Tuesday, February 21, 2017

To Wake Up Little Feet - Pick Up Tatty Bumpkin’s Penguin Pose

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

This week Tatty Bumpkin is off exploring the South Pole learning to how to do ‘Penguin pose’ with her penguin friends!

Penguin pose is a fun way to bring activity into your child’s day. Little movement breaks over the day - all add up. The British Heart Foundation  website has some great ideas see http://www.bhfactive.org.uk/earlyyearsguidelines/index.html

Tatty Bumpkin’s Penguin Yoga Pose 

Try to do Penguin pose with your child, or encourage brothers and sisters to join in. Research shows young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch but also by moving with them.
For further great games to strengthen the bond with your little one see http://pro.psychcentral.com/child-therapist/2014/08/5-attachment-based-activities-to-strengthen-parent-child-relationships/# 

Move, play, have fun, get to know each other better!

Tatty Bumpkin's Penguin  Pose
  • Find a clear space on the carpet or a mat with your child. Make sure you both have a space around you so you don’t waddle into each other!
  • Take off socks and shoes. Your child will greatly benefit from doing penguin pose barefoot. They will be able to move their feet and toes properly and receive accurate sensory information up through their the soles of their feet.
  • Stand up tall together. Show your child how they can rock back onto their heels, so they have their toes, and the balls of their feet, off the ground. This can be quite hard for some children – so be patient. Placing a small beanbag under the front of their foot may help them to get the idea.
    (When they first start to walk, less than fifty per cent of children use a heel strike. Instead, most children will put the whole of their foot on the ground as they step. Heel strike usually develops at around 18 months.)
  • Now, just balancing on your heels, see if you can both shuffle/waddle forwards, backwards or even sideways together! 
  • A great rhyme to recite as you waddle:

"Penguins shuffle. Shuffle to the left, left, left
Penguins shuffle. Shuffle to the right, right, right
Do a little wriggle, do a little hop, 
Shuffle round the iceberg - never want to stop!"

Do the 'Penguin shuffle!' 
  • Put your arms by your side and turn your hands up and outwards to be little penguin wings.
  • Want to make it harder? Carefully place a bean bag or a rolled up pair of socks on your feet, then see if you can waddle in penguin pose - just like a penguin carrying its egg! 

Picking Up Penguin Eggs – with your feet!

Supervise your child closely during this game to prevent then falling backwards. 

Have a go at picking up ‘eggs' - but not with your hands - with your feet! 
  • Sit down with your child and your egg props (bean bags or rolled up socks are ideal) and a shallow tray or basket. 
  • Guide your child to put their hands down on their mat by their sides so they can safely lift their feet off the ground whilst taking weight through their hands. 
  • Show your child how they can pick up the ‘egg’ with their feet and put it in a container. A shallow container will be easier than a deeper one. 
Picking up with your feet!
  • Encourage your child to watch you for a few goes so they get the idea. You might have to help them though - place the ‘egg’  prop between your child’s feet and encourage them to wrap their feet round it so they are holding it between the soles of their feet.
  • Keep practising. Then enjoy the look of triumph on your child’s face as they realise they can use their feet like their hands! 

Why Penguin Yoga Activity is ‘Good for Me’

Penguin pose will help your child to: 

1. Activate their tummy muscles
As your child balances on their heels in penguin pose they will increase the activity in their tummy muscles. This will help their overall posture. 

2. Improve their balance skills
When your child walks on their heels in penguin pose, they have less of their feet on the ground, as a result they will be improving their balance skills.

3. Stretch their calf muscles 
Penguin pose provides your child with an excellent calf muscle stretch. This pose is an ideal, fun activity if your child has a tendency to walk on their tiptoes

4. Improve their co-ordination skills
As your child balances their egg prop on their on their feet they will be honing their eye-foot co-ordination - great for football skills.

5. Activate their foot muscles
As your child picks up their penguin eggs, they will be working their 'intrinsic' foot muscles. These tiny muscles support and control the foot. They are vital for balance and ensuring a good foot position through life.

Love Tatty Bumpkin x 

Would You Like to Train as a Tatty Bumpkin Teacher or Are you interested in running your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise?

It takes hard work, dedication and enthusiasm but the rewards are immense:
  • Flexible working around your family life
  • Great job satisfaction
  • Strong financial rewards
Discover more about owning your own Tatty Bumpkin Franchise at  http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html

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