Now that the Prime Minster has issued a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, families up and down the country are finding themselves in a new and unusual situation. Parents are juggling work and home lifestyles like never before and the question of how to keep the children healthy, happy and calm is more prevalent than ever. Whilst older children may be able to entertain themselves and be, to some extent, self-sufficient, younger children will need a lot of attention and reassurance.
Parental Choice decided to ask an expert on child entertainment and relaxation and spoke with Jaime Amor from Cosmic Kids, who has been running a very successful children’s yoga channel on You Tube for a number of years now. Her online classes are attended by children all over the world from America to Australia, and her channel is often championed by mothers on social media as a great way to get young children into exercise and mindfulness. So we put a few questions to her to tell us all about Cosmic Kids.
Parental Choice: Hi Jaime, thank you for answering our questions. Firstly, can you please tell us what Cosmic Kids all about?
Jaime: Cosmic Kids is all about making yoga and mindfulness fun for kids. If you watch (or do) one of our yoga videos, you’ll see pretty quickly that each one is based around an adventure – a story with yoga postures woven into it.
I tell, and act out the story, and take the kids on a journey that gets them moving their bodies and doing yoga poses.
We might be escaping from a spaceship in a meteor storm and rescuing an alien mud fish called Snarge.
Or asking a witch in an underwater cave to make a potion, to give our mermaid friend legs so she can dance.
Transported into far-flung, magical places, the kids become part of the story, acting out the characters – and copying the positions. And we explore feelings like determination, fear and excitement along the way, and sneak in some breathing exercises, too.
I write and perform the adventures in a way that keeps the kids interested and doing the yoga. And at the end (in the lying down bit), we finish with a relaxation, and share the ‘message’ of the story we hope kids will take away.
PC: What age range do you create for?
Jaime: Cosmic Kids Yoga works well for kids aged 3-8. Our mindfulness series Zen Den is great for kids aged from 5-11. Our Peace Out Meditations work brilliantly for kids aged 4+ (and grown-ups too!)
And kids of all ages up to 90 can enjoy the Yoga Disco and Super Yoga - our gamified yoga videos!
PC: Can you tell us a little more about how yoga help kids?
Jaime: Yoga’s brilliant for kids, because it gets them moving their bodies - stretching to improve flexibility and strengthening growing bones and muscles. It also teaches kids how to breathe more consciously. We know, from what teachers and parents tell us, it helps with behaviour, focus and empathy, too.
PC: So is it just yoga stories that you create?
Jaime: No. We also offer mindfulness techniques in the Cosmic Kids Zen Den, and guided meditations and relaxations in our Peace Out meditations. We make a playful game out of yoga in our Super Yoga series and enjoy singing and dancing themed around yoga poses and breathing exercises in the Yoga Disco.
PC: Any advice on helping kids worried about the current lockdown and coronavirus situation for children who may be anxious and worried?
Jaime: Know that worry is of course a natural thing, but we can help calm those worries and feelings by moving our bodies - exercises (like yoga or dancing) as well as taking deep slow breaths. It’s nice to put a teddy or your favourite little toy on your tummy when you lie down and breathe into your belly, making it fill up like a balloon and lift your toy up and down with each breath. This will help us calm those worrying thoughts and stay clear and strong in our bodies and minds. Another thing is to think positive. Look for the good in things - like being at home and inside means you can try drawing things that you wouldn’t normally draw or making up stories and acting them out! Staying positive - with hope and determination, we will come through this funny time with much more strength and appreciation of our amazing world…and how, when we all work together, we can overcome anything.
PC: you seem to have so many characters in your stories, do you have a favourite character?
Jaime: Right now - Popcorn the Dolphin who’s mantra is Stay Calm, Keep Breathing and Think Positive. She kind of sums it up!
PC: Do you do livestream yoga for people to join in real time?
Jaime: We don’t livestream classes in real-time at the moment as we think our videos do a great job of taking the kids to an imaginary exciting world. Our capability to film something that is on a par with what we’ve already got is limited and on the whole I think kids don’t necessarily notice any difference. When I meet kids live, in person, they generally think they have been doing yoga with me ‘live’ online the whole time any way.
PC: What would you say to families who don’t think their kids will be able to follow along for 20 minutes? Do you do shorter stories?
Jaime: We have quite a few stories which are 10-20 mins long - so start with those (Betsy the Banana, Arnold the Ant). Even shorter are the Super Yoga game videos and even shorter still (2 mins) are the yoga discos - have a go at Hi My Name’s Joe! That’s a blast and it’s just funny!
You can find out more about Cosmic Kids on their website https://www.cosmickids.com/
We also work with small and large businesses to support the wellbeing of parents and those with eldercare responsibilities.
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