Wednesday, August 17, 2016

7 Acro-Yoga Exercises for Parents and Children, ages 3y to 12y (or more)

In this post Sharon hosts Sarit, who is an Ashtanga instructor from Kiryat Shmona, and together we want to introduce you to Acro-Yoga (light) for parents and children.

Parents-children Acro-Yoga strengthens the parental connection, builds trust, builds confidence, improves self-esteem and generally speaking broadens the heart.
We recommend that you perform the exercises when another adult is around to stand on guard and prevent injuries. The exercises are performed slowly and while maintaining balance and attention of the child.
2 basic terms are: a. base – whoever lifts the other (in this case the parent) and b. flyer – the person being lifted up and balancing on the base (in this case, the child).

1.  "Airplane" – parent as base, child as flyer.
The parent lie on the ground, lifting his legs with a mild spread of the hips, while the child "free-falls" on the parents legs and shifts all his body-weight to it. The parent then stretched its legs at a 90° angle, while the child spreads his hands to both sides while maintaining balance.

2. "Bat" – from the airplane position the child will move the weight of his upper body downwards with the parent supporting him by the back, while the parent legs are still in a 90° angle to the ground in order to maintain balance. Later on the parent can fold his legs if it's comfortable (in our case the height differences were too big).

3. "Bridge" – the parent is base, the child is a flyer.
The parent places his legs around the upper buttocks (where they meet the back) with a mild spread against the waist, while the child leans backwards when he is supported around the shoulder by the parent. The parent stretched his legs, and the child can hold the parent ankles, and with the help of another adult roll up towards the parent head and all the way to standing up.

4. "Bridge on the ground" - the parent stand with his legs spread above the child's head. The child holds his hands against the parent's ankles while his buttocks leans outside. While lifting the pelvis and placing the head on the ground the parent helps the child by holding his pelvis until a full bridge is formed.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Preparation for the first grade- games suggestions

The first grade is the starting point of any person's academic life; it's an adventure full of excitement and fears. The educational plan by the ministry of education is full of educational- pedagogical assignments that affect the child's play time, recess time, and the development of social skills and emotional maturity, while placing a lot of burden both on the kg teacher and on the child.

Entering the first grade is transferring from a world of less rules, contingency movement and flexible structure, to an entirely different setting,with structured classes, longer sitting times, less mediators and less play time (there are, off course, more differences; and there are different schools and approaches).

It's preferable to play with our children as a preparation for the first grade, and not to  burden them with learning more academic skills, since they will do it any way in the Kg (some love to do it at home too).
You can play games and sing songs about letters, numbers and more; read books, talk and develop spoken language and work on social and emotional skills.

You are welcome to enter the following posts and play to improve the key aspects that will lead to their success in entering the first grade; educators-  - it is highly recommended to work on those skills in the first few months of the a school year and you'll see a lot of  improvement in the children performances:

1.       Sitting and concentration

2.       Strong shoulder belts and hands

3.       Balance, posture

4.       Emotional expression abilities

5.       Basic motor skills- for girls and boys

6.       Social skills- cooperation, empathy, loosing and winning

Please download our app for android (soon will be for ios too). 

We'll be happy to have you in our community, and we'll love answering any question you might have.

All the responsibility is on the parent and/ or educator.
All the posts and materials belongs to togi let's play, and Sharon Michaeli- Ramon  ©

Monday, June 27, 2016

Games to Practice Patience, Restraint, Coping with Frustration and Error

Playing games can teach us many skills, both formally and informally. In this post I will be presenting you with 2 easy games that work on:

1. Social cooperation
2. Developing patience and restraint
3. Memory
4. Responsiveness speed
5. Requires the ability to continue and play though we were mistaken or defeated
6. Making connections to other topics and creating a casual learning of important topics by playing other games, such as: colors, numbers, letters, word patterns, connections etc.

