Mini Jets Teddy Bears Picnic- “W sitting” What’s the big deal?

What is W sitting?
‘W’ sitting is when a child sits on their bottom with both knees bent, legs turning out away from their body. Their knees may be touching or spread apart and If looking over the child from above, the legs create the letter ‘W’.

Why do children sit in ‘W’ position?
When sitting in this position the center of gravity is lower and their base of support is wider allowing for increased stability through the hips & trunk. This makes it a lot easier to maintain their balance while playing or concentrating on what they are doing. There may be several reasons children prefer to sit like this, some children may have tight hip muscles, or it may just be a habit to sit this way!

What is wrong with W sitting?

  • Children are unable to rotate their trunk:
    This affects their ability to reach across their mid-line, crossing hands over from one side to the other. This is a key skill essential for handwriting, reading & other tabletop activities required for school
  • Makes it difficult to shift their weight from one side to the other. This is especially important in standing and when developing the ability to run & jump
  • W sitting doesn’t allow children to develop their trunk & core muscles. Their trunk & core muscles do not have to work as hard to keep them upright-instead they’re relying on that wide base of support from their legs & joint structures to keep them upright*
  • Long term it may lead to hip & leg muscles becoming tight & short. May result in child walking ‘pigeon toe’ and delay or hinder their coordination, balance and motor skills in later years

How you can help

Try to encourage other sitting positions on the floor such as:

  • Long sit (legs straight out in front)
  • Cross sit (legs crossed, school sit)
  • Side sitting (legs to either side)
  • Budda sit (soles of feet together, knees out to the side)
  • Sitting on a small step
  • Tuck sit (an age-old gymnastics favourite)

Follow this link for some fun games & exercises that may also help:

**Gymnastics has many wonderful benefits such as developing balance, coordination and strengthening the core & trunk!

It is quite common for children to move in & out of sitting this way when on the floor but when W sitting is the only position adopted for extended periods of time, it may become problematic & time to change the habit.

For further information speak to your Paediatric therapist, an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. Your GP or your Child Health Nurse are your first point of call if you have concerns about your child’s health & development.

BACK IN THE GYM…. Welcome to our ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’

If you see us on the:
TUMBLE TRAMP: We’ll be focussing on taking off from one foot to two-or the ‘Hulk smash’ as we call it! This is an important skill to help develop that hurdle step, which is most commonly used in the entry of a vault skill or at the start of a tumbling line. Teddy will take a ride down the slide with us and we’ll give some back drops onto the wedge a go.
FLOOR: As always, we’ll practice our key skills like forward rolls, backward rolls & cartwheels with the addition of the wonderful Spiderman handstand. This is such a great all over body conditioner, developing their strength and balance from core to toes. We’ll go back to the straddle sit to finish our forward rolls, to add some variety in there!
BARS/P.BARS: Our upper body gets a great workout with our long swings, while focussing on the arch & dish shape that our body can make while doing this skill. This week we’ll try the basket hang on the bar-we lift our legs up toward the bar, put our toes under the bar and try to get those knees down to our nose into a pike position. Can you keep your legs straight?
TRAMPOLINE: Our Teddy bears will jump with us on the trampoline today doing some split jumps, lifting our legs up into the split position & doing our best to keep them straight. They’ll also get squashed when we do some angry cat splats onto our tummy & Teddy!
BALANCE BEAM: On the low beam, we’ll Teddy bear walk along on our hands and feet & then tip toe like a ballerina bear on the medium beam. Teddy bear, Teddy bear say goodnight-can you lay down on the beam then stand up? This will really challenge our balance and confidence up on the high beam!

Here’s a few fun Teddy treats you can try at home

Activity 1- Disney Chocolate Bear Claws (click here)

These slithered almonds make the paws look ‘beary’ real, don’t you think?!

Activity 2- Teddy Bear Toast (click here)

How cute are these Teddy bear toast, you could sub in Nutella or any nut spread for the peanut butter.