Pilates can seem a bit cut and dry on the outside and not interest children at all. However, there is a way to make it more interesting for kids by spicing up the exercises or choosing ones that are more kid-friendly.
We all know that children have a boundless source of energy. Sometimes, it’s too much and can get them into trouble if not channeled correctly. This is why sports and other activities are so great for children to focus their minds and bodies.
Kids health- on a physical and mental level- is on alert around the world. On a global scale, we are seeing a rise in the rates of obesity and poor nutrition in children- the children who will one day grow up to take our place. Is this what we want for the future? Learn more about this in our Childhood Nutrition and Obesity Prevention Training course and you can inspire children today.
In order to interest kids, Pilates moves have to be made fun!
What kid doesn’t like to roll around? This one is so great because you can use a variety of different images to play with. For example, you could say “imagine you are rolling in quicksand” and see how slow they can go. Or, what if the ground around them is molten lava so they have to make sure their feet do not touch at all when they roll up? They will probably laugh and shriek a little when someone’s toes accidentally touch the floor! But in reality, they are building body awareness and core strength.
Take this classic Pilates prep-move and turn it into an animal exercise! Make it interactive and all the kids can hiss like snakes. Let’s face it, it’s hard for kids to be quiet for long periods of time, so allow them to release some energy through this exercise. They will place their hands under their shoulders and lift their heads up, all the while strengthening their spine and improving any poor posture in the shoulders or chest.
Now the kids get to go on a journey with their bicycle. Where are you going to take them? Perhaps they cycle down the coast of California or perhaps it’s a hot summer day in Berlin. Use your imagination, or have them come with their favorite place! What is fun about this one is that you can also turn it into a rowing action with the arms, so when the bicycle gets old, turn it into a boat! Make sure to stay above water through constant action! Remember, this one is about going somewhere.
This one is a fun exercise that kids love. Instead of rocking back and forth on the back, they will lie on the belly, grab their feet, and rock forward and back this way. Again, you can use many images here of boats or even a bow and arrow to encourage more fun and smiles while the kids exercise.
This exercise takes Rolling Like a Ball one step further so the feet clap together like a seal. Experiment with the rhythm here, how many times can they clap their feet on the way up or down? Start small and gradually count more. You can even make it into a contest! Winner gets to choose the next exercise for the class just for fun.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make Pilates fun for kids. All of these exercises can easily make up at least 15 minutes of a class.
Learn how important it is for kids to stay healthy in our Childhood Nutrition and Obesity Prevention.