Tag Archives: aerial yoga class

Let Them Climb, Spin and Swing!

Swinging

Believe it or not, movements such as climbing, are essential to cognitive functioning. Movement integrates new information and experiences into children’s brains. Children not only build their brains when they are moving, but they build the muscles they need to sit in a chair and write. Allowing children time to engage in unstructured play is essential to their development. When a child is playing, they are producing endorphins (brain chemicals that make us happy). Thus, unstructured play develops your child’s muscles, sensory systems, and their brains, making it the foundation that complex learning is built on.

Here are a few activities that are full of therapeutic benefits and easy to fit into your child’s day:

  • Swinging.  Swinging is not only relaxing, but it builds core strength and motor coordination.  When your child spins in a swing they are engaging different parts of the brain at the same time. These areas in the brain are associated with learning skills such as spatial awareness, rhythm, timing, balance, and muscle control.
  • Climbing. When children are climbing, they are stretching their arms upwards, which enhances cardiovascular flow and flexibility.  Additionally, climbing builds upper body strength and coordination
  • Running.  Running builds strength in the legs, endurance, and provides sensory input. 

With screen time and school taking time away from unstructured play, children do not have as much time to engage in healthy movement activities. This is detrimental to their development and learning.  It is important to try to spend at least an hour a day letting children engage in movement-based activities.  If possible, give them time to engage in unstructured play, this allows them to seek out the movement their bodies need, which is a form of self-regulation.

kids aerial yoga

At Mindful Child, we allow unstructured play in our aerial hammocks for at least 15 minutes of every aerial yoga class.  Children are able to climb, spin, and swing in our hammocks, providing them the movement their bodies and brains need for healthy development.

Windmills: Increase Your Brain Power

What are Windmills? 

Windmills strengthen and tone the entire body, making them a popular warm- up exercise in physical education, yoga, and martial arts.  Windmills are also good for improving brain power. Moving opposite limbs across the body engages the brain and integrates brain hemispheres. 

What are the Benefits?

Windmills stretch your arms, shoulders, core and lower back. Windmills are also a core exercise as you use your core muscles to twist and return to an upright position.

Cognitively, windmills strengthen the brain. Windmills require your child to cross midline, which refers to being able to reach across the body with arms or legs. Midline is an imaginary line down the center of your body. Being able to cross midline is an important developmental skill that is linked to reading and writing.

What to Say.

  • Stand up tall in Mountain Pose with your feet apart. 
  • Take a deep breath in.  Stand up taller. 
  • As you breathe out, bend over and touch your right foot with the left hand. 
  • Breathe in as you stand up.
  • Time to switch sides. Keep going!

Windmills are a fun and easy brain break. They can be done almost anywhere and best of all they are building brain power! Want more easy ways to build your child’s brain? Join us for an aerial yoga class or read Mindfulness for Children.