS POSE Looks Like! 



With a friend or your Mummy or Daddy wave your eight octopus tentacles

Description – What to Say to Your Child

Sit back to back on the floor with a friend. Shuffle your bottoms forwards a little so you are leaning back against each other. Wave your arms in the air and then wave your legs – you’re an octopus with 8 tentacles!


Want to make it harder?

Sit back to back with a friend as before. This time, lean right back against each other so you can lift both your legs off the floor and balance on your bottoms.  Hint: You might have to shuffle your bottoms even further away from each other.  Now you can each wave all your arms and legs in the air at the same time! See if you can wave your arms and legs in turn to count out your 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 tentacles!

Note to parents: If your child is younger, first show them the pose to give them the idea of what to do. Then sit with your back against a wall with your child in front of you. Ideally sit in front of a mirror so your child can see their movements. First wave your arms and encourage your child to copy, then lean back against the wall so you can wave your legs in the air. Then encourage your child to lean back against you so they can also wave their legs in the air. 

Look eight tentacles!

Why it is ‘Good For Me’

Octopus pose will give your child the opportunity to:
  • Progress their balance skills: as your child balances in octopus pose they will be refining their ‘postural reactions’ which form part of their mature balance system.
  • Stretch and strengthen their hamstring muscles and thigh (quadricep muscles) – as your child bends and straightens their legs in octopus pose they will be both stretching and strengthening these muscles. The hamstring muscles run down the back of the thigh whilst the quadricep muscles are the powerful muscles at the front of the thigh. Both muscle groups, but especially the hamstrings, can get tight if children are growing quickly and sitting for long periods. As these muscle groups are the most important muscles for movement, if they are strong and supple your child will find running, jumping, walking up and down hills and steps easier and will be able to keep going for longer.
  • Activate their tummy muscles: when your child waves their legs and arms in the air at the same time they will be working their tummy muscles really hard. Encourage your child to keep their arms and legs well forward in front of them, this will help them to find their balance and ‘wake up’ their tummy muscles.
  • Develop their social skills: your child and their friend will be working together in octopus pose. They will have to trust each other that they will give each other support, but once they can do the pose together they will share the joy of achievement.  In addition, as they count their tentacles, they will improve their maths skills and learn about octopuses.

Make it Multi-Sensory, Educational & Fun

In Tatty Bumpkin classes we use unique storylines to make the activities meaningful and to fire the imagination.

All our classes are multi-sensory comprising of:

  • Adapted yoga poses and activities which both stimulate and calm a child's body senses
  • Dedicated songs and rhythms which are relevant to the stories
  • Bespoke hand-woven props to look at and feel. Tatty Bumpkin has its own range of fairly traded animal props to back up the yoga poses and bring the stories to life. Our teachers are supported to use natural props in the classes which are great to feel as opposed to smooth plastic

We have carefully linked each Tatty Bumpkin to the new 2012 Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Importantly supporting children to learn ‘how to learn’ not just focusing on what on they learn.

So … The Adventure This Week  ..

The sun is shining and Tatty Bumpkin is hot so she decides to go to one of her favourite places – the seaside. She packs a picnic and I know she will love to have suggestions for sandwiches.


Will it be a cheese or ham sandwich today?

Once at the sea Tatty Bumpkin enjoys running over the sand and jumping in the rock pools with her friend Spider. Suddenly she hears crying from a nearby pool, it is Mermaid.

Mermaid or Merman swish their tails and brush their hair

Tatty Bumpkin finds out that Mermaid is sad because she thinks everyone has forgotten her birthday. She thinks fast and remembers her friend Octopus, with his eight arms, who is very good at making things. Bravely she sets off across the ocean, with Spider, to look for him

Row your boat over the ocean. If you see an Octopus, don't forget .. we need his help!

Can you imagine how excited Spider is to meet Octopus – they both have eight legs or is it arms? The two friends cannot resist dancing and waving to Tatty Bumpkin’s Octopus song. Then, fully refreshed and inspired, they set about making the most amazing birthday card for Mermaid. 

What would be on your card?

I’m sure everyone would love to ‘have a go’ at moving, wriggling and waving to Tatty Bumpkin's Octopus song and I know everyone will have lots of ideas on where the shells, stars and seaweed shapes should go on the birthday card. 

So come on, put on your swim suit, slap on the sun screen and head off to the beach with Tatty Bumpkin.

Find your local Tatty Bumpkin class at

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