What's in the Hoop?
You place 2 hoops on the ground, and place 4-5 identical objects in each of them. You call out the name of one of the objects. The first child that grabs this object from their hoop and run to you is the winner. You can exercise colors, numbers, pictures of different categories etc.

What's hiding underneath…(game of speed and luck)
Place a handkerchief or a box at some distance from the children.
Show them two objects and hide one of them when they don't notice. The children need to run, and the first who reached the spot gets to be the first to guess. If they were right, they receive the hidden object or a hug. If guessed wrong, the turn goes to the other.
The advantage of this is luck and speed, so it has no connection to knowledge, only guessing.

You are invited to look at our post that deals with how to teach restraint (and off course consult with us on it).

Togi app

All the responsibility is on the parent and/ or educator. 
 All the posts and materials belongs to togi let's play, and the writer ©

Friday, May 6, 2016

Scribbling, drawing and writing - strengthning hands and shoulders

Children start to scrabble and paint with colors at a very young age. The way they hold the crayon/pencil/brush changes according to their age and rate of development, and unless there is a critical need, we usually do not tend to intervene professional until the 1st grade.
We know that the way a child holds a crayon/pencil/color/brush affects the quality of their writing and drawing skills, the way they shape the letters and the entire joy they can derive from the process of drawing and writing.

This post aims to strengthen the shoulders and hands in order to enhance the joy that children can derive from drawing and writing. An effortless writing will ensure a joyful drawing and writing action as much as they will please. When drawings, scribbling and writing become a physical effort children tend to avoid them when the mental effort becomes more complicated. A full writing in personal-emotional aspects with compatible physical skills help the children to enjoy it.

1. Drawings - drawings on big papers which are hang on the wall, or laid on the floor. You can draw with crayons, watercolors, pencils, markers etc.

2. Spread cotton balls on the ground, and see who collects the most with the help of only tweezers.

3. Spread beans or lentils in different sizes and colors on the floor. collect each specific kind to a bowl with only your fingers.

4. Play catch with a variety of different sized balls. For advanced level - throw and catch only with the fingers (appropriate for only age 5 and up).

5. Free playing and building in sand/ play-dough/ dough/ foam/ whip cream/ pudding (particularly great for the younger children). Create snakes, balls and what ever you feel like using your fingers, joints and with the hand-palm.

6. Play finger war with your thumbs.

7. Embroidery with a thick needle - very helpful to strengthening the hand-palms, and helps develop persistence and concentration. You can start with only 5 minutes a day.

8. Drawings with finger-colors/shaving foam - with all the palm, with the finger-tips and with different kinds of sponges.This can be done on the floor, standing in front of a painter's easel, standing on your 6, standing on one foot while balancing yourself etc.

9. Eating with chop-sticks, or collecting light objects spread on a flat surface with chop-sticks.

10. Fasteners/Clips - collect objects with fasteners, hand the laundry on the laundry rope, play with fasteners and open and close them, every time with the thumb and a different finger.

11. Playing a lot at the playground on the different climbing and ganging facilities.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Togi App user guide for Version 2

Hello :)
This is an instruction post of "How to use TOGI - Let's Play App"

All the responsibility is on the parent and/ or educator. 
All the posts and materials belongs to togi let's play, and the writer ©

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A broom stick, for an amazing workout with children

We are pleased to host Boaz Nahaissi, a Pilates and flystick trainer, who has developed a new exercising method with an accessible instrument – a broom stick. The activity we suggest here is for children from age 3-4 and adults.

The exercise is based on an every household instrument (broom stick), and will help you to improve your posture and flexibility, while enhancing your body and movement experiences.
Every simple stick can turn into a physical magic wand. By performing a series of exercises in different levels that build one on top of the other, an energetic reaction is formed in different body tissues, and they are enriched in liquids and gain circulation which affects the performances of the joints, muscle and connecting tissues; the body is stronger, fitter, slimmer, lengthier and more flexed.

