Monday, October 26, 2015

Tatty Bumpkin Halloween Ideas!

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

Here are a few ideas to help your child be 'bendy, giggly, clever and strong' this Halloween.

4 Fun Ideas for a Bendy Body

1. Ghost print walk! Make your very own spooky steps around the house! See
Be sure to tape your footprints to the floor to prevent spooky slips!

2. Build your own den.  Build a den this Halloween half term either inside or outside -  see for ideas.

3. Build a little an elf or fairy den! Occupational Therapist Angela Hanscom observes “making fairy teepees is meaningful to the child, is a form of play, and inspires their imagination”

4. Go for a ‘Woodland Walk’. The Woodland Trust lists it’s best autumn woods! See On your walk - collect some autumn leaves for…. see next bit!

3 Tricky Ideas for Clever Fingers

These activity ideas are good for a range of ages.
We hope you enjoy them but remember to keep safe and supervise young ones closely. Some of the activities are not suitable for very young children as they involve small craft pieces which might be swallowed.

1. Awesome Autumn leaves! The Woodland Trust has some great ideas for autumn leaf activities along with some handy pdf downloads See

2. Make a splendid spider’s web. A great ‘spidery’ idea for toddlers and young children promoting their hand skills, eye/hand co-ordination, proprioception and concentration skills not to mention their persistence!

3. Send a secret leaf message. Find a wondrous leaf – write/draw your secret message on it – then leave it for someone special - or make some fantastic leaf art in the woods... 

3 Tasty Ideas to keep you Strong

1. Scary Skeleton!  Vegetables may never seem boring again – to make your own scary skeleton see

2. Spooky ‘Owly’ Snacks. Simple idea to make a snack sensational!

3. ‘Good for you’ Banana Ghosts and Tempting Pumpkin Tangerines. Freaky fruity ideas from

2 Brilliant Books Ideas for a Clever Mind

1. Scaredy Squirrel! After all that activity why not settle down with a good book The ‘Scaredy Squirrel’ books are great fun and all about ‘having a go!’ See

2. Non-scary Halloween book. If Halloween is all just a little too scary for your little one why not try ‘The Bumpy Little Pumpkin’ by M. Cuyler and W. Hillenbrand and choose the pumpkin YOU like best!

And Finally –Six Scary Jokes for a Giggly Halloween

1. What does a ghost do to stay safe in a car?
He puts on his sheet belt.

2. What is the best way to speak to a monster?
 From a long distance away!

3. How do you make a witch itch?
 Take away the W

4. Why didn’t the skeleton go to the ball?
Because he had no BODY to go with. (That is so old!)

5. Why do witches wear name tags?
So they will know which witch is which.

6. Why do people like vampires so much?
Because they’re - FANGtastic!

Love Tatty Bumpkin! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Tatty Bumpkin’s Dog Pose -The 'All-rounder for your Child!' Stretch and strengthen core muscles, activate body senses!

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

Gently stretching and strengthening key muscle groups whilst activating the body senses - Dog pose is a great all-rounder for both you and your child. 

Tatty Bumpkin Dog Yoga activity can provide your child with the ideal ‘movement break’ – whether they are losing focus over homework or struggling to calm to themselves. 

Dog Pose – Tatty Bumpkin’s Yoga Activity for the Week

Stretch into Dog Pose - then see if you can wag your tail!
Try to do dog pose with you child as they will find it much easier to copy you and doing the pose together will support the bonding process between you both. 
However, do respect your body, if you know you have any health issues e.g. back, neck  or wrist issues always take extra care and stop if your feel any pain. For further information on whether this pose is suitable for you always consult a health professional.  
  • Find a clear place on a non-slip surface (e.g. mat or carpet)  where you can do Dog pose with your child without bumps! 
  • Remember to take off socks and shoes – this will enable you and your child to use your feet effectively as you balance in Dog pose. 
  • Start Dog pose by encouraging your child to move onto their hands and knees with you -  in cat pose.

Start in Cat pose
  • Check to make sure your own and your child’s hands are flat on the floor ideally with your fingers spread apart a little.
  • Now gently push up through your hands and feet and lift your hips (bottom) up into the air – into dog pose. You and your child should now just be balancing on your hands and feet. You can show your older child how they can tuck their toes under their feet to help them push up through the floor.
  • Keep your knees bent to start with - this will help you and your child to stretch out your back. Then see if you can straighten your knees one at a time - but be careful not to ‘lock’ them. If your child is hypermobile at the knees and likely to over-extend them - encourage them to imagine they have a little butterfly under their toes – which they must not squash! This will help your child to only press their feet gently into the floor.  
  • Dog pose is a ‘back’ stretch. So if you, or your older child, feels tightness down the back of your legs and knees as you do the pose - bend your knees a little more.
    As you do this you will be able you to lengthen your back further. 
  • Encourage your child to see if they can now look through their legs by putting their head between their upper arms – seeing the world from upside down! 
  • Finally you can bark at each other or even ‘go for a walk’ – moving forwards, backwards and even sideways across the mat, carpet or garden! 
  • If your child is older - encourage them to lift one leg in the air to wag their doggy tails! 
Dogs waving their tails!

Benefits of Tatty Bumpkin’s Dog Yoga Activity for Your Child 

Dog pose will give your child the opportunity to:

1. Strengthen their ‘core’ muscles
Dog pose helps your child to ‘waken up’ and strengthen all their core muscles i.e. their back, tummy, shoulder and hip muscles, but especially their shoulder muscles. Activity in these muscle groups can have a positive impact on your child’s fine motor skills such as writing and dressing. 

2. Stretch and lengthen their back muscles
In dog pose your child will have the chance to gently stretch and lengthen their spinal muscles. Whilst sitting on sofas or chairs or carrying heavy rucksacks it's just so easy to collapse into a the slumped or slightly crooked spinal position - over time this posture can start to feel 'normal' for your child. If your child does dog pose as part of their day they will increase their awareness of what a straight, lengthened spine feels like. 

How a slumped posture may affect your child see
Carrying a bag on one shoulder puts the back into a crooked or misaligned position see
3. Stimulate their senses for sensory organisation and learning.
When your child does Dog pose they will be stimulating several of their senses - their visual sense, their sense of touch (as they feel the floor) and their two body senses i.e. their proprioceptive sense and their vestibular sense. 
Our proprioceptive sense tells us about our body position. It's stimulated when we push and pull with our bodies or lift heavy things. As your child does Dog pose they will stimulate this sense as they lift their body weight from the floor to balance on their hands and feet. Activities which stimulate the proprioceptive sense are usually alerting - but in an organising way! 
Our vestibular sense tells us where our head is in space. Again your child will stimulate this sense as they do Dog pose.  
Doing ‘sensory rich’ activities, which involve the steady stimulation of several senses, will help your child to organise their senses for movement.  This sensory organisation is also fundamental process for learning.  

4. Relax their upper back and neck muscles
After sitting at a school desk or after carrying a heavy rucksack for a period of time children may experience tension in their upper back and neck muscles – Dog pose is a great reliever for this tension. 

Love Tatty Bumpkin x

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. 

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: