Between the window ages of 8 to 12 children go through a period in their development where they are particularly susceptible to taking in new information. Also, their bodies can pick up certain patterns and behaviours much more easily than adults or smaller children. This is due to an increased neural, skeletal and muscular growth. Because they are making new neuromuscular connections this is the time at which a child should start training and assimilate the correct way of moving. That way they can develop balance, flexibility and strength steadily and gradually, but with a lifelong impact. All basic Pilates principals can be applied in daily life or used to support sports activities.
Within the window age, two large age groups can be distinguished: 8 to 10-year-olds and 10 to 12-year-olds which both require a different pedagogical approach. The former group can’t yet work independently for long stretches of time so it is important to teach them through example rather than through spoken instructions. Moreover, this age group is very sensitive to time, these children still move at a quick, childlike pace. 10 to 12-year-olds, on the other hand, have gained the ability to understand abstract concepts and can, therefore, be taught in a more theoretical way. In this age group, one can introduce basic anatomy which the children than will be able to project on to their own bodies and apply during exercises.
Teaching children Pilates during the window age activates muscle memory. The children will start to use certain muscle groups consciously for certain movements thereby controling their movements steadily and correctly both in and outside of the Pilates studio. As they are forming neuromuscular connections and movement patterns at this age, the effect will be long lasting. The course is not only concerned with what exercises to teach children, but also differentiates between the age groups so the teacher can know what level of intensity and complexity is appropriate.