Forward rolls are so much fun and can be achieved from any age as long at the child is in the right position and they are tall enough.
The right hand and head positions are so important as to protect the child’s neck and shoulder muscles. The main fear with a forward roll from all parents is when the child turns their head just as they roll over and they hurt their neck. I always remember my husband (now franchisee for Tumble Tots Telford) physically whine when our eldest would attempt them on her own at 17 months old. As she was a Tumble Tot from 6 months old, of course she had the perfect position and over she would go.
Now, lets get to the why we do forward rolls and encourage them from an early age.
- it is creating a movement memory, which in effect frees up thinking space.
- it helps with the strength and development of eye-tracking, which we need for reading and writing.
- encouraging bilateral control. Now this is making both sides of the body to work together
- Core strength which is essential for learning to crawl, sit, ride and bike =, swim etc
- Builds loads of confidence and self- assurance
- It takes perseverance to master them and this is what we want children to master in spades. Children love to achieve things on their own and this skill is not only easy but really good for them as well and loads and loads of fun!!
When your child turns 2 years old, we go into smaller groups of 1:6 leader to child ratio. The children are placed onto a station either a climbing, agility, balance or co-ordination. They play for roughly 7 minutes and at the end of this time a horn goes off and all the children get to their train spots, where they make the most beautiful trains?!?
I say ?!? because they can sometimes be amazing with all children on them and sometimes you get absolutely nobody on it. Both are fine with us.
There are a few reasons why we make trains:
1. It is a safe and organised way to get around the room
2. It helps with confidence
3. Helps a child use their imagination
4. Helps with social awareness
5. Encourages team work
6. Builds friendships
7. They are FUN, FUN, FUN!
When your child turns 3 and works on their own the trains become more than the above. They become one of the most important parts of the class. They start to get to the train spot last but insist on standing at the front of the train. This is great to see as it shows the confidence in the child, as well as the fact that they are comfortable enough with us to try it on. Like they would with an Auntie or Uncle. And like that family member we do not let them get away with it either.
We don’t talk about trains with Gymbobs as they just tend to line up and move on mass. They are so well versed on the Gymbobs programme that even when we start to dance around the room and mess about (which happens quite a lot in Gymbobs) they still find their way to where they should be and never go wrong. Just by making trains Tumble Tots is working on waiting, sharing, taking turns, building friendships and using their imagination. These trains make up 4 minutes of our class time, so what can you expect from the other 41 minutes? Well …..
It is one thing to help a child achieve and become confident but at Tumble Tots we don’t just stop there. We have many adult helpers that require our guidance too. This is what I think keeps bringing sibling back after sibling.
For my own detriment I am a say what you see type of girl with little or no filter. However, this really helps with parent and guardian relationships. The saddest part of my job is saying goodbye to the children, when they leave us knowing that they are capable, they have the best movement memory and the belief in themselves to have a go at everything that is put to them, I am happy (very much bitter sweet).
However, when you have convinced a parent to let go of their child so they can climb themselves, that a forward roll is not only fun, but so good for their child and that climbing 6 foot in the air is the right thing for your child to do is reward enough. When that parent lets their child leave them and come and play with us on their own, well that puts the trust from that parent in us even more.
When parents leave, I thank them for their support and their belief in my team and in our programme. I don’t say this lightly as it takes so much to do that. When my husband had to leave our eldest, he couldn’t watch and had to wait outside the building. I was placed into the co-ordination room where I could not interfere either.
Last year was the saddest as we had a week of goodbyes for nursery and school, but all week the children were crying and saying that they didn’t want to leave, which started us all off, parents too. It is so hard, and I tell them to remember everything but mainly remember us and all the fun and crazy things we get up to, like pushing them across the room on a skateboard or helping them to walk the tight rope. We receive some wonderful gifts and they are always appreciated. It shows how much we mean to adults, not just the children.
