Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tatty Bumpkin’s Kid’s Yoga activity for the week is Peacock – great for strengthening tummy muscles and stretching hamstrings!

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

In this blog I:
  • Describe how to do a Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity with your child or toddler 
  • Give you reasons why the Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity is beneficial for your child or toddler 
  • Give you some ideas on progressions for the activity and games you can play around the activity. 

This Week’s Tatty Bumpkin Yoga Activity is Peacock

In all the Tatty Bumpkin poses we encourage parents and carers to do the pose along with their child. This is because children learn a great deal from watching, they also ‘bond’ which other people when they are moving with them, and finally it gives you a chance to have a break and a stretch! Remember if you have any concerns whether you should do peacock pose always consult a health professional - if you feel any pain - do stop.
  • Firstly find a non-slip mat or an area of carpet where you can both do the pose. Make sure you both have enough room around you to avoid bumps and knocks. 
  • Take off your socks and shoes- it’s far better to do rainbow pose with bare feet. Barefoot your child will slip less and will be able to do the pose more accurately. Interestingly we rely on sensory information passed up through the soles of feet to balance.  

Peacock Pose Pointers! 

Baby Peacocks!

Baby Peacock 

  • Lie down on your back with you child and encourage them to copy your movements
  • Bend your knees, but keep your feet flat on the floor 
  • Let your knees move away from each other out to either side, then bring them back together - just like a peacock opening and closing his tail. 

Want to make it harder? Make a bigger peacock tail!  

Lift up your tail and open it wide!
  • Lie on your back with your child - try to keep most of your back on the mat or the carpet and encourage your child to copy you
  • Bend your knees and carefully lift your feet up into the air, then gently straighten your knees as much as you can. Gently tighten your tummy muscles as you do this to support your back – your child will probably do this automatically
  • Now slowly move your feet apart - a little way out to each side –and bring them back to the middle. Repeat a few times 
  • Help your child to think about how the peacock’s tail looks dull when it’s closed but is amazingly beautiful when it’s open. Maybe ask them if they can think of something special about themselves that people cannot see? Maybe being kind, or patient or friendly. 

Younger children - Note to parents 

To begin with, your child may need you to gently guide their knees out to the side and back to the middle - so they can feel the movement. Then see if they can do the pose whilst copying you.  

Helping the peacock open his tail!

Why Peacock Pose is Good for Your Child

Peacock pose will give your child the opportunity to:

1. Stretch their hip muscles
As your child takes their knees out to each side and back to the middle they will be stretching the muscles around their hips. 

2. Stretch their hamstring muscles
If your child does the harder version of peacock pose they will be stretching their ‘hamstring’ muscles. The hamstrings muscles run down the back of the leg, from the back of the pelvic bone down to just below the knee. Often these muscles can get tight in children, especially if they are growing fast and are having to sit for long periods. Tight hamstring muscles could affect your child’s overall sitting position as to relieve the tightness your child may slide their bottom forwards in their chair and this will cause them to slump. 

3. Activate their tummy muscles
As your child lifts their legs in the air they will use their tummy muscles.

4. Develop their imagination and self-confidence
As your child does peacock pose, encourage them to think about the colour of their beautiful feathers. Then encourage your child to think of something about themselves they like -   something as beautiful as a peacock’s tail. Do they like their clever fingers, their wavy hair, their smile, their eyes, their jumpy legs or their kindness to their friends?

The Tatty Bumpkin Multi-sensory Yoga Adventure This Week ..

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. All the Tatty Bumpkin stories are aligned to the Early Years Foundation Stage (England) and  the Curriculum for Excellence (Scotland) this means the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop their communication, social and thinking skills.

This week Tatty Bumpkin finds herself in the rainforest - there, with the animals  -  she helps peacock to celebrate the differences which make us all special. 
In this week’s story your child will have the chance: 

1. To improve their physical skills as they wriggle as snakes, swing on the trees as monkeys, and open their peacock tails.

2. To use gestures or words to express their thoughts: Feeling ‘hot’ with Tatty Bumpkin in the Rainforest, caring for peacock with Tatty Bumpkin, feeling ‘confident’ with peacock as he realise he has a magnificent tail!

3. Come up with their own ideas and feel confident to talk about them - wondering which creature could make that squawking noise? Deciding which shape to wriggle their body into as a snake?

4. Become more aware of their breathing as they blow the Peacock’s feather. 

5. Learn to dance to a rhythm as they move to the Tatty Bumpkin Monkey, Snake or Frog songs. 

6. Most important of all - have fun with their friends as they: creep through the rainforest, swing with the monkeys and jump with the jumping Tree Frog! 

A peacock's feather is full of wonder! 

Find out about your local Tatty Bumpkin class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html. Or, ask your child’s nursery if they are doing Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity sessions as part of their day. 

Love Tatty Bumpkin x

A New Start with Tatty Bumpkin?  

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

Find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html. 

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