Top Ten Tips To Get Your Child Fit & Healthy

Number One Tip... Get your child to YogaBugs

Number One Tip… Get your child to YogaBugs

1. Get your child to YogaBugs. YogaBugs is great exercise for all children and fully inclusive for children of all abilities with different classes for various age groups. YogaBugs not only works the body but also develops concentration, self-esteem, literacy and numeracy. YogaBugs uses yoga as a medium to tell stories and inspire children.

2. Eat slowly and in moderation. In a day and age when nearly a quarter of children are obese or overweight, this is really important. Control portion sizes and you will be able to continue to offer a wide variety of food. Also make sure they eat slowly. This will allow their brain the time to realise they are actually full.

3. A minimum of eight hours sleep. Sleep shall help your child keep to the right weight. Sleep will rest their metabolism and prepare it for burning fat the following day.

4. Give them a choice. Turn the television off but then give your child a choice of activities. This leaves them feeling empowered and more inclined to join in the physical activity because they have actively chosen it.

5. Get dancing. Use your love of music to get your child active. Have lounge discos and they will be getting exercise whilst having loads of fun and bonding with you.

6. Involve their friends. Children are far more likely to be active if they are playing with their friends. Just make sure the games consoles are out of reach.

7. Ditch the car. Walking to and from school is not only great for the environment, it makes sure your child has done some physical activity before they have even truly begun their day. It won’t hurt you either.

8. Turn TV commercials into fitness breaks. Nobody really likes it when adverts ruin their favourite show. Invent funny names for simple exercises like squat thrusts, press-ups, and sit-ups, and then do them together till the show comes back on. This will really add up over the course of the day.

9. Get charitable. Exercise for exercise sake can be difficult to motivate yourself for never mind your little ones. Yet, it becomes far easier with a focus. Sign up for a charity fun walk. Children have great empathy and they will love being able to help those less fortunate.

10. Get them in the garden. Love it or hate it there is no doubt that gardening is good physical exercise for everyone. Get you kids involved and not only will they be doing something healthy they will also be learning new skills.

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Children learn through play

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As a parent it is not always easy to engage your children with something that is educational. They can get distracted, bored or simply become unreceptive. When a child no longer wishes to learn, they will however be willing to play. The shrewd approach here is to make sure they are learning by stealth.

First of all when children play they are learning to solve problems. how to interact with others and how to develop the fine and gross motor skills needed to grow and learn. Playing can help children do the following:

  • Develop physical skills. Gross motor skills are developed as a child learns to reach, grasp, crawl, climb and balance. Fine motor skills develop slightly later as children learn to handle small toys.
  • Develop cognitive concepts. Children learn to solve problems (What does this do? Does this puzzle piece fit here?) through play. Children also learn colors, numbers, size and shapes. They have the ability to enhance their memory skills as well as their attention span. Children move on to higher levels of thought as they play in a more stimulating environment.
  • Develop language skills. Language develops as a child plays and interacts with others. This begins with parents playing cooing games with their children and advances to practical levels such as telling make-believe stories and jokes.
  • Develop social skills. Learning to cooperate, negotiate, take turns and play by the rules are all important skills learned in early games. These skills grow as the child plays. As a result, children learn the roles and rules of society.

So what can you do as a parent to encourage learning through play. You are child’s first playmate and you have an important role to play. Interestingly children tend to be more creative when their parent is involved in play. To bring out this creativity simply observe, follow and be creative.

Group environments are really great to help children develop and learn through play. Naturally, structured play will have more benefits than free play. The right after school club or Saturday morning activity will provide this environment for structured play.

YogaBugs does this fantastically. Children are able to imagine themselves as lions or pirates, whilst enjoying physical exercise, developing self-esteem, social interaction and numeracy and literacy skills. This is real learning by stealth.

