Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tatty Bumpkin's Rainbow Pose for your child- Encourage them light up the sky in their imagination as they stretch out their body

This week’s Tatty Bumpkin Yoga Activity is Rainbow 

In all the Tatty Bumpkin poses we encourage parents and carers to do the pose along with their child. This is because:

  • Your child will learn a great deal from watching your movements. 
  • Moving with your child is a great way to strengthen the bond between you both. 
  • Finally it gives you a chance to have a break and a stretch!
However, do look after your own body - if anything hurts do stop. If you are not sure whether Fish pose is suitable for you - consult a health professional. 

To Start ...

Firstly find a non-slip mat, or an area of carpet, where you can both do Rainbow pose. Make sure you both have enough room to avoid bumps and knocks. Take off your socks and shoes- it’s far better to do Rainbow pose with bare feet :-).

Pose Pointers..

You and your child can do Rainbow pose in many positions - here are our suggestions: sitting back on your heels, kneeling, standing up or lying down! We will start sitting back on our heels.
Sitting back on heels is easier - kneeling needs more coordination
  • Guide your child to sit back on their heels opposite you.
  • Start by saying “1, 2, 3, rainbow!” to your child. As you say ‘rainbow’, do Rainbow pose so your child can copy your movements i.e.
    • Stretch your arms up above your head so your elbow are straight
    • Bring your palms together and look up at your hands.
    • Then, slowly take your arms, in wide arc, down to your sides, and look straight ahead.
    • To make this pose even more effective and relaxing for yourself – try taking a deep breath in as you stretch your arms above your head and then breathe out as you take your arms down to your sides. 
  • Reverse your arm movements - bring your palms back together above your head, once again encouraging your child to copy.  You are now both back in the starting position - ready to do the pose again. 
  • Repeat Rainbow pose several times so your child has a chance to learn the movement and enjoy doing it with you – Finally give them a hug!

Older children - Want to make it harder? 

  • If your child is older you can sing or say the colours of the rainbow together as you do Rainbow pose lying down – repeating the pose seven times. I always remember the colour order by the phrase “Richard Of York Gained Battle In Vain!”

Older children can do Rainbow pose themselves whilst lying down

  • Then imagine it’s starting to rain... guide your child to stretch their arms out so their hands are above them and then to point their index fingers. 
  • See if your child can bring their pointed index fingers down to touch their nose one at a time - like raindrops! 
  • To make it even harder, encourage your child  to ‘have a go’ at doing the same 'raindrop' movement - only this time with their eyes closed - be careful!!  You can also do this 'raindrop' game sitting up. 

Younger children 

Young children may find Rainbow pose easier to do standing up
  • Younger children may enjoy doing Rainbow pose standing up.  
  • Start sitting back on your heels with your child standing opposite, see picture.  
  • Take your arms out to the side, bring your hands together above your head, then take them back down to your sides - encourage your child to copy you. 
  • Make the activity more fun by making a ‘rainbow ribbon’ for your child to hold and wave. This is easily done by attaching several short, coloured ribbons to a shower ring.  Remember - always use your own common sense about what objects may be dangerous for your baby. Whilst they are playing with the suggested props supervise your baby closely and NEVER leave them unattended, or with another child. Ribbons and streamers over 25 cm long can pose a strangulation risk.

Rainbow Ribbon Ring

Make a ‘ribbon ring’ for your child to wave and shake about! These can be made from a selection of coloured ribbons and a shower curtain ring - see http://blogs.babycenter.com/life_and_home/rainbow-ribbon-rings/ for ideas. Your child will love to hold these above their head and wave them across their body – developing their ‘midline’ skills. See ‘Why it is good for me’ section. 

A rainbow ring! 

Why Rainbow Pose is Good for Your Child

Rainbow pose will give your child the opportunity to:

1. Stretch out and activate their shoulder muscles 
Even young children can spend a great deal of time sitting, this can result in them adopting a poor sitting posture.  Rainbow pose offers your child a great opportunity to carefully stretch out their neck, upper back, shoulder and arm muscles. After doing the pose they will have a clearer idea of how they should be sitting or standing. 

2. Activate their tummy muscles
As your child raises their hands above their chest and takes them back down to their sides they will be gently using their tummy muscles. Active tummy muscles are essential for good posture and more complex physical skills. 

3. Increase their awareness of their ‘midline’
Your child will be taking their hands towards and then away from their ‘midline’. This is the imaginary ‘line’, down our body, which separates our left and right hand sides. Interestingly, it is quite hard for children to move their hands away from their midline and back down to their sides. Activities, like Rainbow pose which encourage children to work in their ‘midline’ area are great for developing pre-writing skills 

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 stores 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 way up in the sky, amongst the clouds. As the wind blows around her, so the clouds change shape … what cloud shape would you be, I wonder? But Tatty Bumpkin is not alone  … there are also some very busy fairies flying around her hanging out their washing! 

This is perhaps one of my favourite Tatty Bumpkin stories. In this story your child will have the chance to: 

1. Improve their awareness of their ‘midline’ - to aid their early writing skills, and to stretch out tight muscles - all as they do Rainbow pose.

2. Use gestures or words to express their thoughts i.e. 

  • Feeling ‘excited’ with Tatty Bumpkin when she finds herself on a cloud!
  • Feeling a bit ‘anxious’ with Tatty Bumpkin when it starts to rain.
  • Feeling ‘amazed’ with Tatty Bumpkin when she sees the fairies.

3. Come up with their own ideas and feel confident to talk about them i.e.
Which cloud shape they are going to be?
Wondering which item of washing the fairies are missing?

4. Become more aware of their breathing pattern, and progress their sense of rhythm, as they blow different coloured butterflies to the Tatty Bumpkin Butterfly song. 

But most important of all - to have fun with their friends as they: change shapes as clouds, fly with the fairies, and make rainbow shapes across the sky. 

Relaxing under our rainbow!
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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