What does Pilates for Kids entail and how do we run the classes?

Ages 5-7, 7-9, 9-11 yrs and teenagers.

I have finally completed my Pilates for Kids course work with Body Control Pilates and also have the energy to teach these classes as well now!!   Running the business and having a baby and 3yr old and teaching adults was all I could manage for a few years. Now Hugo is a toddler and Ella-rose is at school I finally feel in the place to teach Pilates for Kids.

I am looking forward to teaching Ella-Rose’s class at their careers week!  Yes 4-5 yr. olds are included in career week! It’s very cute and age appropriate.

So I’m doing a Pilates 30mins story time workshop for her class.   (If anyone has any wonderful story ideas for 4-5 yr olds that I can incorporate exercises too then please do share!) I think I will play safe and do Sunshine Island Story where the kids imagine visiting a lovely warm beach, search for food and get rescued by a boat.  Tried and tested so I know the kids love it.. with our Pilates for Children classes we manage the class exactly the same as we do for adult classes: so a focus phase, main phase and closing phase.

5-7 Year Olds

In Pilates for Kids at this age group (5-7) we make the exercises around a story and work on co ordination, body awareness breathing, to name a few. We also have skipping balance and jumping so boys and girls get their exercise and outlet. We de-emphasise competition and focus on having fun and just moving. This helps the children with their confidence and also developing motor skills.   Most importantly we keep it simple. Following instruction in a group situation may be fairly new to some little ones at this age so it is also teaching them discipline and following instructions.

7-9 Year Olds

The 7-9 year olds have a slightly different structure in that we have a theme to follow rather than story. We use partner work to encourage musicality within the children and also to enhance coordination. The class is 40-45mins. More time can be spent on structured exercise. We work on encouraging social interaction, develop fitness by introducing fun exercises and helping to improve motor skills.  We use the Pilates principles for all classes but with children’s classes we might focus on a few instead of all of them.

The Pilates Principles are:

  • Control
  • Mobility
  • Alignment
  • Breathing
  • Stamina
  • Balance
  • Mind/body connection

9-11 Year Olds

The 9-11yr olds hopefully have better concentration. We organize their class as more of a classical mat Pilates format.   The class will be high energy and the children will understand they are doing the exercise for the benefit of health and fitness so we have more of a physical education focus than story or theme focus.  This class is 45-60mins and we add fitness into the class and make it as fun and high energy as we can.

Pilates For Teenagers

Pilates for Teenagers is run similar to adult classes but we focus on stretching out their limbs to help ease growing pains and not doing too much flexion or overload on their developing bodies as their joints and bodies are still growing. We add fitness and really focus on posture and alignment and balance at this stage. Pilates will help them de stress, relax their bodies and stand and walk taller and be more aware of their posture.   Hopefully help them be more aware of how they are sitting at the computer or how they are holding themselves as they walk down the street. This really helps them be body and mind confident just to mention a few.

So I had better get coordinating stories to exercises. Definitely a new skill set for me but I will give it a go.   When running classes I will set up goals for the children that are age appropriate. So the 5-7 yr olds will get stickers and perform to their parents at the end of a term. The 7-9 yr olds will get wrist bands and a chart of progression. The older ones will hopefully be rewarded by seeing the improvement in their skills and areas they can then apply to their football or gym or simply just doing the Pilates and having a more confident calm child.

Wish me luck and if anyone has a group of Children that you would like them to try a class or have a class set up at after school club or in a church hall, please do let me know.

Thank you for reading and any ideas or feedback is much appreciated.   I’ll do a video of the class story time work shop and post it to Instagram. Please follow us @pilatespluswellnesslondon