CHILDREN TODAY GET MANY DAMAGING PUNCHES TO THEIR HEALTH AND CONFIDENCE--AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO HELP THEM IS QUITE PERPLEXING.
When I originally shared this with my Katy Bowman cohorts, they were all super excited. I know that we are a unique breed as we love houses without furniture and it isn't uncommon to see something hanging from the ceiling or walls for kids and adults to climb. But I think all parents can appreciate a room like this where kids can be kids. It has been so liberating to give away all the furniture. I am still struggling with some of our adult furniture, but we have definitely downsized. Each piece is a negotiation with the husband and comes with a selection of rolled eyes from my family. I struggle too. We just bought all this crap! But in the long run, we will get rid of it, and we won't have to replace it. Kids, go ahead and jump on the sofa!
So the list of things I ordered on Amazon (prime) to create this room is:
Cargo net: $55: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PWADYQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Real rock grips $52: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AX9DOOM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Blue mat for the ground $90 (we needed 2 per room): (as we have hardwood): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BR1DTK4/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Handles $11/set: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F8LVH08/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Metal monkey bars $22 (we needed two sets): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0028AED1M/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
They were not cheap... this also doesn't include the wood or the rope that be bought at home depot. And luckily labor was covered with a big "thank you grandpa!"
However, we gave our daughter this for her birthday gift and what is still exciting is she has wanted her birthday party in her room twice so far (this is the second year). Plus the hours of enjoyment! I also think this will last for years - or hope anyway.
Feedback on the room, well we love it. But there are some tips I can pass along. The mats are not as durable as I would have liked, but they work. I would have a hard time paying more but if you really want high quality, you might have to. Don't vacuum them. Trust me on this.
We used rope to hang stuff so that we can easily move it around, but our structure is pretty set. If you made it more mobile it portable it might be fun to have even more options.
The monkey bars we got are fine, but if I could go back and make them wider, because they would be more user friendly for adults. Also wood dowels and different sizes for grips would be nice. They are slippery, so that is why we have some bands hanging down. Mom can't do them w/out the bands... My kids can though.
The rope has been used more for a swing then a climbing rope. Also Tarzan swinging with pushing off the walls. That is one reason we put the plywood up. So that they can slam into it and push off of the wall, but not put their feet through it.
One of the bigger issues that we have had to "deal" with is that we don't have a dresser or book shelf. We didn't want the kids to fall on anything hard with corners etc. So all the clothes and books are in the closets. This is not attractive. They are disasters. I don't really mind, it is a great trade off for me. My kids don't really mind either. But finding clothes and getting them organized is a feat. One day we might re do the closets, but it has not been a priority.
Happy to share any other info if we missed it here!
Let's help our kids go from....
These are the things we most often hear from parents of kids in our program.
— You don’t have to DO anything, just be in the moment.
Last week our local elementary school asked me to do a Project Cornerstone Zone on mindfulness. I came up with three great "games" and it went really well. I thought you might like to use them too—anyone can do them and benefit from them. I ended up getting more relaxed than when I do my normal meditation which I DID NOT ANTICIPATE. So, parents if you do this with your kids, you will really benefit too. BAM! TWO for ONE!. No need to do all three (but you can), or just pick one when you have time and then add on later.
Get into your body!
Parents, our society is so “heady”, and that is great. But wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from the thoughts and get into our bodies?
This post is a culmination my own readings and teachings over the years, but I'd like to thank a few key influencers: Katie Byron, John Barnes, Eline Snel and Katy Bowman. All rights reserved for Pilates After School--Strong, Tall, Centered & Confident Kids.
You have these adorable kids that can do these amazing things...but some of the things might not be good for them.
This is by far the biggest “issue” I see with healthy children; it has many names: Hyper-extension, hyper-mobility, recurvatum, double-jointed, and the term we will use—hyperlaxity.
What we are talking about is when angles in the joints pass their healthy range of motion. For example in the knee joint, passing 180 degree (looks like the knee is bowing toward the back) or more common, the elbows passing 180 degrees. This can happen to any joint (hands, toes, ankles, shoulders…)
Here are some images to get a better idea of what hyper-laxity looks like:
Why does Hyperlaxity matter?
here are a few reasons why this is important to know:
How can you change your child’s habit in the most non-scarring, my parent is-not-always-nagging-me-way.
So considering all of this, what do we do? These kids should still take the walks, practice their balance, use their muscles. That is the only way they can fight back against these lax joints (by building muscle).
Hyperlaxity is when the LIGAMENTS of the joints are too loose, stretched out and hence the joint surpasses its safe and strongest position. Hyperlax joints tend to make people look “flexible” but in reality the muscles are not flexible, the joints are lax. There is a big difference. A joint that is hyper-lax is getting overworked over and over again while the muscles are on vacation. This is what puts the ligaments of the joint in danger.
The best way to help protect these joints is to strengthen the muscles around them and to teach your child how to recognize when they are utilizing their ligaments during movement.
If you have these hyper lax joints, you should not apply high loads to your body. Intense sports, running, and repetitive motions are all dangerous for lax joints.
All of us with hyper-mobile joints can learn how to isolate the muscles around the joint and strengthen them, which will in turn help to stabilize the joint. Once the joint is surrounded by lots of strong *aligned* muscles, we can increase the loads on it, but not before.
How can we help our kids strengthen their bodies, and not worsen the condition?
We have to be the example. We need to sit on the floor demonstrating core strength sitting. Or we need to provide education on “bending the elbows or knees a bit” to get back to a neutral, STRONGER position.
They will resist, because it will feel more challenging. They will be using muscles that they were not using before. Those muscles are not conditioned and so it will be harder and more tiring for them. But they will be building strength just by doing it.
There are many degrees of hypermobility/hyperlaxity and some are much more serious then others. If you are concerned, you should talk with your child’s doctor.
If you have questions, I am always happy to help, email me.
Here's to Strong, Tall, Centered, Confident Kids!
I asked my 9 year old this morning, “are you still standing when you can during class?” She replied, “Uh…” I asked, “During silent reading do you have the option of going to the floor to snuggle and read?” The answer, “Yes.” So excitedly I followed up with, “Well, do you?” Looking down she groans, “Noooo….”
She then says, “You know, most parents want their kids to sit down and listen and not run around like crazies!”. I asked her if she wanted me to elaborate on the detriments of too much sitting. Shockingly, she did not (sarcasm is still alive!).
We did discuss how many hours she thought she was sitting in the day.
How many hours would you guess your child sits and what they think they sit? Share your thoughts in a quick comment and we can see the ranges.
This conversation began as a follow up to many previous as well as a response to her letting me know that they are now making the kids stay outside longer and running around a bit more then before. She complained, "they are locking us out before school starts to make sure we play outside!" CRIMINAL. Except, I was thrilled of course. Thank you to my school and its amazing administrators and staff!
Apparently the kids are not allowed in the class room before school and are having to do some running around the field at certain break periods. Yes, I would still love to see less sitting or at least more floor sitting and some standing work stations as well as a few other changes to help our kids grow up with a more natural environment but I am so happy that we are making changes to try to get the kids outside more. I do know that in California we are spoiled and that it won’t be as easy for all parts of the country to do this type of thing in winter. But thank you Los Altos for constantly taking a step.
10 Top Tips for Tip Top Kids
Some of these might seem common sense to you and others might seem totally out there?! I hope to elaborate on each of these topics on my blog over the next year. To get the notifications of my very infrequent blog posts for Pilates After School, like our page on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pilatesafterschool
Get Stronger as A Family!
Crystal Young is a wife, mother, and dedicated Mom-preneur. She started Pilates After School to help kids be Strong, Tall, Centered & Confident. By providing kids with the tools needed to fight and win the "battle of the chair," they are more prepared for a happy and healthy future and to face new challenges with vigor. As a result, these kids come with proud, happy parents!