Children need regular movement opportunities throughout their day; not only to develop key physical skills but also to help them refocus. Tatty Bumpkin frog pose can provide that great ‘movement break’ for your child!
Frog Pose – Tatty Bumpkin’s Yoga Activity for the Week
- Try to do Frog pose with you child – slowly and carefully - so they can copy you and join on the fun. Do respect your body though - if you know you have back or neck problems always consult a health professional.
- Find a clear place on a non-slip surface (e.g. mat or carpet) - where you can do frog pose without bumping into anything with your head arms or legs.
- Remember to take off socks and shoes – this will enable you and your child to use your feet effectively as you jump.
- You can do Tatty Bumpkin Frog pose along to Tatty Bumpkin Frog Song. This song guides you to do 4 frog jumps in a row and then to take a rest, under the lily pad, before jumping once more! See http://bit.ly/1q2kqVQ.
- Begin frog pose curled up together on the mat or carpet - as if you’re both hiding under lily pads.
|Curl up under your lily pad!|
- Now imagine you’re waking up - move into the kneeling position.
- If your child is older, encourage them to balance on their feet to squat.
- Then 1, 2, 3, … bounce on your toes and leap into the air, taking your arms above your head! That’s jump 1!!
- If your child is 3 years or over, encourage them to do their frog jump without putting their hands on the floor – this is one the key physical skills identified in the Early Years Foundation Stage http://www.foundationyears.org.uk/files/2015/09/4Children_ParentsGuide_Sept_2015v4WEB1.pdf
|Physical skills for children 22 - 36 months|
- If your child is younger see if they can bend and straighten their knees to jump as frogs!
|Jumping as little frogs|
- Come back down into squatting position and then jump up once more – jump 2!
- Do 2 more frog jumps (4 in total) then curl up again on your mats and pretend to hide once more under your lily pads. This curled position will help your child to calm after the excitement of the jumps.
- After spending about 10 secs curled up - repeat your 4 frog jumps before finishing the activity in the curled position.
|Curl up once more under your lily pad!|
Progressions for Frog PoseIf your child is older they may want to ‘have a go’ at doing frog jumps forwards, backwards and sideways!
Benefits of Tatty Bumpkin’s Frog Yoga Activity for Your ChildFrog pose will give your child the opportunity to:
1. Strengthen their ‘core’ muscles
As your child leaps as a frog, taking their arms above their head, they will be strengthening their gluteal (hip), abdominal, spinal and shoulder muscles. Your child needs these muscles to be strong and active so they can improve both their gross (whole body) and fine (hand) movement skills.
2. Strengthen their leg muscles
Jumping will strengthen your child’s quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings, calf, ankle and foot muscles. Your child will be using their own body as a natural weight to ‘work’ these muscles.
3. Develop their foot muscles
As your child does Frog pose they will be stretching and strengthening their foot muscles in many ways:
- Firstly they will be feeling the floor with their feet
- Then they will be using their feet to jump up from the floor
- Finally they will be using their feet to land back down on the floor.
Staying still in the squatting position for a few seconds will challenge your child’s sense of balance. If your child is older encourage them to rock forwards onto the balls of their feet as they prepare to do their frog jump and to try and jump up and down without putting their hands on the floor.
5. Raise and lower their ‘levels of alertness’
Jumping in frog pose will stimulate your child’s vestibular sense. This sense, stimulated by movement of the head, can be thought of as the ‘volume control’ for our bodies.
As your child jumps up and down in frog pose - they will stimulating their vestibular sense -turning up their body’s volume - and hence feel more alert.
As your child curls up under their lily pad with their head still - they will be quietening their vestibular sense - turning down their body’s volume and hence feel calmer.
Early experience of different states of alertness and moving between them will help your child to develop strategies for alerting and calming themselves when they need to.
For further reading on the vestibular system and how it can help your child find that just right level of alertness see http://www.pillerchilddevelopment.com/literature/articles/2010/vestibularInput.php
Love Tatty Bumpkin x
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.
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