Last term a very talented mum drew us using the words that we use everyday in classes. This is what I am talking about, this is the Tumble Tots family that she came into and felt so happy in she went to this extent to thank us. Tumble Tots is my second family, it consumes me as much as my own crazy lot do. I eat, drink, think TT and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you to all that make our days so special and happy, thank you for making my job look easy and stress free, thank you for all existing and retired parents for your support and appreciation, thank you to all my Tumble Tots and Gymbobs for making me laugh daily and thank you to my wonderful team who make every day different and bring my feet back on the ground when my plans go a little bit more Ninja warrior esque.
So, another special blog with regards to confidence and this one is more of the underpinning skills that we help develop. It has taken me a few weeks to put this together as the little girl featured has finally reached 7 years old and is being forced into retirement (not mine, her mums or even her own choice by any means).
Confidence comes with trust from all parties, her Grandparents would bring her every Monday and without fail she would dance her heart out. As soon as the equipment came into play, little E would start to shake. We discussed all sorts of things from glitter to Peppa Pig to Grandma’s cooking to help little E climb, the art of distraction worked beautifully.
By the age of 3 little E was climbing (not confidently but less hesitantly) and we were ready physically for the big class. Little E sobbed her heart out at the thought of Mummy leaving the room and Mummy was so strong and trusted us completely that as soon as the circle time was over, she left little E with us. Of course, she did it all and was amazing. The problem we had was to convince her she was more than capable herself.
At the age of 4 little E was promoted to the blue t shirt which she wore with utter pride as all that have been through the programme do. The elusive Gymbobs, the best of the best, the big class. For us it is like going into University, channelling all that is learnt and pushing them 500 times more than we have ever done. Asking almost impossible skills that even the bobs sometimes look at us and go “really?”. Usual answer from any of us “yes, off you go!”
Little E held her own and soon made a best friend in Edward (my husband and now franchisee of Telford). These 2 together were Trouble. Edward once sending little E across the room to smack me on the bottom and run back when I was messing around and not really working very hard. When I looked around and yes it was Little E running back and high fiving Edward, I was so proud. Yes, they were trouble and I had to start to look out for little E and Edward and see what they were up to. It was never anything more than telling jokes or cheating in the relay races.
This is the confidence that I love to see, the push in front to be the train driver and the fight to be the leader of the race, this confidence is never acknowledged. When you see a child jump for the first time and then move it to a massive leap off equipment it is obvious. When you have worked for 6 years with a child and you know she is still well-behaved and shy but can show the cheeky side that her parents see, you know your job is done.
I have not been able to cope with little E leaving and I cry every time I think about it. We are not just losing a wonderful child who is kind, clever and beautifully behaved but we are also losing the Grandparents who battled in the early days and the Mummy and Daddy that put all their trust in us and our programme. I would not be here in this job if it was not for such amazing families.
Good luck to my wonderful, now not so little, but massive-long-legged E.
Tonight, many parents find out where their child has a place in which school and so I thought it might be time to restart my blog with how to prepare your child for a confident school start.
Did you know that a child’s brain is adult sized by the age of 3? It is already 80% full and the spare 20% is known as thinking space. This thinking space can be used to negotiate new and exciting ideas such as learning to zip their coat or learning new phonic sounds and CVC words (consonant vowel consonant e.g. cat, run van). However, if they are trying to think of new concepts that they could have learnt earlier in life this will free up thinking space, therefore giving your child a better opportunity to learn quicker.
So at Tumble Tots we heartily encourage movement memory not only physically but by the action songs and rhymes that we sing. Movement memory is teaching your body to repeat an action without thinking about it. It is easy to explain if you think of driving a car. This is the most difficult action a person must learn and then instantly forget how to do. You need to be checking 3 mirrors, while remembering what gear you are in and should be in, as well as your blind spots and what is in front of you, and the lyrics to The Greatest Showman and which lane you should be etc. When you have mastered it and passed your test you almost forget you are doing everything and sometimes even forget parts of the journey taken.
The same concept is for children. If a child wants to learn to forward roll and they are teaching that in P.E. your child will not remember anything else taught to them that day, sometimes until the skill is mastered. If your child can forward roll without even giving it a second thought, they will retain more of the lessons from the day.
The same can be said for singing nursery rhymes. The sad part of the world our children live in they are raised on pop culture and singing nursery rhymes just is not as important. I have blogged about nursery rhymes last year (so please scroll down if you want to read why they are so essential for so many things) but for the this blog I shall just say that in Nursery and Reception nursery rhymes are still sung and children that don’t know them are instantly at a disadvantage.
Another way to prepare your child for school is to start helping them to put their own shoes and socks on, zip their own coat up and have responsibility for their own belongings. At Tumble Tots if a 3-year-old comes into the class still with their socks on (as sometimes they forget which is no problem at all), we do not take them off for them and we make them take them to their helper and come back themselves. Such a basic responsibility but makes the Tumble Tot feel that they can be more accountable for their actions.
We actively encourage independent play, where a child plays without a parent from the age of 3 as this really encourages confidence and self-awareness. A Tumble Tot must balance and jump and climb on their own under adult supervision that is not a parent or guardian. Putting trust into non-parental adults and themselves.
It is never to late to join the Tumble Tots family but the earlier you do the more your child can gain from our programme that really does grow with your child, challenging them and making them the superb person that they can be.
So a small video has prompted this week’s blog and a true success story which has really only begun. We have many, many children that lack confidence and the whole world worries them. We also have parents and Grandparents like this. That is absolutely fine, I am only the confident loud person I am now from being the Tumble Tots lady for 22 years and had you met me when I was 16, you would not recognise me. Let’s put it this way, I have found a place to channel the crazy, stubborn and mad Charlotte.
I have this little superstar that for this purpose he will be named ‘Freddo’. When he and his parents came into their first class on a Saturday they all looked like deer in headlights when they saw how high we were asking Freddo to climb, no more so than Freddo himself.
After the first 2 weeks of not climbing anything I took him into the class on his own and we played a game and he was up the A’Frames as tall as Daddy (6 foot in the air) and we have not stopped since. Freddo was really struggling with forward rolls, and his parents knowing how important rolls are (moves the water in the middle ear and encourages that part of the brain and helps with balance) they really helped him to achieve them.
By telling Freddo he was amazing and praising everything he did, no matter how small the achievement they had his back and he knew we were all in his corner.
What we really struggled on was jumping as Freddo liked to step jump rather than jump with both feet together. Freddo could jump with ease on the floor and trampete but as soon as you made it higher he really struggled. This is why I squeal with delight in the video btw.
As Freddo turned 3 years old we still were not quite confident to leave Mummy and Daddy’s side so we left it a term and in January he came into the class all on his own. Mum brought him first and as he was s comfortable with us, he just waved and sat in the circle time and chatted to Kelly about Christmas. Mum left him to go and wait in the waiting room with a few proud tears. I knew there would be more to come.
Freddo had a few emotional wobbles and kept looking up at the window for a thumbs up and wave and it was always there from mum and Dad. This was enough to get him through that first unsure class, where the Tumble Tots leaders are not going to hold hands all the way around the class and they are going to leave me on the balancing bars on my own.
Well this week Daddy came for the first time to watch, with great anticipation and trepidation. Freddo, once again proved his worth, got stuck in and did everything, even calling his Dad in to see him jump backwards into a puddle.
The agility station was all about jumping over gaps and building up to the sticker time jump. I had left Freddo to the end and I wanted him jumping further than he had in the class. During the class time, I refused to help him and said “what is the worst that can happen, you land on the block! So go on, have a go”. And he did and he jumped from one block to another and then jumped into the hole.
So when sticker time came around, he was made to jump even further, that is the sheer joy in his face at the end. He had done it and he had achieved and he knew he was amazing. We jump over gaps for this reason only, to build the confidence in children, to make them aware about their own bodies and pushing their bodies past the limits that they put on themselves. Try it yourself next time you are out and about with your little one, you have a go at what they are doing. You never know you may still be able to leapfrog the post or even the letter box! If you miss though please make sure you get a video for me to see lol!
