Meddy Teddy

Meddy Teddy is a great teacher for Toddlers/Preschoolers

I have taught toddler/preschool yoga for the last ten plus years and one thing I know for sure is that the use of visuals while teaching is a key to success. When I started teaching all those years ago, many people were surprised I could teach such young children breathing, mindfulness and movement. As many of us know, Early Education is actually a perfect environment for this fun, playful practice. Here is what makes Meddy Teddy the perfect tool!

meddy teddy

A Model for the Movement

One of the difficulties with teaching younger children, is how to help them stay engaged with the yoga-based movement. Modeling the movement with our own bodies is very helpful for engagement. Sometimes we can’t model the poses if we need to help children – assisting with balance, or lightly lifting their backs off the floor for a Gentle Bridge. When we assist a little one into a pose, we are no longer demonstrating the pose with our body. This is where our assistant Meddy Teddy shines. Meddy Teddy can hold the pose freeing us up to move around the room to assist children.

Meddy Teddy Plank Pose

A Friend for Relaxation

Meddy Teddy is also the best Relaxation participant. Meddy Teddy can lie down with a beanie baby on his belly to model how we stay still and quiet in final relaxation. Children are able to see exactly what the expectation is. They follow Meddy Teddy’s lead and breathe deeply into their bellies to gently rock the beanie babies to sleep. Because Meddy Teddy does not move and does not talk, they strive to do the same.

Meddy Teddy Rest

A Trauma Informed Intervention

Recently, I have been working with an Early Education group of children experiencing trauma and dysregulation. I have had great success leading a session with the visuals from the Move Mindfully® Early Education Card Deck – Mountain, Upward Mountain, Forward Fold, Child’s/Seed, Tree, Down Dog, Rock on Back, Windshield Wipers. Once we move through these movements (repeating Mountain, Upward Mountain, Forward Fold 2-3x, and Seed to Tree balancing on both sides), I lie Meddy Teddy down and place a beanie baby on his belly so that the children know it’s time for Final Relaxation. I use reflective language for both Meddy Teddy and the Children at the end of our relaxation. “Meddy Teddy’s body looks peaceful and calm – is your body peaceful and calm?” or “Meddy Teddy’s beanie baby is asleep – is your beanie baby asleep?”

Meddy Teddy Breathing Buddy

A Co-Teacher

Using Meddy Teddy frees me up to be able to lie down or sit next to a child that is struggling while still being able to refer the other children back to what we are supposed to be doing. When it’s time to go, Meddy Teddy gets a lot of kisses and hugs from the children!

Meddy Teddy and Friends

Meddy Teddy is also a great tool for home use. Toddlers love his calm, reassuring presence before bed. Also, while this post is focused on toddlers and preschoolers, older students love Meddy too! I have found that sometimes the reluctant students in the group are able to access the movement through Teddy!

Meddy Teddy at Bedtime

Meddy Teddy for all ages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow all of Meddy’s adorable adventures on Instagram. (he has almost 50,000 followers!)

What do you use when teaching toddlers and preschoolers? What visuals are helpful? Leave a comment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By,

Chrissy Mignogna

10 replies
  1. Barb
    Barb says:

    Meddy Teddy would be great in the classroom. The reassurance and calm that a child has from this special friend would help in yoga sessions. This will be one of my future purchases.

    Reply
  2. Maia
    Maia says:

    I absolutely LOVE using Meddy Teddy in my classroom! We use him every day, and he’s already gotten so much love I had to order another one 🙂 I’m excited for the new one to arrive because he’s supposed to balance on his own. My kids are excited too!

    Reply
    • Emma
      Emma says:

      Maia, what do you use to help him stand on his own? I received one as a gift to use in my preschool movement class. However, I can’t seem to make him stand on his own so that I can assist the kids with the poses. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      Reply
  3. Kate Bartlein
    Kate Bartlein says:

    I have been obsessed with Meddy Teddy for years now! Even including him in trainings I have provided to parents and educators on social-emotional learning and building emotional regulation skills! I love some of you suggestions for implementation-the idea of him as a co-teacher is SO awesome! Great post 🙂

    Reply
  4. Stacey Wolfgram
    Stacey Wolfgram says:

    I like to use the Peaceful Piggy Yoga and Peaceful Piggy Meditation books along with the Move Mindfully cards and Hoberman Sphere. I use myself as an example of course to help them get started!

    Reply
  5. Sandra Busta
    Sandra Busta says:

    Thanks for the great idea! I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more tools for the younger ones I work with!

    Reply
  6. smmus.es
    smmus.es says:

    We ve been busy writing away on all things OT and yoga. We have forgotten to say Happy Occupational Therapy Month to all of our fellow occupational therapists and their clients! Over the last month we have been working with 1000-petals to continue identifying the sensory systems used in the yoga poses included in their move mindfully card deck.

    Reply

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