Monday, July 7, 2014

2014 Term 6 Week 6. This Week Tatty Bumpkin Dances with the Octopus and Helps Make a Birthday Card for Mermaid!

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

In this blog I focus on our weekly Tatty Bumpkin ‘Yoga Activity’, giving a description on how to do the pose or activity with your child at home and describing some of the benefits of the activity for your child.

To find out how to do the pose with your baby – please look out for the ‘Mid-week Baby Bumpkin Blog!’
Please remember though, for your child to gain the full benefit of all the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga and multisensory activities, find out about your local Tatty Bumpkin class at or ask your child’s nursery if they are using the Tatty Bumpkin Kid’s Yoga Activity Programme.  Our qualified Tatty Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in child development and children’s Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians.

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?
In which case - find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at

The Tatty Bumpkin Multisensory Yoga Adventure This Week ..

This week the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga Activity is ‘OCTOPUS’. A great pose to help your child or toddler progress their balance skills whilst having fun with their friends.

On this adventure … Tatty Bumpkin finds herself at the seaside … once again Mermaid is crying – this time it is not because she has lost her jewel – it is because everyone has forgotten her birthday!

Tatty Bumpkin just has to help, and soon she comes up with a great plan .. involving boats, starfish, shells, fishes and, of course, her friend the Octopus!

I wonder if you could help Tatty Bumpkin and her seaside friends make a spectacular card for Mermaid? Find your local class at

Because each Tatty Bumpkin adventure is carefully linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop your child’s communication, social and thinking skills.  
In this week’s story your child will have the chance to:

1. Develop their balance skills as they wave their arms and legs in Octopus and Starfish poses.

2. Develop their ‘crossing midline’ skills, for improved  writing and dressing skills, as they do Mermaid or Merman poses.

3. Use gestures or words to express their thoughts. For example:

  • Feeling ‘excited’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she splashes in rock pools!
  • Feeling ‘a little scared’ with Tatty Bumpkin as she hears a tapping noise on her boat!
  • Feeling ‘proud of their achievement’ with Tatty Bumpkin as they give Mermaid her birthday card!
4. Come up with their own ideas and feel confident to talk about them. For example:
  • Wondering which creature could be tapping on the side of the boat?
  • Deciding how to decorate the Mermaid's birthday card?
5. Learn how to say their name and talk in a simple sentence as they play the 'Tatty Bumpkin Telephone game'.

6. Develop their sense of rhythm, and early counting skills, as they move and count along to the Tatty Bumpkin Octopus song.

7. Most important of all - have fun with their friends as they: run over the ‘hot sand’, row their boats, wave and wriggle in Octopus pose and, of course, make a card for Mermaid!

A beautiful card for Mermaid!

Octopus  Pose

Wavy Octopi!

Description of Pose

There are a number of very good reasons to do pose with your child:
a. Younger children, those under 3-4 years, largely learn new movements by copying the actions.
b. Research is now showing that children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and by communicating with them but also by moving with them.
c. As you do the pose/ activity with your child you give your own body a chance to move and stretch!
  • Gather 8 blue/green streamers or ribbons (of a safe length) and sit facing your child on the floor. Give 4 streamers to your child and keep 4 for yourself.
  • Hold a streamer in either hand and wave them, using big arm movements, at your child. Encourage your child to copy you and wave their streamers/ribbons back at you! Aim for big arm movements! 
  • Then, carefully thread a streamer between your toes on both your feet and encourage your child to copy you. If your child is younger you will need to help them with this. 
  • Show your child how to put their hands on the floor behind their back so they can lean on them to balance on thier bottom. Then encourage your child to lean back on their bottom, and their hands, so they can wave their legs and streamers in the air! If your child is younger take this slowly so they do not fall over backwards!
  • Older children may want to try waving their arms and legs in front of them - at the same time whilst they are sitting on the floor – this requires strong tummy muscles and refined balance skills! 

Make an Giant Octopus Together!

  • To do thsi pose, sit ‘back to back’ with your child on the floor, or encourage your child to sit ‘back to back’ with a friend.
  • Shuffle your bottoms away from each other a little so you are leaning well back against each other.
  • Then, wave your arms in the air, and try to lift your legs off the floor to wave your legs in the air as well – to make one Giant Octopus with 8 tentacles! Once again good tummy muscles and balance skills are needed!
Giant Octopus!

Other Games to Play Around Octopus Pose

‘Octopus’s Garden’

Make a sensory ‘octopus garden’ for your young child to encourage their gross motor skills (sitting, crawling, standing, walking) and their fine motor (hand) skills.

Ideas for your ‘Sensory Octopus Garden’

  • Textured, anti-slip, bath mats – these encourage your toddler or young child to explore with their hands and feet.
  • Blue and green ribbons, for seaweed, with little pots. Young children will love waving these and putting them in and out of the pots.
  • Light blue material which either your child can crawl under, or you can use to drape over them to play peek-a-boo games!
  • Different textured, coloured sea shells which your child can explore. Make sure these are a ‘safe’ size and always supervise your child if they are younger. 
Investigating the pots in the 'Octopus Garden!'
Feeling the 'squidgy bath mat!'

Octopi Disco!

  • Why not do Octopus pose with your child to the Tatty Bumpkin Octopus song, This can be downloaded from ITunes for 69p - . As your child does the actions to this song they will not only be developing their listening skills they will also be progressing their counting skills!
Waving streamers to the Tatty Bumpkin Octopus Song

Why Octopus Pose is Good for Your Child

Octopus pose will give your child the opportunity to:

1. Improve 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.

2. 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 muscles groups, but especially the hamstrings, can get tight if children are growing quickly and sitting for long periods. 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.

3. 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.

4. Develop their Social Skills
If your child does Octopus pose with you, a friend, or a sibling, they will be learning how to become more aware of others.  They will have to learn to ‘trust’ their partner and how to provide them with support.  Once they can do the pose with their partner - they will, of course,  share the joy of achievement!  


So remember:
For a fun, multi-sensory activities which not only encourage your child to move but also enhance their development - find your local class at
or find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at

Love Tatty Bumpkin  x

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