Why is Gymbobs so important to our Tumble Tots?
As your child progresses through the classes we acknowledge the development as ‘the big class’ but the real ‘big class’ is the Gymbobs.
Gymbobs is from school age to 7 years and the places are like gold in Wolverhampton. They outgrow the yellow t shirt and get the blue one, the exclusive blue t shirt!!! To anyone outside the world of Tumble Tots this seems a bit mad, but to a child who is still wearing a yellow one it is a big, no a huge deal.
The sense of belonging is so immense at this age that they wear their t shirts religiously, they come in confident, cheeky and bit too sure of themselves and I have always described our leadership of that class as more crowd control than anything else. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The warm ups are to help children warm up muscles to climb and swing and roll with but also we play games that help with brain development, we even have games we have renamed – how to confuse a Gymbob. With the Bobs been able to chat more than me we eventually get down to playing games and warm ups. Followed by trying to sort the children into groups, which is no mean feat.
Each Gymbob will be instructed on what is out for them on their enormous agility station and climbing and balance stations and coordination is really based on skills that they will require for their sticker times (catching with 1 hand etc)
After they have completed everything we have our famous relay races. They are loud, tricky and great fun and the Bobs go berserk at the end when they have to shout “Gymbobs” when their team is finished. We don’t have winners and losers yet we instil the competitiveness of winning is a good feeling but you need to know and learn how to lose.
Then for their sticker time they have to earn it, they have to put whatever skill they have gained that week into a challenge to gain their sticker. This sticker is no longer the most important part of the class, the belonging, the personal achievements, the desire to be up there with the best Gymbob is.
Every year we take the Gymbobs out for the day in the August holiday and push them out of their boundaries. Last year XtremeBobs went to Go Ape and they smashed it, leaving some children who were on there with them (and a lot older) to shame. Showing their lack of fear, pure determination and that drive in themselves to achieve. It was amazing to see these little children doing something so brilliant and demonstrating all their Gymbob skills they had picked up in the class. This year we are going rock climbing!
This is why when they start Gymbobs it is very rare they leave us and complete the 3 years of the programme. We have so much demand for this class that the Saturday classes are full with waiting lists. So, we have added a new Gymbobs class opening Monday 25th February at the Penn United Reformed Church, Penn Road, WV4 5QF at 3.45 to 4.45pm.
There are only 16 places and some are already taken. This is why people talk about Tumble Tots and why we have the tag line skills for life and why the classes have been going for 40 years.
Guess the famous Tumble Tot
Yes Andy Murray!!
Coco Chanel famously said
“A girl can be two things. Who and what she wants.”
With the campaign #thisgirlcan and last year being such an important year for women celebrating 100 years of the right to vote, I feel it is time to bring it to a close in 2019.
Firstly, lets change it from #thisgirlcan to #thisTumbleTotcan and I can give you an excellent reason for this as my second point is that Tumble Tots is celebrtaing it’s 40th birthday.
Boy or girl, we believe you can be whatever you want to be. We shall supoprt you, guide you and make you the best you can possibly be.
Recently we asked all the children what they were going to be when they were older and we had a lot of answers ranging from a Daddy, a doctor who washes cars to a spoon. With all the children we have had through our doors over the past 22 years in Wolverhampton, Cannock and Stafford we have had some amazing achievments and all will be highlighted throughout the year via our social media, so you have to follow us to see if you know them.
These children that have been and gone, handed over their thank you cards and letters and I kept them all and looking through I found this quote.
“You are truly an inspirational teacher and friend and I shall always remember how you have touched our lives at such an important time for our family”
I have been getting in touch with retired Tumble Tots and it has been lovely to hear from so many of you, and you know when I grow up I want to still be a Tumble Tots lady!
How to know which class really is best for your child?
Every child is an individual and should be treated as such. With so many groups and classes that claim to cover it all, how can you choose?
Well let’s break it down into what your child needs for their full emotional, social and physical development and then we can see through accredited services such as Children’s Activities Association (CAA).
