Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tatty Bumpkin’s Yoga activity is Fish Pose – A chance for your child to refine co-ordination skills for those summer sports!

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 Fish

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!

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 fish pose with bare feet - interestingly we rely on sensory information passed up through the soles of feet to balance.  

Pose Pointers! 

  • Lay a strip of, ideally blue, fabric on a non-slip surface – pretend this is the river!  Your piece of fabric should not be too long – just enough for a couple of rolls! 
  • Either encourage your child to lie at one end of the fabric and then to roll down it – like a fish. 
  • Or your child can try rolling with a friend or you - it’s often easier to do this activity in pairs.  Lie down next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, decide which direction to roll in, and then roll down the fabric side by side. 

  • Don’t let encourage your child roll for too long as this can lead to them becoming over-stimulated and finding it difficult to calm back down! 

Progressing Fish Pose 

Try rolling head to head (be careful not to bump heads!). 
  • Lie down with your child so that you are facing one another. Then wriggle a little way away from each other so you can both put your arms above your heads – but keep your finger-tips touching. 
  • Decide which direction you are going to roll in, and then see if you can roll together - keeping your finger-tips touching. Rolling with arms above your head is harder to do! 

Fish Pose for Younger children

If your child is younger they may enjoy rolling down your legs! 
  • Start sitting the floor with your legs out in front of you, and then guide your child to lie across your thighs keeping their arms snug in by their sides and making sure their head is ‘free’. 
  • Rock your child side to side so they get the idea- then gently guide them to roll down your legs and back towards to you. Be careful to protect your back whilst you are doing this activity with your child

Fish pose with your little one! 

Why Fish Pose is Good for your Child

Fish pose will give your child the opportunity to:

1. Refine and stimulate their ‘vestibular’ sense

A word on the ‘Vestibular Sense’ 

Through our vestibular sense we know which way we up we are, where our head is in relation to our body and the ground, whether we are moving or stopping and which direction we are going. The receptors for this sense are found in deep in our ear area – our ‘middle ear’.

Activities which stimulate the vestibular sense - help a child to update and refine a mental picture of their body in their mind.  As they grow, and change their body shape, it’s important that your child builds this mental body map – which tells them how their body parts relate to one another and work together. An accurate body map gives your child a deep inner body confidence - enabling them to tackle a wide range of tasks in different situations

The vestibular sense also influences our levels of alertness - it is like a ‘volume control’ for our body. 
Activities which involve rapid head movements e.g. jumping - strongly stimulate our vestibular system and make us feel more alert. Whilst activities that move our head slowly e.g. rocking in an arm chair -  gently stimulate our vestibular system and make us feel sleepy. 

So as your child does fish pose they will not only be refining their balance skills they will also be alerting themselves. Hence fish pose can make a great ‘movement break’ for you child.

2. Increase their awareness of their ‘mid-line’
As your child rolls in fish pose they will have to cross the ‘mid-line’ of their body again and again. If your child is more aware of their mid-line they will be able to do more complex activities such as dressing quickly or writing more easily. 

3. Strengthen their tummy and spinal muscles
As your child rolls from their back onto their front they will be largely using their tummy muscles, as they move from their tummy onto their back they will be using their spinal muscles more. As they are working these muscles alternatively and in quick succession they will be building up great co-ordination between these two muscle groups which is important for overall stability and balance.

The Tatty Bumpkin Adventure this Week

Remember, 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 Or, ask your child’s nursery if they are doing Tatty Bumpkin Yoga activity sessions as part of their day. 

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. 

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 

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