Activities & Days Out / 6 January, 2020 / Ellie Thompson
We are constantly telling our kids to be quiet or keep still. Take them to a park, woods or farm and let them know that they can run wild and make as much noise as they can. We forget that children have so much energy that they want to burn off and sometimes it’s nice to let them do that. They will have a brilliant time and most importantly they will have a brilliant night’s sleep!
Plan ahead and draw up a list of things to find while outside. Go on a treasure hunt and see how hard they work. Race them to the nearest post box, get them to find five smooth pebbles in the garden, anything that gets their heart racing. A sense of urgency makes them rise to the challenge and make sure they get praise and a high five when they come back!
Children are constantly seeking your approval and positive reinforcement at this stage in their development will pay dividends in later life. Tip: After you’ve played an active game with your children ask them what they liked the most. This is a lovely thing to do right before they go to bed before their bedtime story. It’s a lovely way of saying goodnight and planning what activities they would like over the next couple of days.
Children have amazing imaginations. They are very resourceful, and can make games and adventures out of the simplest tools and everyday objects.
If you invest ten minutes in creating an imaginary world for your child they will play in it for hours. If you can get together with other parents and their children it will be easier for you, more fun for your children and the social interaction will tire them out almost as much as the running around.
If you are an active parent, they will see that as normal and grow up to be active children. When you wake up show them a few simple yoga poses to stretch their muscles or show them how to do a press up or a lunge and get them to show you how many they can do! Children are natural mimics and will copy whatever you do. If you are outside exploring woods or kicking a ball they will want to join in.
Parents in central London are rushing to sign their children up to TARKA. It’s one of the fastest-growing trends in the city, offering physical, brain-stimulating classes to children between the ages of 18 months and eight-years-old.
TARKA was founded in 2015 by Rufus Gordon-Dean, who “promises to bring out the best in each child.” The war veteran, who fought against the Taliban in Helmand Province, said: “We try and focus on the things that nurseries don’t. Our classes target different parts of brain development with games, to help balance or to aid bilateral coordination and gross motor skills.”
Inspired by the Scandinavian approach to education, Rufus has devised an energetic activity programme alongside health and pediatric experts which focuses on physical exercise and promotes cerebral development.
TARKA instructors use colour co-ordinated equipment to guide children through a series of drills designed to kickstart their neurons – all while listening to chart-topping music. The exercises are designed to build dexterity, develop fine and gross motor skills and promote teamwork and communication.
The 60-minute session ends with a complete wind-down, with all children lying on the floor doing deep yogic breathing exercises. “When you compare our education system with models around the world, including Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, you realise it lacks didactic teaching – that is, teaching them basic, practical skills,” said Rufus. “We need far more investment in developing children when they’re young. Between 700 and 1000 new neural connections are made every second, and these connections determine the brain’s architecture and our lifelong capacity to learn, adapt and enjoy great mental and physical health. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the basics while they’re young.”
Tarka London’s February half-term camps will run Monday 17th to Friday 21st February in Notting Hill, Knightsbridge, and Fulham. For more information on Tarka visit: www.tarkalondon.com.