Before we look into this and if you are reading this and not a Tumble Tot then obviously this will lean towards TT, however, as soon as you start to read the blog you will see why.
Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. The four themes of the EYFS underpin all the guidance. This blog shows how these themes, and the principles that inform them, work together for children in the EYFS. I’m a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. I’m a great place for you to tell your story and let your visitors know a little more about you.
Not only with peers while negotiating another for train driver but also with the leaders within the class is essential.
Self-confidence and self-awareness
Encouraging children to challenge themselves and achieve builds confidence. We also give oodles of praise and tell the children regularly we are proud of them, making them understand self-worth
Managing feelings and behaviour
Very difficult for some children but with the right guidance and understanding they learn how to control their emotions
Moving and handling
This you can see by looking into our room without the children showing what they can do. Children are more aware of their bodies and how to move them in a controlled manner
Health and self care
By encouraging physical activity at an early age encourages healthy living as an adult
Listening and attention
Such a hard task especially for a 2 year old but ours sit and listen to instructions and pay attention when we call their names and ask then to complete individual tasks
We offer the children a huge selection of equipment which can be used in 100’s of ways they need to be able to understand what we ask of them. They need to be able to understand ‘Over’ and ‘Under’ as just an example
Lots of singing and rhymes as well as never stopping a child from talking helps with this development. We also widen their vocabulary with words such as ‘commando crawl’
This is essential and the more sounds and words they hear as a child can help them read easily. What we develop is eye tracking and implementing the movement of the eyes tracking left to right ready for reading.
By introducing fine motor skills from 6 months old the muscles in the fingers and wrists become stronger and helps with holding a pencil
We use dice and numbers on targets to help with counting and number recognition
Shape, space and measure
Lots of shape sorting with our target boards and boxes.
People and communities
Understanding about other people’s beliefs and celebrations we do as and when they appear on the calendar with regards to Christmas, Eid, Diwalli etc
We travel the world with special weeks, last year alone we went to the Caribbean on a pirate ship and into deepest darkest Peruvian jungle
I am proud to say the Tumble Tots does not include technology and the emphasis is on physically playing the good old fashioned way
We love to explore in our classes and is strongly encouraged. There is no right way to attack our equipment and children are regularly experimenting how to monkey ladder differently to the next Tumble Tot
This is covered when we go on adventures, such as circus skills, fire fighters and builders
Don’t just take my word for it, you need to research every class that you could potentially join. Make sure you look at their website, social media and ask the people running these classes for advice. We are all here to answer any questions you need answering.
Belonging is so important to being happy. Everyone wants be involved in everything and having acceptance of others seems to make sense to us, a pack mentality if you like. One reason we wear Tumble Tots t shirts and all staff wear a uniform is to show we belong to Tumble Tots and we are a club.
Gaining knowledge of how to work as a team is another skill that has to be learnt. It stems from the magic words that as parents we say all the time ‘SHARE’. Such a difficult skill especially if you want that toy and life just is not fair when you are 2 years old and the realisation of sharing is just wrong. Which is why there are many, many tantrums and tears at this stage. Let’s be honest, if you didn’t have a child with you, you wouldn’t walk around M & S sharing your phone with anyone else, you would sit quietly and enjoy it on your own, so this is the same logic for a child. The only way to get through this stage is through deep breathing and walk away from them, taking the wind out of their sails, no reaction means no attention.
Anyway, I have always said that my staff are a team, they are friends and they are amazing. We all have our different personalities and nicknames and yet we all get on so well. We are friends to start with and that helps. Watching my team work together, supporting each other and laughing together is a joy.
This spreads down to the children, so when we play games that inspire team work the Tumble Tots and Gymbobs can see from example that a strong team is encouraging them. We are all about belonging at Tumble Tots, we will welcome you in no matter what, who and where you are from. We are here to support as many children as we can in our area, to give them the best start in life, to help with their emotional, social and physical development and to be the best person they possibly can be.
How to reserve your place at Tumble Tots
As you have all booked in for your trial class through the website it is easy for you to renew your payments.
