Class #2303

Mat for Young Kids

25 min - Class


Dawn-Marie Ickes makes Pilates fun for kids! In this Mat workout made up of kids ages 6 to 9 years old, she focuses on letting them do what feels good and natural to them so they don't get too confused by the movements. She also shows them how to find their breath and how to move together as a group with games like Simon Says, Stay on the Island, and much more!
What You'll Need: Mat

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So I want everybody to go ahead and stand on their letters. Can you find the letters on your map? All right. Good morning everybody. How are you guys today? Are you looking forward to doing some Polanyi? Yeah, maybe. Is anybody ready to get their wiggles out? SORTA. Yeah. Okay.

Before we start, let's go around. I want to hear everybody's name and if, and then I'll ask you another question after. So what's your name? Ready? My journey. Isabella Sebastian. Hi Allie. Who here has done Palazzos before? Anybody sort of maybe. Kinda did you like it? Was it fun? Okay, good. So what we want to do before we get started with anything else, we're going to get our wiggles out.

And that doesn't mean that you don't get to wiggle when we're moving. It just means I want you to ground your body into your mat. So where are your mat is right now? The outline of your mat. That is your island. Okay. And we want to try to stay on our island as much as possible as if they're sharks that swim in between it. Okay? So when we move, when we turn over, when we do certain things, we're going to try to stay on our mats as much as we can just to kind of make it fun. Kind of make it interesting. So before we do any of our exercises, they we're just going to jump up and down three times and land room. That one, two, three, huh? Okay.

And then wiggle it all out everywhere. Oh, get the wiggles out. Okay. And then again, we're going to jump three times. One, two, three. Okay. You feel your feet on the mat now are they on your island? Okay. I want everybody to close their eyes on their island. So it's an island. It's not a surf board. You're not going to fall off. Okay. Close your eyes.

Feel your feet on the bottom of your mat. Take a deep breath in and x help. Perfect. Sebastian, that is the most awesome breath ever. Breathe in again and exhale. Now keeping your eyes closed. I want you guys to add your shoulders to your breath. Breathe in and lift your shoulders up to your ears and exhale them down.

Good. Two more times. Inhale and exhale. Last one. And exhale. Open your eye. Okay. Walk up to the front of your mat and now we get to do a little game of Simon says, Simon says, put your arms out at a t. K Simon says, take your right leg and put it over your left leg. Yep.

Simon says, Cross your hands here and now Simon says slowly lower your bottoms down to the mat. Three, two. What? Gorgeous. Good. Now no more. Simon says, you just get, dawn says, okay, cheers. Sure. Can everybody give me a Tutu? Sure. That's a, we got [inaudible] any time. Hello. Amtrak. All right, so now what you're going to do is press yourselves back so that your bottoms are in the middle of your map and your legs are out nice and straight. Good.

Excellent. From there, keep your bottoms where they are. I want you to bend your knees. Perfect. Hold on. Behind your knees. Good. And this time we're going to take an inhale and as we inhale we're going to grow taller. As we asked how, we're going to roll down just a little bit. So let's do that all together. Everybody's going to eat. Inhale, grow taller. You're going to exhale and roll down just a little bit. Good. Inhale, back up.

Grow Taller, roll down a little bit more. Good. Inhale, grow taller. [inaudible] as hell. Listen carefully. Inhale, hold. Exhale. Keep going down, down, down, all the way until your head hits the floor. Good job. Cool. Now everyone's going to put their hands by their sides. Walk your feet and your knees together in the middle so they touch everybody.

Get their feet and knees to touch. Perfect. Now you're going to take you. Can you guys see my feet? Good. So you're going to take your heels and you're going to turn them out so your big toes are going to touch, but your heels are going to turn out perfect. Now you're going to take your feet and line them up with your heels. Perfect. Good. How are you guys feeling? Ready to go.

All right. Now you're going to take your hands on your rib cage right here. Can you find your ribs? Yeah. If you can't find your ribs, just walk to the middle of your belly button. Go up a little bit till it gets kind of pokey and hard. And then glasses sets. Yeah. Okay, so now take a couple more breaths. Inhale and exhale. I want you to see if you can breathe into your thumbs back here and exhale.

Huh? An inhale and exhale. You guys feel your pelvis is good and your backs and your rib cage is two more breaths. And exhale. Shoulders down. Last one. And exhale. Does everybody now know where their ribs are? Yes.

What happens to your ribs when you breathe? Do they move? Yeah. A little. Yeah. They protect your heart. Yeah. What else happens when with your rib cage, when you breathe, does it help you get more air in your lungs? Good. All right.

So now what you're gonna do is you're gonna take your hands from your rips. I want you to find your hip bones. Okay? Right on the outside. So good. I love pilates instructors, kids. They immediately, instead of going to the pelvis, which is what most kids think are hipbones go to their hipbones. Berardo all of you. That was awesome. So since you're so highly educated in anatomy, we're going to put our hands on our pelvis.

