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Creative yoga classes for children: 'capturing the magic of childhood'

Article By: Ellie Spanswick, News Editor

has been providing creative baby and children’s yoga programmes for children up to the age of seven for over 10 years. Working with the motto ‘bendy, giggly, clever and strong’ the classes are targeted at helping children develop, learn and have fun at the same time.

The brand was established in 2004 by Sam Petter who began teaching yoga before she had children. Now she has a daughter nearly 8 and a son, aged 12. Sam began the Tatty Bumpkin brand when he was born, teaching baby yoga as she found there was a lack of multisensory experiences available for parents with young children.

Lack of creative classes that tapped into the magic of childhood

Sam said: "I started Tatty Bumpkin because I found that there was a lack of yoga classes for children that were both accessible and creative. The ethos of the brand is unique in its visual look and holistic nature.

"When my son was little, I felt there was a lack of creative classes for babies and children that really tapped into the magic of childhood - and for the parents too, a sense of fun - reaching out to the inner child in all of us."

Sam received recognition from UnLtd in the form of a social enterprise award, aimed at helping mums back into work which led to the development of Tatty Bumpkin yoga classes, a range of accessories, organic clothing and hand woven toys, mats and Tatty Bumpkin dolls.

In recent years, the brand has grown to include 32 Franchises operating throughout the UK and now runs classes as after school clubs, at festivals and children’s parties. Tatty Bumpkin and Baby Bumpkin teachers are trained by yoga teachers and physiotherapists and are fully CRB checked and insured.

Sam continued: "The name 'Tatty Bumpkin' came from a nickname and represents a care free existence, encouraging a child led yoga experience and allows children to have a voice.

“The music is an anchor to the learning; we use professional musicians, so that it’s done well and with integrity as I really believe in the brand.

Combined music, movement and storytelling

Sam acknowledges that the success of Tatty Bumpkin has been helped by people becoming increasingly aware of leading an organic and healthy lifestyle where possible, as well as an increased interest in yoga and the benefits of mindfulness.

"The strength in the brand comes from the attention to detail that’s has gone into the support materials, they are ethical, creative and engaging. I also write and compose the music with my husband."

Classes combine music, movement and storytelling and allow parents to interact together with their children, whilst being aligned to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

The benefits of Baby and Tatty Bumpkin yoga include, helping them learn how to relax, develop physical skills and confidence, as well as aiding problem solving. In addition, parents can benefit from parent and child bonding and whilst learning simple yoga stretches.

Sue Heron has been working as a training co-ordinator with Tatty Bumpkin for the past 10 years, using her 20 years of experience as a paediatric physiotherapist to train and support Franchisees and write the stories for the classes.

She said: "When we started, we were running between two and four classes per week, then opened our classes up to Franchisees to run more classes in schools and nurseries. Classes are developed for children who aren’t quite school ready to help their physical and communication skills in a group setting, as well as running after school classes.

'Classes leave children in a calm, alert state'

"Each class teaches yoga with a story throughout with the story changing each week. Classes start with Tatty Bumpkin having breakfast then going through the ‘giggle tree’ to an adventure. All classes are designed to help children’s self-regulation skills and encourage children to be in relaxing state at the end of each class, leaving children in a calm, alert state."

Alongside the yoga classes, Tatty Bumpkin have produced a range of carbon neutral clothing and sell the Tatty Bumpkin mascot, toys and accompanying soundtracks on CD and as downloadable files.

Sam added: "Despite there being some scepticism in the methodology, the benefits of Tatty Bumpkin speak for themselves and the classes are very popular with parents and children in an educational environment and as a social occasion.

"Tatty Bumpkin is about more than business, it’s an emotional response and a chance to capture the simplicity and goodness of childhood."

The classes have a multi demographic appeal and there are Franchises in operation across the country, ranging from Scotland to Devon and internationally in Qatar and there is interest in the brand from as far away as Australia.

Tatty Bumpkin works in collaboration with Change 4 Life to create a movement where behaviour changes trigger others to lead a healthier lifestyle as well as The Pre-school Learning Alliance to encourage activity in nurseries.


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