Find your local Tatty or Baby Bumpkin class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html and have a go at Growing Flower pose with your baby, toddler or child at home – see below for information on how to do the pose and for other play ideas with flowers.
The Adventure This Week ..
This week Tatty/Baby Bumpkin find themselves in the city; cars whizz by and planes soar overhead.
The road is being dug up by a big digger and Tatty/Baby Bumpkin see 'Tiny Flower' wobbling on top of a huge mound of earth!
What to do? Can Tatty/Baby Bumpkin rescue the Tiny Flower in time and where can they take her so she can grow up strong and tall?
Come and help Tatty/Baby Bumpkin on their rescue mission and learn more about your amazing body!
In the ‘Tiny Flower’ Story Your Child Will Have the Opportunity To
1. Improve their balance and co-ordination skills as they refine their 'proprioception' (a body sense) in Growing Flower pose.
2. Develop their communication and social skills as they use gestures or words to express their thoughts i.e.
- Feeling ‘worried’ with Tiny Flower as she wobbles on the mound of earth.
- ‘Being brave’ and ‘taking a risk’ with Tatty Bumpkin to rescue Tiny Flower!
- Being determined to ‘keep going’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she climbs up the earth mound towards Tiny Flower.
- Feeling ‘happy’ with Tiny Flower in her new home and ‘proud of themselves’ with Tatty Bumpkin when they ‘do not give up’ on their rescue mission.
- What colour is their flower?
- What shape is their huge mound of earth?!
5. Feel calmer, improve their hand skills and learn about ‘crossing the midline’ of their body as they play with a feather along to the Tatty Bumpkin Feather song.
6. Have fun with their friends as they firstly pretend to be different kinds of cars, planes and diggers and then work together to rescue Tiny Flower!
Growing Flower Pose for Children and Toddlers
|Growing Flower pose with your toddler|
|Your child being a Growing Flower on ther own - remember no hands!|
Description of Pose
If your child is about 4 years old or younger they will be learning new movements by looking at and copying others. Therefore it is best to do Growing Flower pose with your child or toddler so they can see what to do.
- Find a clear space and encourage your toddler or child to stand opposite you.
- Curl up really small on the floor together, like a tiny seed. Say “1,2,3!” then
- Stand up together, slowly stretching your arms out wide and then above your head – just like a growing flower. As you come up to standing encourage your child to say “Up!” with you!
- Keep standing, with your arms open wide, and ask your child the colour of their flower. Maybe help them with their answer by suggesting two colours i.e. “Is your flower red or blue?”
- Then slowly curl back down on the floor together – to be tiny seeds again.
- Repeat the pose a few times. If your child is younger they will love the anticipation of the ‘1, 2, 3’ and ‘knowing what happens next!’
If your child is older, encourage them to try and come up into standing without putting their hands down on the floor. This will require more co-ordination and balance. As a guide the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for physical skills suggests that children aged between 2 – 3 years should be aiming to rise from squatting to standing without using their hands.
Why Growing Flower Pose is Good for Both You and Your Toddler or Child
As you do Growing Flower pose with your toddler or child, you will both have the chance to:
Gently stretch out your chest, shoulder and arm muscles
Growing Flower pose will give you both a chance to stretch out your arm, shoulder and chest muscles. Growing Flower pose is an ideal stretch for your child after they have been in the car seat or pushchair for a while.
Develop the close bond between you both
As you do Growing Flower pose with your child, they will enjoy doing the movements with you and will soon learn to anticipate which movement comes next. As you curl up together as tiny seeds, your child will love the close physical contact with you in this calming position.
As they do Growing Flower pose your toddler or child will have a chance to:
Stimulate and organise their ‘balance senses’
As your toddler or child moves up into standing in Growing Flower pose they will be using and organising the three senses which are crucial for balance in standing i.e.
- Their visual sense. Young children (under the age of 4 years) initially keep their balance in standing by looking. If your child is at the ‘toddling stage’ you will notice that they love to look at you or a toy as they tentatively try to stand or walk. As your child’s sensory organisation matures they will increasingly start to use their two ‘body senses’. See 2 and 3.
- Their proprioceptive sense. This sense tells us where our body is in space helping us to balance and adjust our body position. We have receptors for this sense all over our body – in our muscles and joints. In Growing Flower pose whilst your child is curled up on the floor, they will be using the proprioceptive information gained from the contact of their body on the floor. When they stand up they will be using the proprioceptive information gained from the contact of their feet make with the floor – a much smaller area. Children start to rely more on their proprioceptive sense from about 4 years of age.
- Their vestibular sense. Our vestibular sense tells us where our head is in relation to our body. The receptors for this sense are in our ‘inner ear’. Your child will be using this sense as they try to keep their head upright over their body. Children can rely on this sense to keep their balance from about 7 years of age.
In Growing Flower pose your child will go through a sequence of movements:
- Firstly, they will be in a ‘curled up’ position - with their arms and legs close to their body as a ‘tiny seed’.
- Then they will move to a ‘stretched out standing’ position - as they grow like flowers.
- Finally they will go back to a curled position once again – as they repeat the ‘tiny seed’ position.
Activate their tummy, back, hip and leg muscles
As your child moves from being a ‘tiny seed’ up to flower – they will be strengthening not only their hip and leg muscles but also their tummy and back muscles.
Activate their shoulder and arm muscles
As your child takes their arms out to either side, as a growing flower, they will be activating and strengthening their upper body muscles. If you encourage your toddler to reach out with their arms by themselves they will be strengthening these muscles even more.