Yeah. Now if I were to say that in a non palatium instructors children's class, it would be hysterical because they would all have put their hands on here. I love, this is the first time that has ever happened when I've said put your hands on your hips and they actually did on their hips. So cool. All right, so with your pelvis, your feet are going to be flat. Now, nope, feet are flat. So knees are still bent, but feet are flat. Now what I want you guys to do, and we're going to do more Widleen Sebastian, so you're going to wiggle your pelvis. Okay? Your pelvis right here. If there's a big clock on your pelvis, pretend there's a clock right here, okay? And there's a 12 o'clock up here and there's a six o'clock right there.

You're going to go from six o'clock to 12 o'clock. Very good. Anyway. You want to go? Six o'clock 12 o'clock. Good. A little less. Six o'clock. Just rocking your pelvis. Good. Now listen carefully. I want you to pretend there's a little mouse that lives right here where your back is. Okay. If your back is pushed into the mat, do you think that mouse is happy right now?

You think maybe he's getting squashed? Can we make a little bit of space for that mouse house? Yeah. And now the mouse is out of the house. Can we press into the mouse house? So can we tuck under a little bit? Good. Two more times. Inhale, mouse house. The mouse comes in and then he runs out.

Exhale. Close the door to the mouse house. Good. Two more times. Inhale, come forward and exhale. Good. Last one. You guys are doing a good job and exhale. Good. Alright. Hands flat by your side. Legs are still bent. Good job. All right, last two little warm up exercises and then we're going to start doing some of the exercises. You guys are used to ready. All right, so you're gonna bring your right leg up to tabletop. And if you guys get confused, just watch Allie and Remy. Okay.

And then bring the left leg up to tabletop. Can everybody make a table with their legs like this? Can you bring your legs up Sebastian and make it too? Oh, there you go. Perfect. Now can we touch one foot down and come right back up to the table and the other foot and right back up to the table? Yes. Squish a bug and then squish a bug. And now lets switch.

There's lots of bugs. Let's squish our bugs. Squish our bugs, squish our bugs. Can you squeeze? Yes. Little higher, little faster. Okay. Now there's lots of bugs. We want to get them going and [inaudible]. Oh, are you guys warm yet? Yes, you can do either or you can do either at work and you could do hands too. That's next. Okay, so now I'm going to have everybody come up to tabletop.

Nope, on your back. It's all good. Arms up towards the ceiling. Legs up, making a table. There you go. There you go. Now you guys up here are not going to lift your heads, but you're going to pump your arms. You two. We're going to lift your head. So we're going to take a breath in. As we exhale, our hands are going to reach down to our hips and we're going to start pumping the arms. Breathing. Two, three, four, five and out. Two to three, four, five and out. One more. Three, two, three, four, five and out. Hold.

And then relax. You can let your legs down for just a minute. Okay, so we did three sets, right? Were you guys able to count to three with me? Okay, we're going to count three more. Here we go again. Ready? Legs. That tabletop. Got To have it ready cause I might sit on the table. Yep. Got to keep that table top up. Inhale to prepare. Exhale. Reach your hands to your hips and start pumping him. Breathe in two, three and out. I want to hear you. Two, two, three, four, five and out. Three, two, three, four, five and out. Hold and relax. Good. Now this last one, we're going to do four. Okay.

Because they call it the hundreds cause we do 10 sets of five breaths in and five breasts out. Who knows their math. How much does that add up to? Right. Okay, cool. So let's go back. Tabletop arms, your legs crossed, whatever you prefer. Take a breath in. Reach the hands towards the hips. Last set, pump the arms. Breathe in. Two, three, four, five and out. Two to three, four, five and out. Good job you guys. Three, two, three, four, five. And out.

Last one, four, two, three, five out, two, three, four. Inhale, hold it and then release back down. Oh, thank goodness. Right. Okay. Are you guys a little warmed up? You sweating a little bit? Yeah, a little work. Okay, good. Let's have everybody roll up to sitting at the front of their mat. Keinle like this. K.

So knees are together on your sitz bones. Very nice. Okay. Now you can touch your toes to help with your balance if you want. But the important part of this next exercise, this is called rolling. Likable or rolling like a bug. Okay, so we're going to stay in this nice tight ball position the whole time, but I don't want you guys to roll any higher than your shoulders. Okay? So I'm going to count down three, two, one, and you guys are going to roll back and roll back up and hold. Okay?

You want to try it once? We'll do it the first time. Okay, here we go. Three, two, one. Inhale and exhale, hold and balance guide. Three, two, one. Inhale back and exhale. Hold and bounce. Shoulders down. Last one, three, two, one. Inhale and exhale. Hold. How's everybody feel? Pretty good? You want to try to do three in a row? Like a rolly Poli? Okay. Shoulder blades down. Here we go. Three, two, one. Inhale, and exhale. Inhale, and exhale. Inhale and exhale.

