Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tickle Stick Waiting Your Turn

I posted earlier that I've introduced Yoga stretching into our gym time.
It is so much fun.
The children know when they hear the chime they move into 'seed' (child) pose.
We've created a story of the seed curled in the ground and the rain is gently falling on it.
When the rain stops the tree plants it's roots (our feet) and begins to grow.
The trunk of the tree (our bodies) grow straight and tall.
The branches (our arms) spread out far.
The leaves (our fingers) unfurl and stretch towards the sun.
Then the wind begins to blow us around.
The children may not realize but we have just gone through the life cycle of a tree and what it needs to grow.  This is science happening in our gym time.
I found when we finished our stretching it was a bit of a mad chaos trying to put our mats away at the same time so I was inspired by Vanessa's (from Storyoga) way of finishing her yoga sessions.
She has this beautiful stick, I forget what she calls it, but it is covered with ribbon and fluffy pompoms.  I created one for our group and it has been so well received.
 We refer to it as our Tickle Turn stick.
When we are finished stretching the children can lay anyway they choose on their mat.
They relax and wait for their tickle.
After they have a tickle with the stick, they get up and put their mat away.
When the ribbons pass over them I label the parts of the body that it is touching.
This turn taking is helping them to self-regulate.
Even the parents get into it.
After this little boy had his tickle (mom was my photographer) he insisted mom have her tickle too.
 So I passed the stick for him to tickle momma.
I've noticed that the energy level back in the classroom is a little lower and calmer.
It has been wonderful learning and passing on these techniques.