PLAY-lates: Pilates For Kids:

Pilates for Kids is such a great program…Thank you again for proposing the program this summer. Our kids have really enjoyed it!-Dina


Once kids meet Pilates they want to do exercise everyday!- Aurelia, 7 years old

🙂 Play-lates, is a fun class for the young child’s mind, soul and body.
Current Fall 2014 Class Saturday 11 am, Westside Y!, Project in development PLAY- lates afterschool program at Lucy Moses School on 67 street Wednesdays 3-5pm
With silly imagination games, up beat creative movement, and playful animal and shape exercises, kids experience an active, non competitive wellness program. It improves concentration, encourages kids to be pay attention and teaches them to be relaxed and confident. Play-lates is their foundation for sports, dance, gymnastics, based on the fundamental principles of coordination, core strength, flexibility, breathing and rhythm. Done with the total participation of the adult caregiver, this class joyfully promotes partner learning, with the goal of mirroring language and movement in a way that encourages bonding and mindfulness for both the parent and child.

Children today have so much going on in their lives… These pilates lessons offer a conducive environment for young kids to exercise through fun games and activities. Pilates exercises can help develop kids’ mental fitness, physical strength, social skills, and emotional well-being. It calms them down and centers them. The class is fast paced and very active. Each lesson is comprised of different pilates exercise, packaged as fun games to maintain a high level of interests. In the process, we teach children how to coordinate their muscles. In this gentle setting, children learn strategies to focus their movements and breathe deliberately.

“Paolina has a heart of gold!- Jonathan W.

Also fun PROPS are used, like balls, rubber duckies, pinwheels, and slinky’s to explore Pilates movement principles. These Pilates movement principles are what the curriculum is based on. They are defined as: Coordination, Control, Centering, Breathing, Whole Body, Rhythm, Balanced Muscle development, Precision.
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Joe Pilates talked about creating good habits early one, he said: “First we educate the child.” To help improve self esteem, he felt his exercises would give children a better sense of self. He wanted children to learn to live in their own body, to learn better breathing and posture, and felt his exercises would prevent illness, obesity and develop strength of body and character. Pilates is a “whole body health” practice for the mind and body, it encourages a quality of life that is balanced, strong, centered and thoughtful. So we hope that exposing kids to Pilates early on will not only help them get stronger, it will inspire them their whole life.
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The aim is that by practicing Pilates, kids will gain a renewed confidence in themselves and move through space in an efficient, fluid, and strong way. The goal is to make the child stronger, more flexible, improve their joint stability and coordination, and reinforce good posture by increasing breath capacity. Overall Pilates aims to strengthen the ‘core musculature’ and neuromuscular connections to facilitate better self embodiment.

The class is developed for various age groups: early childhood-K, 7-10 years old, 11-13 years old and teens. Each group has its own goals, specific to their fitness needs.

For the early childhood group pictured above, they have not reached neurological maturity. These young kids are in the very beginning phase of bone and muscular development. Their skeleton is pliable and their attention span is relatively short. Therefore, the core principles of Pilates are taught in a way kids understand through games which are captivating and can be done as a group or in pairs, through partner learning. The lesson plan itself is flexible and responsive to the kids’ state of mind and how they are feeling as a group. Control techniques are used, like pattern clapping/repeat games/songs to re-focus the group.

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The program is currently being run at the Westside Y with an eye to introducing it to NYC Public Schools. Non Profit status in the works.

We really appreciate you taking the time to come in and work with the children. Thank you so much for coming in today, the kids loved it!- Dina, Carousel of Languages