Woo. Beautiful. Now listen carefully. Come up. Find your balance. Okay. Take your right hand on the outside of your right ankle. This one on this side, this one on this side. Take your left hand on the top of your right knee.

Stretch the other leg out across towards your little buddy and slowly roll down to the mat. Let your head relax. Go ahead now take that leg that's on the floor. I want you to lift it up at a 45 degree angle. 45 is up here. There we go. Lift it up towards me like you want to touch me. Get perfect or higher. Switch to the other side.

Yep. God. Oh my gosh. You guys are really good. There you go. Keep your heads down. Switched two more times. I just want you to see how this feels. Good. And one more time. Yeah. If your hands get confusing, you can just hold onto the top of your knee. Okay. Doesn't have to be perfect. All right, we're going to count down now and we're going to do five more of these inner row switching. Okay. You two are going to keep your heads down.

You two are gonna lift your heads up. So inhale to prepare. Exhale, Remy and Allie. Lift your heads and we're going to switch our legs and switch and switch and switch. And three more and two. Last one. Both knees in heads. Come down, take a break. Inhale. Exhale.

A Shay and Remy. Lift your head, neck and shoulders. You guys, keep your heads down. Now we're gonna reach your arms and legs straight up towards the ceiling like a superhero. Yep. Keep your legs and arms together. Circle your arms around and pull your knees in. One good. Inhale, reach. Exhale. Two. Inhale, reach and three, two more worried. And for the last one, take a break if you need to. And Five, hug your knees into your chest. Rocking back and forth, rocking back and forth. How's everybody feeling? Pretty good. All right, I'm going to have everyone roll like a ball to come up to sitting.

Scoot your bottoms back so you're in the middle of a mat. Good. And now we're going to bring our legs. We're going to spin them around to the front and lie on our stomachs with our heads on the mat. Nice. Good job you guys. Alright and go ahead and just take a break. Lay down for a minute. Turn your head to the right. Everybody turned their head to the right.

Pick a right any right good. And just breathe for a minute. You can put your hands under your cheek if you want or you can have them at the sides of your shoulders. It's up to you. I just want you guys to breed. All right. How's everybody feeling? You guys doing okay? Okay, so now before we start the next set of exercises, I want you to see if you can feel where your pelvis is on the mat. Since you guys know where your pelvis is, the front of your pelvis. Do you guys feel it on the map? Everybody? Okay, let's take our hands and put them on top of our forehead. So lay your forehead down on top of your hands. Good.

So you're next year and I go. Nice position. And before we do anything else, I want you to just lift your legs off the mat with your knees straight. Good. And come back down. Does that hurt for anybody? No. Lift your legs off the mat again. Beautiful. And come back down. Now take your hands to where your shoulders are. So can you line your hands up to where your shoulders are? Perfect.

And we're going to take a nice breath in as we push up and open our chest. Come up into what's called a swan. So I want you to push the floor away. Lift your chest. Good job guys. And slowly come back down. Let's do three more in help. Harass up and exhale. Come down slowly. God last one in. Help, harassing up, harassing up. And exhale, come back down. Does that feel good? Sort of. Yeah.

Now take your elbows and put your elbows under your shoulders, Huh? And put your hands in front just like this. So this is what I like to call the slumber party position. So if you're at a slumber party, at your friend's house and you guys are all lying around on the carpet, right? Sort of. Okay. So from here what I want you guys to do is push the floor away so you don't want your shoulders up in your ears. You want to push the fort, but keep your elbows down there. You get perfect. I don't even have to show you.

That is gorgeous. Yep. Bring your elbows a little more under your shoulders. Remi. You guys are good. Maybe a lip. Yep. Perfect. Good. Now pushing the floor away. I want you to kick the right leg two times. You're gonna kick and kick. And then straighten the leg. Okay, let's do it all together. So let's go right, right and straighten and then we'll do left. Left, left and straighten, right, right. And Straten left, left and straight. Now listen, carefully. Sniff, sniff, and straighten.

So you're going to breathe in and straighten and straighten. Ready? Here we go. Right leg first. Sniff. Sniff and straighten. Good. Sniff, sniff and straightened. Three more. Sniff. Sniff and straighten. Push away. Sniff, sniff, and straighten. Last one, end. Straighten and left. One end. Straighten. Good. How did that feel? Kinda good. Okay.

You guys ready to move a little bit more? Kind of. Okay, so let's take our hands back down under our shoulders. This is where it can get kind of fun, pushed back onto your knees. Good. Yeah. So I want you to just push back down onto your knees and you're going to get into a kitty cat position. Okay? All right. So make sure your hands are under your shoulders. Okay, good. And now everybody gets to wiggle. Waggle their pelvis is a little bit, pretend you have a tail. Good. And let's walk your hands.