Growing Flower Pose for Babies
|Grow as flowers together!|
Description of Pose
N.B. Remember, when you are doing the poses with your baby, never force the movements and keep looking at your baby to make sure they are comfortable. If you feel any resistance, or your baby becomes unsettled, do stop. Once your baby has settled, gently try the pose again, perhaps making clicking sounds or using a toy to distract them. If your baby remains unsettled, do not persist with the pose instead ask your Baby Bumpkin teacher for advice.
Growing Flower Pose for You
This is an adaptation of one of the ‘warm up’ stretches you may have done in the Baby Bumpkin class. Growing Flower pose will give you a chance to stretch your shoulder and chest muscles and your baby will love to see your movements!
- Start by deciding what colour flower you are going to be! Find two hankies, ribbons, clean tea towels or pieces of fabric and hold one in each hand – these are your flower petals and will help your baby to follow your arm movements. Remember - never leave your baby alone with ribbons.
- Find a comfortable place to sit on the floor with your baby lying on their back in front of you. Keep looking and smiling at your baby to give them reassurance.
- Holding your ‘flower petals’, bring your hands together in front of you at shoulder height, keeping your elbows straight.
- Gently spread your arms out to either side, keep your elbows straight and your palms facing upwards. Only stretch back as far as is comfortable.
- Keeping your arms out to the side think about slowly drawing your shoulder blades downwards and together, towards your spine. You should feel the distance between your shoulders and your ears increasing. Hold the stretch for a few seconds.
- Then bring your palms together above your head, keeping your elbows as straight as you can. Finish by bringing your arms back down to your sides.
Growing Flower Pose For Your Baby
Now it is your baby’s go!
- Firstly, gain good eye contact with your baby – this is important as your baby will be able to move their arms better if they can keep their head in the middle.
- Hold your baby’s legs, just below their knees, and gently bend their knees up towards their tummy letting their arms rest by their sides.
- Curl forwards over your baby and imagine you are both tiny seeds in the ground - waiting to grow….
- Then slowly let your baby’s legs go, so they can kick out, sit up tall and stretch out in Growing Flower pose (as above).
- Now encourage your baby to do the same arm movements i.e. Place your index fingers in your baby’s palms so they are encouraged to grasp hold of your fingers and hence feel more in control.
- Then guide your baby’s hands out to either side – to be an ‘open flower’ and above their head – to be a ‘growing flower!’ Remember if your baby is under 5 mths they will not be able to fully straighten their elbows or take their arms right above their head – so do not force this movement. Finish by bringing your baby’s hands back to their middle.
- Repeat the whole pose i.e. Bend your baby’s knees up to their chest and curl up small over your baby. Release your hold (encouraging your baby to reach and kick out with their arms and legs) to spread your arms out and upwards in Growing Flower pose and then guide your baby’s arms outwards and upwards in Growing Flower pose.
- Do 2 - 3 repetitions. As you do each repetition encourage your baby to kick their legs out more and to do more of the arm movement by themselves – the idea is that you both end up reaching up and out in Growing Flower pose together!
Why Growing Flower Activity is Good for Both You and Your Baby
As you do Growing Flower activity with your baby, you will both have a chance to:
Gently stretch out your chest, shoulder and arm muscles
Growing Flower pose will give both you and your baby a chance to stretch out your arm and shoulder muscles plus those across your chest. If done gently and carefully, Growing Flower pose is an ideal stretch for your baby after they have been in the car seat or pushchair for a while.
As your baby does Growing Flower pose they will have a chance to:
Increase their awareness of their whole body especially their ‘middle’ or their midline
In Growing Flower pose, your baby will experience:
- Firstly, a curled position - with their arms and legs close to their body as a ‘tiny seed’.
- Then a 'stretching', 'opening' movement - as they kick their legs out and stretch out and up with their arms as a Growing Flower.
- A curled position once again – as you repeat the ‘tiny seed’ position with them.
Activate their tummy, hip and leg muscles
As your baby pushes out with their legs and feet after being a curled up as a ‘tiny seed’ – they will be strengthening not only their hip and leg muscles but also their tummy muscles.
Activate their shoulder and arm muscles
As your baby moves their arms out to either side, to be a growing flower, they will be activating and strengthening these upper body muscles. If you encourage your baby to reach out more by themselves they will be strengthening these muscles even more.
Refine their visual skills
As you stretch out your arms in Growing Flower pose over your baby, they will have the chance to follow your movements with their eyes.
Develop their close bond with you
As you practise Growing Flower pose several times with your baby, they will enjoy doing the movements with you and will soon learn to anticipate which movement comes next. As you snuggle down with your baby as a tiny seed – they will love the close physical contact with you in this calming position.
Other Games to Play Around Growing Flower Pose
Investigate the Flowers Outside
If your child is younger, take a blanket or mat outside and let your baby or toddler stretch out and enjoy the outside. Lie down with your baby and point out the clouds or the shapes of the tree branches above. Then let them have a wriggle on their tummies – to strengthen their core muscles for a good posture. Never leave your baby unsupervised, but let them look and investigate flowers around them. Dandelions are generally safe for your baby to explore although do not let them chew on the stems. Nasturtium flowers are also mostly edible and are very colourful.
If your child is older they will no doubt be off exploring! Why not make a daisy chain bracelets or necklaces to wear!
Make a ‘Flower Sensory Bottle’
Place a few colourful flower heads in an appropriate sized plastic bottle and fill with water then safely secure the bottle. Your baby can then enjoy watching the flowers move as they shake the bottle. A good description of how to make a fun flower sensory bottle is given at: http://mylittle3andme.co.uk/spring-flower-sensory-bottle-baby-toddler-educational-toy-activity/
Making it Multi-Sensory, Educational & Fun!
In Tatty and Baby 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 the 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 and Baby Bumpkin to the 2012 Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Importantly supporting children to learn ‘how to learn’ not just focusing on what on they learn.
Find your local Tatty Bumpkin class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html