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My Child Has An Imaginary Friend

The truth about imaginary friends

Did you know that around 65% children from pre-school to age 7 have created an imaginary friend at one time or another. Most imaginary friends are moved on after about 6 months and the majority of children have lost them by the time they start school. Imaginary friends are perhaps unsurprisingly most common amongst eldest and only children.

Imaginary friends can take many forms. Generally speaking however imaginary friends are either objects such as dolls or teddy bears or an invisible imaginary person. A study at the University of Oregon found that where children have an imaginary friend that is personified as a doll or teddy they tend to have a parent like relationship whereas if the imaginary friend is invisible, the relationship is more egalitarian. The study also found that boys tended to only create male imaginary friends where as girls would create both male and female companions.

It can be common for parents to be concerned about the creation of an imaginary friend. After all adults don’t have them! And it is perhaps this lack of understanding from adults that means parental concern grows. Well as you have already read above, first of all it is very normal.

Unstructured time alone is a big factor in children creating imaginary friends. This is why it is most common for only children to engage in this sort of activity. The obvious solution is that the child needs to spend more time in the company of other children. Well there can be no doubt that children interacting with other children is a good thing as it allows them to develop their social interaction skills. But an imaginary friend is good practise for children. Research by Yale University found that children with imaginary friends have richer vocabularies and get along better with their classmates. Therefore it is also unsurprising that they are better able to show empathy as they find it easier to imagine what others are thinking.

Children can create imaginary friends for a variety of reasons. The most basic reason is simply they find it fun. Subconsciously children are also creating them to practice fledgling social skills.  At times a child may create an imaginary friend to provide reassurance at times of stress or change. If a child feels powerless, they may create someone simply to give them control and have someone to boss around.

The study from the University of Oregon discovered that 99% percent of children are aware that their friend is imaginary and not real. Touchingly only one child remained adamant that their friend was real.

An imaginary friend can become a valued part of any family. Parents should relax and enjoy it, and take the opportunity to ask questions about the friend as it will undoubtedly present them with unprecedented access to their child’s inner most thoughts and feelings. Parents just need to be careful that they do not allow the imaginary friend to take over family life, or their child misses real experience because they are too engaged with with their imaginary friend. Most of all parents must make sure that their child is developing relationships with real friends.

Most children will lose their imaginary friends as they start school. These sort of relationships are not socially acceptable and so the child will make the decision to move on  themselves. If a child however, is withdrawing to spend time with their imaginary friend at the expense of real life parents should consider consulting a professional to determine if the child has any underlying fears, concerns or anxieties.

YogaBugs actively encourages imagination. At a YogaBugs class children do not simply do yoga poses they imagine themselves as lions or pirates. Imagination is a truly wonderful thing and every effort should be made to encourage it. At YogaBugs even imaginary friends are welcome.

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Concentration develops over time

Inspiring children since 2006

YogaBugs develops children’s concentration

 

 

My child won’t do as they are told

 At YogaBugs we work with children aged 3-12 years old. However we not only work with the children but also the parents. Our regular contact with parents mean that our instructors often feedback and we notice some interesting trends.

One of the most common trends is that “my child struggles to concentrate.” Sometimes parents are so worried by this perceived problem that they are almost reluctant to let their child participate in a class. They are concerned their child is ‘not ready’ “Sean doesn’t always follow instructions’, or ‘Faye will often just do want she wants and that will ruin the class.’

The concern these parents have for how their child may have a negative impact on the class for others is commendable but at YogaBugs we have great news for them. All children struggle to concentrate. We are able to tell parents ‘Your concerns are totally normal and we have done the research to make sure our classes develop this part of the brain.’

Toddlers and young children’s brains work differently to those of fully grown adults. Amazingly adults can find this a very difficult concept to grasp. The truth is toddlers and young children are so interested and excited in their surroundings that their innate desire to explore the world around them means that sitting in one place for an extended period of time is of little interest to them. Young children are notoriously self-directed, quite simply they have not yet developed their brains to fully understand social norms. A young child is still developing their emotional intelligence and as such they lose the urge to stay involved once their interest has faded.