As you all know I am not a fan of extra charges, nothing I can do about your trial class as you have to book that to get on the system but after this you should never have to pay a charge again, this is why we don’t have a card machine in our classes.
You will receive a bill that looks like this the penultimate week of the block (in this case 15th October)
Tumble Tots Wolverhampton and Stafford classes from Monday 3rd September to Sunday 4th November (Classes closed 29 October to Sunday 4th November for half term)
Week commencing Monday 3rd September
Week commencing Monday 10th September
Week commencing Monday 17th September
Week commencing Monday 24th September
Week commencing Monday 1st October
Week commencing Monday 8th October
Week commencing Monday 15th October
Week commencing Monday 22nd October
8 classes @ £6.00 = £48.00 Cheques made payable to C. Cromie Payment for the term is paid in full to reserve your place.
It is payday on the following week (22nd October) to reserve your place in the next block. Once you have paid via bank transfer, cash or cheque your account on the website will be cleared manually by me and you should receive a receipt via email.
Renewing your membership is even easier you can pay via the website without a platform charge, via bank transfer or on the desk with cash or cheque. You will receive an email from Head Office with regards to your renewal date and we will hand you a leaflet to remind you too.
There you all go, clear as mud.
Mental Health Awareness Day!!
World Mental Health day today and I have left this week’s blog until now as I find this is such an important issue and I feel this is the best time to explain my own illness and how I got through it. If this helps anyone else then job done, if it makes you aware that you are not alone, then job done. If you can spot signs in your friends and help them, then job done.
8 years ago I was pregnant with my first Heidi and I had the most horrific pregnancy with a permanent migraine and sickness throughout the whole 9 months. After going 14 days over I was finally induced and 19 hours later (now 15 days over!), one epidural and a back to back ventouse birth I had my lovely 9lb12oz baby. She slept, breastfed beautifully and was no problem at all, perfect to me.
I was happy with 1 lovely daughter but was very aware with my Dad’s words ringing in my ear “Do you know what it is like to make sandcastles on the beach on your own?” and Ed, my other half, hoping for another and always wanted 2 children. So we got pregnant again and there would be just under 3 years between the children, a lovely age to play sandcastle together. T
he pregnancy started again the same, migraines and sickness and I instantly started to resent this second pregnancy. As we reached the third trimester I had hid it really well and was not at all happy about this child (now knowing she was a girl, I still refused to call her, her). In my eyes, she had already ruined my life, was messing up my career and was making me ill. She was going to ruin the relationship with my Heidi and my heart was not big enough to love her as much as Heidi. The guilt was already playing a large part and my mental state was in turmoil. To top it off her due date was the 15th December and if I went over 10 days she was now going to ruin Christmas!!
I stopped work on the Saturday 30th November allowing me a minimum of 15 days maternity cover, enough time to get my tree up and start to wash clothes ready for her to arrive. However, rather than waiting I took control and went to triage on the 4th December and asked for a sweep and after a cheeky Nandos we were off. Now this is where you need to be mentally strong and I wasn’t so I went into slow labour and 2 days later I woke in the middle of the night bleeding. 45 minutes later Pippa was born.
I showed no interest in her, was not bothered by her. When the nurses came around she was always feeding and the latch was instantly wrong but I gave the impression I was fine. I would look at the other new mums on the ward and they were taking photos, constantly looking at their baby and enjoying the feeling. I would look at Pippa and feel nothing. Yeah, absolutely nothing. She looked like my Grandad Honda and that was the only redeeming feature that I could tell you as I was completely numb.
We brought her home the next day and Heidi instantly hated her and hit her on the head with a massive rattle leaving a huge bruise on her forehead. So when we had her home check the midwife missed my reactions as I was angry about Heidi’s behaviour rather than about the new baby.
2 weeks later, my mum came around in the afternoon as she was aware of all the signs of PND due to my Auntie suffering in the 70’s with it. It was at this time she timed it with the health visitor who said that I was not poorly enough to get any help. I cried continually and as Pippa NEVER slept EVER, day or night I was sad all the time. She was only happy on my breast, even with the help of the Breast Feeding Network, she was not latching right and I was still having bleeding nipples.