Let me just correct you a little bit. Bring your shoulders right there, but bring your knees under your hips too. There you go. A little more for it. There you go. Perfect. All right, a shea. Let's bring your knees a little more under your hips. Bring going forward just a little bit. Perfect. Okay, so from here, so we're, we're kitty cats, right? Are we going to be kitty cats or we're going to be dogs? What do we want to do?

Can you cat? Okay, so we have our little kitty tail and we're waving our tails around. We're wiggling our tails. Good. And now we're going to do a kitty cat stretch. So we want to stretch our backs, push the floor away and round your back like this. Here we go. Just like that scoop. And then we're going to stretch up and look up to this guy because we're still a stretching kitty cat.

And then we're going to stir edge our backs up again two more times. Inhale, look up and stretch. One more time. Inhale, come all the way up and then exhale. Come back down. Now let's come into the middle so we're not too stretchy and we're not too bouncy. Shoulders down. Good. Nope. Yup. Right there. Pretend you're holding a log on your back. Okay, so you have to balance this log. Good. Bring your head up just a little bit between your head in your toes.

Now from here, I want you to lift your right arm up off the mat, right arm only and balance and back down. And now let's lift the left arm up out in front of us. Not out to the side, but out in front because that'll, there you go. And bring it back in. Let's do a couple more. Right arm comes up out in front. Out in front. Out in front. Good left arm comes up. Here you go. One more time. Right arm in front. There you go.

And left arm in front. Good. And let's not lose our log. We're going to flatten out just a little good. Perfect. Both. Hands down. You guys ready? Now we're going to stretch our right leg out. Look at how flexible your wrists are. That is amazing. That is very cool. Okay. Right leg. Go straight out everybody.

And then back in and then left leg goes straight out and back in. Good. And then right leg. Bring your head up just a little and back in and left and back in. Come all the way back down. Now I want you to sit back on your heels and stretch your hands out in front of you. This is what's called child's pose. Yep. Put your feet straight. Yup. Just like that. And take a couple of deep breaths. Good. So as you can see, there's a lot of variability to how kids will set themselves up with certain exercises.

The key with this age group is not to get them too confused with overcorrecting. You want kids to be doing what feels natural and good to them. The point is to get them breathing and moving together as a group and working together, not so much about the precision and the perfection of the alignment. Of course, we want them to be as safe as possible, but you really have to honor and connect with the unique individuality of each child that's in your group. So we're going to finish up with two more exercises guys, and then we'll call it a day.

So come on up out of your child's pose and walk yourself up to the very front of your mat. And we're going to do an exercise called seal. Okay? We're not going to do seal to stand if you guys have done that, some of you, but we are going to do an exercise called seal and then we're going to s we're going to end up exactly how we started member, how we sat with Simon says we're going to come back up the same way. So to get started for seal, I'm going to have everybody bring their legs to the front. Good. And you're going to take your hands on the inside of your ankles and you're going to hold the inside of your leg, sorry, and hold onto the side of your ankles.

And then what you're going to do is you're going to clap your feet three times and just like we did rolling like a ball. You're going to roll back, but then when you back, you're going to clap again at the top. Okay, so here we go. Together. It's going to be fun. Ready? Here we go. One, two, three, clap, clap, clap. Rolling. Back, clap, clap, clap. Rolling up. Clap, clap, clap. Rolling. Back. Clap, clap, clap. Rolling up. Last one, clap, clap, clap. Rolling. Back. Clap, clap, clap. Rolling up. Hold. Hold it. Dez. Let your feet cross. You're going to take your hands.

Put your body weight on your feet and then slowly come up to standing. Uncross your feet, uncross your arms. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Just like we started shoulders up to the ears and exhale. Blow it all. Open your eye and give yourselves a big hand.

Good job. You guys.

Related Content


This is terrific! I teach a regular kids Pilates mat class and I am so glad to see this making an appearance on PA x
4 people like this.
Love it!! More Kids classes please.
3 people like this.
Love Seabastian! That's how most kids would be in a Pilates class.
I think you need someone showing the kids exercises as well as verbal instructions.
1 person likes this.
i just did this with my two sons age 4 and 6. They loved it! More classes for kids would be wonderful!!
Jeannette N
Wonderful Dawn Marie!
Love it and I miss you lady. Conner (age 2) was really interested!!!! hugs. Jeannette ;)
This is great. I'm just about to teach some kids' classes so would love to see more
Excellent! More please!
Gwen L
Love the imagery! Would love to see how you teach non-pilates instructor kids how to find their hips/pelvises/sits bones/etc.
Dawn F.
The little mouse is so cute running in-and-out of his house! If you have any experience with teens, I would love to see. 

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