The method is build from a well organized series of 22 exercises, but you can choose any number of exercises, as long as you keep performing them in their general sequence.

You can exercise indoors or outdoors, at the beach, at the park or at the playground.
Remember – you don't have to do it perfectly, it's the movement experience that is important, especially for children. Enjoy :)

1. Simple Stretch – First, make sure that the stick is placed on an anti-slip surface (you can also use a silicon surface for hot pots).
Hold the stick when one end is placed on the ground, and the other is held with your 2 hands, stretched forward to the fullest. Start lowering your back in a curved angle, one vertebra at a time. Let the stick lead you to the edge of body stretch and stop. Push your pelvis backward, stand on your full feet and inhale. Slowly curve back up until standing straight at your full height, while exhaling.

2. Simple Twist – Assume primer position like in exercise no. 1. Bend your left foot. Lean forward and turn your chest and hands to the right. Make sure that your left hand holds the stick lower than your right hand. Press the stick against the ground to enhance the twist.  Change sides.

3. Simple Side Stretch – Place the stick to your side on a non-slippery surface/floor. Stretch your right hand to the side, shift your body weight to the left and raise your left hand to the upper end of the stick. Feel how your left side stretches. Change sides. Make sure you are not leaning on the stick but just use it, keep your body gravity center.

4.a. Scapula Grip – Place the stick behind your back and keep it stable with your elbows. Make sure your relax your shoulder and leave them spaced and not clenched. While exhaling try and stretch your tummy and look upward along with raising your upper torso. Arch your back above the stick.

4.b. Stand in a lounge position. Your right foot bent forward, your left foot stretched backwards on your footpad. Arch your back above the stick and raise your look and chest upward and forward. Feel how the tissues in the belly and thigh stretch. Change sides.

5. SG Warrior – Assume the warrior position. Right leg faces forward and bent, left leg turns to the side and stretched, while the entire foot is pressed against the ground. Hold the stick against your back with both hands stretched to the sides like wings. Keep the inner elbow against the stick. Tilt the upper end of the stick towards the sky and the lower end downwards and backwards. Change sides.

6. Flamingo Stretch – Stand on your left foot and bring the edge of your left foot to the center of the stick while both hands hold the stick close to the foot (If the hands are too much spaced the stick might break!). After several seconds of trying to balance yourselves in this position, try and stretch both your back and chest. Change positions to the other foot.  Once you have accumulated some confidence (you can also do it while leaning against a wall), try to straighten the foot which is on the stick while exhaling, and bend it back while inhaling. Change sides.

7. Kneeling Arch – Stand on both your knees, while the stick is placed behind you on a slippery surface. Hold the stick in his upper end. Raise your chest upwards to the sky and send the stick backwards while your pelvis is leaned forward.

8. Cat Balance – Stand on your six, hold the stick with your right hand at your shoulder's height and allow your elbow to "look" downwards. Feel the back's side-wide muscle holds the stick and not your shoulder and neck! Try to raise your left foot backwards while keeping your center balance. Change sides.

9. Doggy Leg Stretch – Stand on your six, stretch your hand to the side holding the stick, and keep your elbow bent.  Raise your tight foot and move it all the way to the side towards the stick. Stretch it backwards while exhaling, and keep her elevated. Change sides.

10. Climbing – Lay on your belly and place the stick in front of you on a slippery surface. Start climbing one hand after the other towards the higher end of the stick and lead your back and belly to a stretch. Allow your elbows to move forwards and feel the wide-back muscles work as they help you to move up.

11. Sitting Back Bend – Sit on the floor and stretch your legs to the stick's width's.  Hold the stick at both ends, close to your feet. Now, upon exhaling pull the stick and try to arch your back towards the center of your legs.

12. Sitting Twist – Stay sited, hold the stick at its center with your left hand and press both foot-pads against it. Send your chest and right hand to a back twist. Try to stretch and align upwards.  Change sides.