We love this about young children. At YogaBugs we work with children to help them retain this fascination with the world and we believe it is our job to be entertaining and inspire the child to engage throughout the whole session. Yes young children may struggle to sit and listen for extended periods of time, but YogaBugs engages their imagination and keeps them busy physically.

Developing the ability to concentrate

 Young children are constantly on the move and with boundless energy move quickly from one activity to the next. They have so much energy they are actually hit with an overwhelming urge to move onto something else. Again this is almost incomprehensible to adults.

As a child matures their attention span develops and matures over time.

Passive to active. – When your child was a baby they could only look at and interact with objects directly in their line of sight. As a toddler they then develop the ability to look around and choose objects. As they continue to grow they will begin to make choices. It is then up to the adult to help the child make the right decisions.

Unsystematic to systematic searching. –  A baby will just gaze at objects in a haphazard way and then put the other end in their mouth. As a baby becomes a toddler it will begin to investigate the object systematically and methodically. As they continue to grow, they will begin to make choices on what they search for, becoming more able to discern what is and what is not of interest to them.

Broad to selective. – A baby struggles with filtering out other sources of information. Toddlers however are able to concentrate more selectively. Eventually children are able to multi-task, after all even young children can play a DS and watch television at the same time.

What can parents do to help improve concentration?

 

  • Minimise distractions
  • Avoid games and television that foster short attention spans
  • Actively encourage children to look for things
  • Create a quiet area
  • Keep the house tidy
  • Develop with the child, as a child progresses so must the parent
  • Encourage use of eye contact

 

YogaBugs and Concentration

The ability to concentrate is a key life skill. It is also an important skill in becoming a good footballer. YogaBugs classes are specially designed to improve concentration for young children.

 

Top 10 Health Tips For A Great 2014

Make 2014 your year for a fit and healthy lifestyle

When the clock strikes midnight on December 31st many of us resolve to live healthier better lives.  YogaBugs want to help you this New Year and so here are our Top Ten 10 Tips to a healthy 2014.

1. What Does The Cat Do?

The hit viral song of 2013 was What Does The Fox Say, in 2014 we want you to ask what does the cat do? When a cat wakes up it stretches. Learn to stretch with yoga as soon as you wake up. This will aid circulation, digestion and ease back pain.

2. Let your emotions out.

Having a cry is good for you. So is having a good laugh. Studies from Japan have proven that laughter in particular can boost the immune system and help the body in fighting allergic actions.

3. Eat your most important meal of the day.

If you miss breakfast you can expect to put on weight. The good news is you can eat loads for breakfast as long as it is the right stuff, such as fruit, yoghurt, high fibre cereal or brown toast. Fill yourself up and avoid the desire to snack later in the day.

4. Give your mind a work out.

People who develop their mental agility tend to have lower rates of age related mental decline. Simple things like brushing your teeth with your other hand can make a big difference. This will energise your brain.

5. Judge a food by its cover.

Always read the label in the supermarket. See what the products contain as understanding what is in your food will help you make healthier choices for you and your family.

6. Take stress for a walk.

When you are feeling the pressure, get out and go for a walk. It will clear your mind and give you space to put your thoughts in order. If it is a brisk walk it shall also count as exercise.

7. There is no substitute for exercise.

Quite simply 30 minutes of aerobic activity for 5 days a week will help you burn those calories and look after your heart. Fit it in when you can. Just make sure you do it.

8. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

You may have heard it many times, but in terms of diet your five a day is perhaps the most important thing you can do.

9. Enjoy a sweet treat.

When you finish dinner and need something sweet. Do not despair simply swap high sugar fatty deserts for diet jelly with natural yoghurt.

10. Do it for at least 8 hours a night.

Sleep is really important. It is when your body and brain recharge. You need at least 8 hours a night. Do all you can to make sure this happens.

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