Once my Mum had made me feel normal and explain that lots of m
Mums feel this way It all changed. I was able to tell people that I was not well, that I needed to talk and that I really didn’t want or like my child. The more I spoke to other people the more I found out that I was not alone, that it is normal to feel this way. The main thing that arose from it was coping techniques that I still use now.
The best things I did and do now whenever I feel like it is too much is what I tell all my parents who are struggling with any mental health issue are:
1. Get in the bath and cry, cry hard and, make sure you are left alone. I once cried for over 3 hours. But when you pull that plug all the tears and anxieties and thoughts go down the plug hole and go.
2. Speak out, easier said than done I know, but as there is more acceptance for mental health people are more inclined to help you and point you in the right direction of someone who can help.
3. Walk, walk, walk. They can help clear your mind and sort everything into a small order to deal with
4. Don’t take it a day at a time (24 hours is a massive amount of time) so break it down to 15 minutes and if you can get through that then you can do it again. Believe me the day goes so quickly
Last Friday I was talking to Kerianne and Karen about the guilt that is left 5 years later. When I got to the light at the end of the tunnel (to the point that I can write this and not cry), I put all my guilt on a helium balloon and sent it up to space. I sobbed hard, like I had never cried before, but it was gone and I was well and my daughter is lovely, funny and extremely cheeky.
Lasting effects on her is bad speech because I didn’t sing songs or even talk to Pippa and separation anxiety which we deal with every day, with the morning fight over the chair about who gets to sit next to me for breakfast will carry on. Then one day she will be fine and I will be able to sit on my own and not have her lie on my head or shove her foot in my face to be tickled, as she needs me to always have a hand on her.
There is a light at the end, the black dog (see link below) will disappear and you will be able to help someone else who is just as low, just as desperate and just as needy but will try to hide and handle it.
Why do children climb?
They climb to learn. Children are wired to learn and learning by climbing carries benefits in skill development, health, fitness, and injury prevention.
Children climb for fun, enjoyment, challenge, the sense of danger, and to access the top for success and observation.
They climb to explore, gain new perspectives, access play options, play chase, engage in make-believe play, respond to parent and peer challenges and encouragement and to compete with peers.
All healthy children are born to climb. They climb for the same reasons that fish swim and birds fly. Soon after birth, children employ built-in natural instincts to seek, see, explore, touch, and move objects and build mental and physical capabilities leading to initial climbing skills. Basic principles of child development, supported by decades of research, are at work here. All children are unique. Similar patterns of neurological functioning and consequent behaviour allow general conclusions about child development, but np novel patterns of cognitive, physical, and social experience form individual differences in children. Climbing behaviour is no exception. The primitive tools for climbing and many other skills are present at birth, but growth and elaboration of these early skills depend upon use.
Every class we have ladders out, they help with their spatial awareness and confidence building. The steeper the ladder the easier it is to climb. So at Tumble Tots we make it a lot harder by making it horizontal causing the child to challenge and problem solve, to move their body in a cross-lateral motion, to develop both parts of the brain and to confuse it. In effect creating a child that can see a vertical ladder or rope and scale the heights without any fear.
If a baby crawls, and you watch them across the room they are horizontally climbing, so the natural thing is to offer the opportunity to have a go vertically (I am a string believer in getting children to climb the stairs from an early age). This will help with their hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist and core development.
Neuroscience and related sciences confirm that play, including climbing, builds fitness, brains, and bodies and promotes general health across generations. Climbing playground equipment,, trees, fences, and other objects promote strength, confidence, vestibular stimulation, perceptual-motor skills, creativity, and neuromuscular development. Imaginative play and associated activities, such as planning, constructing, accessing, and using dens and tree houses, engage experiential learning and executive functioning (neurological skills for mental control).