13.a. Single leg Stretch – Lay on your back, hold the stick at its center, and place your right leg on its center. Bend your upper back and try to rise from lying to sitting, and then try to go down to lying again.

b. Lay on the ground and stretch your right leg upward while exhaling. Change sides.

14.a. Rolling Like a Ball – Sit while you are leaned against your sacrum bone. Try to stay stable and detach both feet from the ground while your legs are bent.

b. While exhaling stretch both legs to a full stretch and try to stay stable on the transitions stages.

c. Go back to the –a- position, stay bent on your sacrum bone and hold your legs against the stick. Roll backwards on your back, but make sure you curve your body through the movement.

15. Simple Hanging – Hold the stick and invite your kids to hold the stick standing with their back turned to you. Now try to lift the stick with the kid, first to you elbow's height, and then, if you can, all the way up to the sky.

16. Airplane – Lay on your back and hold the stick. Invite your Kids to stand in front of you, and place your feet in a diagonal angle against your kids pelvis (hard bones). Encourage them to jump and lean against the stick you are holding. Lift them as high to your fullest stretch. Now pull the stick back and forth, "rocking" your kids.

17. Cygent – Lay on your belly and place the stick behind your back, elbow's folded in Scapula grip. Leave your lower ribs on the ground and detach only your upper back above the stick. Try to lean against the stick and above it. Concentrate on stretching your belly, and not on contracting your back.

18.a.  Power Single Leg Stretch – Lay on your back and hold the stick at your shoulder width. Bend your upper back and raise your head. Raise your left leg simultaneously on 90/90 to you and stretch your right leg a few cm. above the ground. Push the stick against your left thigh and feel the work in your belly muscles.

b. Straighten your left leg upwards while keeping resistance between the left thigh and the stick. Change sides.

19. Kneeling Atlas Stretch – Place the stick behind your head, at the lower part of the skull, and place your hands high above and beyond the stick until the head and the arms hold it steady. Make sure that the stick is not placed against the neck. Stand on your knees, and shift your pelvis weight forward while raising your chest upwards for a belly stretch.

20.a. Continuing the position from exercise no. 19, try to lead your hands forwards with a benched back. Try to place them on the ground and curve your back more.

b. Upon exhaling, try to straighten your legs and lift your knees from the ground.

c. Standing Atlas Stretch – Hold the stick like in exercise no. 19, but stand straight on both legs. Upon exhaling, arch your back forward and reach to the floor. Rise up while inhaling in a slow curve back to the starting point.

d. Add a forward stretch in each lift up. End the exercise with this stretch.

21. Standing Split Twist –Spread your legs parallel. Place the stick on a slippery surface aligned to your right leg, and twist your chest and back so your right hand holds the stick towards its lower end, while your left hand is placed close to its higher end. Upon exhaling, tighten your grip of the stick and press it against the ground, straight your back with its help and twist some more. Change sides.

22.a. Twist 1 Leg Standing – Place the stick to your right on a slippery surface at an arm-length to the side.

b. Lift your right leg to the stick's center and upwards.

c. Lean forward with your back and stretch the leg to the side.

d. Try and bring your other hand to the stick and turn your look upwards without falling. Change sides.

Remember to adjust the difficulty level to the kids age and abilities – you can play all of them in groups.

Good Luck!!!

Here is some useful info about Boaz and his excellent classes:
Boaz is a researcher and training developer. He teaches how to use the flystick in special classes spontaneously organized in Tel Aviv, in special workshops all over the country and in the Gordon and Tel Aviv Towers Gyms. If you wish to experience the flystick you can look him up on facebook – Boaz Nahaissi or in the flystick official page:


The responsibility of performing the exercises correctly is upon the parents/educators/guides. The games and recommendation are not meant to replace an expert advice if needed.

© Reserved to the writer – Boaz Nahaissi and Sharon Michaeli-Ramon and Togi 2015