In this blog I outline how to do a Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity with your toddler or child, so you can do the activity with them at home. At the end of the blog I also outline some of the activity’s benefits for your child.
Please 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 why not ask your child’s nursery if they are using the ‘Tatty Bumpkin Kid’s Activity Programme’. 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.
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?
Tatty Bumpkin’s Rain Yoga Activity for Children and Toddlers
In the classes this week Tatty Bumpkin goes for an adventue in the rain!
Her 'Rain Yoga activity' helps your child to learn about different parts of their body and how to get their fingers moving quickly!
Rain activity also encourages your child to think about going for a play in the rain – feeling raindrops on their nose or jumping in puddles! A recent review by Dr Tim Gill http://rethinkingchildhood.com/ highlights the benefits to children of playing outside so even on the rainy days – playing outside can be both fun and good for you!
Description of The Rain Yoga Activity
There are a number of very good reasons to do Rain Yoga activity with your toddler or child:
- Firstly, children under 3 years, largely learn new movements by copying others – especially their parents and ‘key people’.
- Secondly, current research shows that young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and by communicating with them, but also by moving with them.
- Thirdly, as you do Rain pose, you will give your own body a chance to move and stretch!
If your child is younger (Toddler age)
- Start by making sure your child is looking at you. Then gently, but firmly, tap down different parts of their body with your fingers – just like raindrops!
- To make sure they are taken by surprise, start by tapping your toddler on their hands and feet, move onto their arms and legs and then finally gently tap their middle and face areas.
- Keep checking your toddler to make sure they are enjoying the activity. Some will prefer lighter taps or strokes; some will enjoy a slightly firmer tap. Some will prefer the taps in a quicker rhythm; some will enjoy the taps at a slower pace! Keep looking at their responses to find out which kind of taps they prefer!
- As you tap down your toddler’s body, reassure them by smiling and talking to them e.g. you can make raindrop sounds “splish, splosh!”, sing/say a ‘rainy rhyme’ i.e. “Incy, wincy spider”, or tell them the body part you are tapping - see Raindrop game below.
- As an alternative - try tapping down your toddler’s back whilst they are sitting or lying in front of you. Keep your taps slow and reassuring so they are not taken by surprise!
- Encourage your child to think about raindrops falling on their nose, ears, shoulders etc. and guide them to touch the various parts of their body with their fingertips.
- You can make the game a little harder by imagining the rain is now coming down heavily - and your child has to do 'raindrops' with both hands really quickly!
- See if your child can accurately touch their nose, shoulders, elbows, thighs, knees and feet with one finger from one hand and then with another finger from their other hand.
Games to Play Around Rain Pose
Raindrops Keep Falling on my Toes, Legs, Hands and Nose!! - Toddlers and Younger Children
- You can progress Rain pose by telling your toddler the name of their body part you are tapping e.g. “I am tapping your foot, arm leg etc.” or perhaps “Raindrops are falling on your head, arms, feet!”
- This game not only helps your toddler be more aware of their body, where it ‘starts and finishes’, it also introduces them to the idea that they can use gestures and pointing to communicate – see ‘Why it is Good for Me’ section.
- Start by pointing at/touching a part of your body whilst saying its name e.g. Point to your nose whilst saying “nose”.
- Then point to the same part of your toddler’s body, in this example their nose, whilst saying “nose”.
- You can progress the game by:
- Asking your toddler, “Where’s your nose?” whilst encouraging them to point at their nose. Say “There it is!” when they point at or touch their nose
- Asking your toddler, “Where’s my nose?” whilst encouraging them to point to your nose. Say “There it is!” when they point at or touch your nose. Playing this game in front of a mirror is also good fun!
|Where's my nose?!!|
Listen to The Rain!
- Encourage your young child to ‘drum their fingers’, like heavy rain, on different surfaces. This is great for their fine motor skills and sense of rhythm!
- Your toddler will love to play with a simple drum on the floor – and this activity has many benefits:
- It promotes their postural and balance skills by encouraging them to sit in all sorts of different ways, whilst reaching out in front and round to either side, of their body.
- It develops their fine motor skills as they learn how to grasp the drum stick and move it around in their hands.
- It helps their co-ordination and bimanual skills. At first your toddler will enjoy beating the drum with both their hands doing the same movement at the same time. At around 10 – 12 mths they will learn to ‘separate’ their arm movements so they can do one thing with one hand, whilst doing a different action with the other – this is the start of bimanual hand development and your toddler showing a hand preference. And, of course their ‘eye-hand co-ordination’.
Zac has fun with a drum! Do I hear raindrops?!
Raining at Nightime! - Older ChildrenIf your child would like an extra challenge – see if they can do the activity with their eyes closed! To do this accurately your child will have to use their ‘proprioceptive’ body sense rather than relying on vision.
Why Rain Pose is Good for Your Toddler or Child
Learn Early Communication Skills and ‘The Power of Pointing!’
At approx. 8-9 mths your baby will have made a developmental leap in their communication - they would have learnt how to shift their gaze (attention) between objects and people, this ability is called ‘joint attention’. Using this new found skill your baby or toddler can now:
Match spoken words, used by you and their other carers, to objects.
Gather information on ‘what to do next’. For example, if your young child meets a new person, they may firstly give them a wary look, and then they will look at you for guidance.
‘Ask’ for objects by looking at them and then back at you - using their eyes to point!
With improving body control and hand skills, your toddler will rapidly learn how to use their fingers to point, instead of just their eyes, as this is so much clearer. Indeed, they will soon learn the ‘power of pointing’ to get what they want! This kind of pointing is known as ‘proto-imperative pointing’ and is an important communication milestone as it means your toddler can start to ’tell you things’.
Aged about 14-15mths, your toddler learns another important skill. They start to use pointing, not only ‘to ask for something’, but also ‘to share something’ which interests them with you e.g. you are walking in the park with your toddler, suddenly they point at some ducks. In this case, your toddler does not want the ducks, they just want to share their excitement with you! This kind of pointing, to ‘declare an interest’, is called ‘proto-declarative’ pointing. Picture courtesy of momitforward.com
Rain activity will give your child the opportunity to:
Increase their brain’s awareness of their body & refine their ‘proprioceptive’ sense
As your child takes their fingertip to their nose, especially if they do this with their eyes closed, they will be using one of their ‘body senses’ called ‘proprioception’. Through our proprioceptive sense we know where our connecting body parts are in relation to each other & the effort we’re using to move them. This in turn tells us where our body is in relation to other people & objects. So proprioception helps us to, amongst other things: move around safely without having to constantly look at our hands and feet, judge whether we can get safely through a narrow space & adjust our grip to pick up heavy or fragile objects without dropping or breaking them.
Improve their co-ordination and concentration
When your child does rain activity, moving their right and left hands in quick succession, they will be building up their awareness of their right and left hand sides and practising moving them smoothly together.
Our Tatty Bumpkin ClassesBecause 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 their communication, social and thinking skills. Find your local class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html.
Or, to find out how you could be trained to deliver Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html