Children's activities that stimulate learning

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Mindful Movement: On Your Marks! Get Set!! Go!!!!

Keeping with the theme of Movement and Dance for January at the museum, our friend and Yoga Expert Eike Traynor, from Purely Yoga, gives us some gorgeous helpful and active ideas for our little ones at home this month.

eike pic

Another year begins and everyone starts off with the best intentions. We all want to do better and be better. Well let this year be the year. Let's try to keep our resolutions!!

As a yoga teacher, I get to be active everyday and I love it!! My husband is very into cycling. And together we try to instill this in our children.

I have 2 sons, Josh - 4, Tristan - 3. I wanted to get them into sports straight away, and started them swimming at 11 weeks & 7 weeks.  As soon as they were old enough I signed them up to every sport. They play football, go to gymnastics. Horse ridding, Tennis, yoga, swimming and we just tried our hand (or foot!) at skiing and the boys love everything.

Teaching yoga for a living, gives me a wonderful work / life balance. And I try to bring this home. And my husband works nights so together we are very lucky to spend a lot of time together with our kids.

We keep the boys active and busy especially on wet days. When we can't go out and can't make it to Imaginosity, we play games indoors.

I take normal old fashion games and re design them for yoga. Maybe you could try it at home. Here are 3 examples:

 

1. Yoga Twister

I use multicoloured yoga dots but you can get coloured paper and cut the sheets into large circles and place them on the floor, ie: 3x3.

Red, Yellow, Pink

Blue, Green, Orange

Purple. Turquoise, White

 

And then I call out:

'Right hand on red'

'Left hand on blue'

'Right leg on green'

'Left leg on pink'

This teaches them colours, balance, movement, body awareness, and left & right. And most importantly it's great fun.

 

2. Yoga Memory

Again I use the yoga dots (use the coloured circles). I lay them out in an arrangement (choose any way). And assign the colour a yoga pose or action.

Red: Yoga Tree (stand on one leg)

Blue: Mountain pose (stand still)

Yellow: Boat pose (balance on bum)

Green: Half moon (balance with one leg and one hand on the floor.

White: Dancer (take hold of one foot behind your back)

Purple: Forward bend (stand legs straight, fold forwards and touch toes)

And then call out a colour - they stand on the colour and do the action.

This helps with, balance, memory, concentration and it's great fun.

3.  Alphabet Soup

We use all the letters in the alphabet and make a pose to make the shape of the alphabet - i.e.

A - stand with legs apart and hands together overhead.

B - yoga tree (one hand on hip, and one foot resting on the other leg.

C - sitting with legs out and arms out

(Just use your body to make the shape of a letter)

And then I call out a letter and they have to do it (for older kids try getting them to spell words!)

 

There are hundreds of ways to keep active; these are just some of the things we do at home!

Other ideas:

* Actions to nursery rhythms

* Animal kingdom (make or move like an animal)

* Red light, green light - red means stop, green means go and orange means slow / call them out at random.

* Musical chairs

* Yoga Olympics

If you have older children, try partner work - children do 2 poses together - boat!

Or Charades - they have to do actions and we guess the sport.

Exercise is so important for children. It gets them active, builds confidence, improves posture and helps brain development & function.

Team Sports, help build friendship, teaches children about working together, and helps teach empathy.

Working in Partners (brother, sister, play dates), builds trust and opens communication.

Keeping them busy and active, keeps them in great spirits, away from the telly and by 8pm they are out cold!

Eike can be contacted at : www.purely-yoga.com

Mobile: 086 8215774 / eike@purely-yoga.com

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