Describe how to do the activity with your child or toddler
Give reasons why this week’s 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.
The Tatty Bumpkin Adventure this Week
If your child is going to a Tatty Bumpkin class this week they will go on an adventure with Tatty Bumpkin and her friend cat to see what people do all day. They meet a bus driver, a farmer even some fire fighters! Your child will have a chance to:
Physically, activate and strengthen their shoulder and arm muscles as they do cat pose. It’s important for young children to keep their shoulder and arm muscles active as this will help their writing skills.
Drinking milk with cat!
Progress their communication skills as they say ‘hello’ to the people they meet on the adventure and listen to the rhythms and words of 'Tatty Bumpkin cat song'.
Develop their imagination and thinking skills as they think about being bus drivers, builders, fire fighters and more!
Have fun with others as they stretch out as cats and build houses as builders!
What kind of house would you be?!
Cat Pose – Tatty Bumpkin’s Yoga Activity for the Week
Ideally, try to do Cat pose with your child as:
Children under 3 years, largely learn new movements by copying the actions.
Research is showing that toddlers and young children bond with their parents and ‘key people’ not only through touch and by communicating with them but also by moving with them.
Cat pose will give you a great opportunity to stretch out your back muscles and gently strengthen your tummy muscles.
However if you do have issues with your back do seek advice before doing cat pose and always stop if it starts to hurt.
Make sure both you and your child are on a non-slip mat. This will stop you both from slipping as you do cat pose.
Start on your hands and knees on the mat, facing each other. N.B. Keep your back level and do not let it sink downwards too far as this can cause strains.
If you do not have any back problems, tuck your chin in towards your chest and gently arch your back upwards towards the ceiling – like a cat having a stretch. Try to breathe out and tighten your tummy muscles gently as you do this movement.
Hold this arched position for a few seconds, breathing normally but keeping your tummy muscles tight, then gently bring your back down to the starting position. Remember not over arch your back the other way.
Repeat the action and encourage your child to copy you.
Once you are both in cat pose you can:
Make meowing ‘cat’ sounds and funny faces at each other e.g. be cold cats, or scary cats! Great for early communication skills.
Find a blanket or sheet and stretch it over a two chairs to make a little ‘cat house’. Do cat pose with your young child and crawl in and out of your new home! Be careful not to bump your head!
Older Children - Want to make it Harder?
N.B. These activities are great for older children but:
If you know you have back issues do not attempt them yourself, without advice from a health professional, as they may strain your back.
As you do the movements breathe out and tighten your tummy muscles – this will help you to protect your back. Your child is likely to do this automatically.
Make sure you have a clear space around you both - so that you don’t fall on anything hard if you do lose your balance.
Shaking your ‘cat paws’
Place a favourite soft toy in front of you both.
First show your child what to do I.e. stretch out one arm or ‘paw’ towards the toy to wave ‘hello’ to it or to give it a stroke!
Encourage your child to copy you. As they stretch out their arm towards the toy your child will be improving both their balance and their co-ordination skills. This pattern of movement is similar to writing so can be regarded as a ‘pre-writing’ skill.
Waving your Cat Tails
Put both your hands flat on the floor and slowly lift one leg off the floor to wave your ‘magic cat tail’.
Put your leg back down and lift your other leg in the air – to wave your other magic tail! See picture above.
Once again encourage your child to copy you.
Waving your Cat Paw and Tail!
If your child is about 4 years or over, and you do not have any back issues yourself, you can make Cat pose even harder by lifting your opposite leg and hand off the floor at the same time!
Take it slowly and make sure the space is clear before you try this.
Put your hand and leg back down on the floor and repeat, this time lifting up out your other arm and leg.
As you do these movements you will probably find you have to use your tummy muscles more to keep your balance. This is good!
Why Cat Pose is Good for Your Toddler or Child
As you do cat pose with your toddler or child they will have the chance to refine and develop their crawling skills. Even if your child has been walking for a long time, crawling has many benefits - your child will have a chance to: 1. Strengthen their whole body As your child crawls they will be lifting most of their body weight off the floor using their own muscles. As they push up against gravity they will be strengthening their back, tummy, shoulder, arm, leg, and hand muscles. 2. Strengthen their shoulder and tummy and 'rib cage' muscles – essential for good hand skills As your child crawls they will be strengthening their shoulder and tummy muscles. These two muscle groups work together to stabilise your child’s rib cage. Rib cage stability is important as it provides the support for more complex arm and hand movements such as writing. 3. Develop their hand arches and muscles – once again good for hand and fine manipulation skills Your toddler or young child will put weight through their hands and stretch out their wrist joints as they crawl. This helps them to keep on developing the arches in their hands and their fine hand muscles. 4. Refine their visual skills – excellent for writing and copying skills As your young child crawls round the room, negotiating furniture, they will be using their “distance vision” to look ahead. Occasionally they will be stop to play with a toy, or look at their hands, as they do this they will refocus and use their ‘near vision’. This refocusing from 'distance' to 'near' vision is excellent training for their eye muscles and will help them to use their eyes together – binocular vision. Good binocular vision is essential for reading and writing.
Tatty Bumpkin Classes Or Your Own Business
Remember though, 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 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.
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 this means the sessions not only enhance your child’s physical skills they also develop their communication, social and thinking skills.
Or, maybe, you are thinking of a new career, which gives you: