Progressing writing skills doesn't always mean doing more writng!
In fact paediatric occupational and physiotherapists will often suggest whole body activities to help a child refine their hand skills. See end of this post.
Tatty Bumpkin’s Rabbit Yoga ActivityBefore you start
- Find a clear space on the carpet or a mat. Make sure you both have a clear space around you so you are not likely to bump your heads! When young children does this pose they may look down at their feet and hands instead of straight ahead.
- Take off your shoes and socks to prevent slips and to help your child feel the mat with their feet and hands accurately.
- Always seek advice if you are unsure about whether Rabbit pose is suitable for yourself.
- Rabbit pose is hard! If your child is younger (under 3 years) or clearly not enjoying the pose - don't persist. They just might not be quite ready to do the pose yet.
- Squat down on the mat or carpet with your child. Show them how they can balance on their feet with their hands down in front of them – so they can use their hands to balance as well.
- Now the tricky bit! Guide your child to reach forward with their hands first - keeping their feet still.
- With your hands out in front, slowly bring your weight forwards so you’re taking more weight through your shoulders, arms and hands. Encourage your child to copy.
- Now it's time to move your feet! With your weight on your hands, hop both your feet towards your hands, like a bouncing bunny.
- Repeat your Tatty Bumpkin rabbit yoga pose a few times so your child has a chance to refine their hops.
- On their first attempts your child may tend to land on their knees as they hop – instead of their feet. If this is the case show your child the pose again – this time emphasizing how a bunny lands on his back paws!
- Jumping over a river or grass! Your child will probably find rabbit pose easier to do if they have something to look at and jump over.
- So, whilst you are both squatting down, place a narrow scarf, streamer or piece of ribbon on the floor in front of you both.
- Show your child how they can place their hands over the streamer first and then hop their feet over it!
Want to make Rabbit pose harder? See if you and your child can do rabbit pose backwards!
Why Rabbit Yoga Activity is ‘Good for Me’To support writing skills
1. As your child does rabbit pose, they activate their core muscles - their shoulder, tummy, back and hip muscles.
|Tatty Bumpkin's 'Apple Core Man' - Showing the core muscles! Copyright © 2015 Tatty Bumpkin ltd|
- Sit in a balanced, comfortable position instead of slumping too much.
- Use their shoulder muscles to support the weight of their arm.This will allow your child to free their delicate hand muscles for writing. If a child's shoulder muscles tend to be inactive or weak they may try to support their whole arm with their hand muscles and this can lead to a very tight pencil grip and hand ache.
This sequence of:
Taking in sensations > Processing sensations in the brain >To do a specific activity
is powerful way of developing sensory organisation!
When a child is learning to write, good sensory organisation skills will help them to focus on relevant sensory information e.g. their pencil grip and hand movements and to 'filter out’ irrelevant sensory information e.g. a sound outside, a picture hanging on the wall, the feel of their clothing.
Core stability and sensory organisation develop naturally from birth up to at least 7 years of age. These processes are refined by whole body movement
or physical play!
or physical play!
3. As your child takes weight through their hands they will be activating and gently stretching out their hand muscles, preparing them for writing and drawing activities.
Love Tatty Bumpkin x
A New Start with Tatty Bumpkin in 2016?Or, maybe, you are thinking of a new career for 2016, which gives you:
- The opportunity to work with kids
- A great sense of job satisfaction and
- Flexible working to fit around your own family