There is an element of risk and to quote Roald Dahl “…the more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves. If you never let them take any risks, then I believe they become very prone to injury. … I like the type of child who takes risks. Better by far than the one who never does so” …
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Let’s get out of our comfort zone
Acrophobia is the fear of heights. I have discovered recently that I have a very mild dose of this. I don’t have an extreme version but I am definitely not comfortable any higher than standing on a chair.
Today I was made to face my fear following on from our Gymbobs day out to GoApe. We had to go back today for my niece’s birthday and Edward is turning a mere 38 on Wednesday and he wanted to go up the big challenge with me!!!!! Well, I have done it before 11 years ago and to say it was one of the worst things I have done is an understatement. So today I miserably followed him over, knowing that this was going to be a very unpleasant experience.
Talk about being out of your comfort zone, yet I really surprised myself. I was determined to do everything that Edward was doing and push myself to my very limit. Then came the zip wire where you have to put trust in yourself and the equipment. Let’s just say closing your eyes and praying works really well to the point that by the third zip wire I was really enjoying myself. Then we get to the final stage where you have to swing across to a cargo net, catch it and climb up it. I had already watched other adults hesitate, refuse and scream so I was not looking forward to it at all. The wind was blowing, the tree was moving and Edward had made it look so easy. Standing on the platform I started to count myself in and froze……
It was at this point I started to think about my more nervous children, that climbing 6 foot in the air is high and nerves take over and that all they need is some encouragement. They are put out of their comfort zone on a weekly basis and they can achieve it, they are confident, they are still scared but they smash it. So…..
I jumped and screamed and shut my eyes and prayed. After smashing into the cargo net, I climbed up it, sat on the next platform and was really proud of me. I had done that without anyone.
One thing has come from today is that with sheer determination, grit and stupidity you can do anything. I will always be under our A’Frames helping and guiding the nervous children, I shall always be on the big jump assisting the less confident children and I will always be pushing myself on to be a more confident me.
All the basics of why we are here and why Tumble Tots is important
Having time for children is so important. We don’t allow phones or cameras in our class and we this gives you 45 minutes of uninterrupted play time with your child.
The world is all about being connected and over stimulating. We are traditional, with wooden equipment, good old fashioned nursery rhymes and our programme is nearly 40 years old and unchanged for a reason.
Our lives are fast paced and full. People use cars more and babies are in car seats or carriers more. This generation of baby is called a ‘container baby’. These babies need time to be able to stretch and move and at Tumble Tots we provide this. We give you time to be with your child, to interact with them and to talk to other parents in the same situation with children who are exactly your child’s age.
A child, who is walking, should be active for 3 hours a day, it is as important as eating 5 a day and walking your 10,000. Not many children can achieve this goal just like not many adults walk their daily steps.
More and more studies keep coming out about child hood obesity which will lead to adult obesity in return leading to diabetes and cancer. So let’s help generate a positive attitude towards sport and staying fit from an early age.
Tumble Tots offers your child 45 minutes of physical activity and when they turn 4 years old and go into Gymbobs it is an hour’s class. It helps children become body confident in return offering self-esteem. It lets children be happy with hockey sticks, tennis rackets, footballs, netballs, rounders, basic gymnastics and more.
It builds their movement memory so that once the skill is learnt they can forget how to do it and it is natural like riding a bike (you never forget how). When they have the basics down like jumping, forward rolling, skipping, hopping and balancing etc, they can forget how to do it and this will help with freeing up thinking space in their brain.
A child’s brain is at full adult size by the time they are 3 years old and 80% full. That 20% has to be free to learn new information. Have you ever been at a quiz and you knew the answer to a question but n idea how you knew? Well that had been stored away and instantly forgotten, only to appear again while watching pointless. Well, a child has to learn and forget almost everything it is told to keep this space free. If they know the basics for their body movements without thinking it can allow more information to be retained. Therefore, making them cleverer.
Tumble Tots have been doing this for 40 years and was put in place to make sure all children knew exactly how to move their bodies. The underpinning knowledge is so much more important though than the climbing. It helps with:
Riding a bike