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Helping Fidgety Kids Sit Still?
By: Renata Bursten, Dragonfly Staff

A sensory approach to the age-old question.

Lots of children have trouble sitting still in a circle or in a class. A nonintegrated sensory system may be at the bottom of their problem. Sensory circle-time strategies can help the 'fidgeter', in both the classroom and the home.

How about:

Seating the children in beanbag or soft chairs to give maximum support and pressure over a large part of the body surface. If possible, adapt the seating for the whole group. This helps the children avoid feeling singled out or "special".

Use a visual cue (like a carpet marker) to show the child where to sit. A good collection of bright place mats can offer each child an easily recognizable spot of their own.

Let the child hold "fidget toys". Try a Skwish, a few Wikki Stix, or Strength Putty. Save these toys for circle time only to maximize their magic.

Sit the child straddling a Physio Egg or a Physioball. The kinesthetic and vestibular input may help stretch the attention span.

Try breaking the circle up into an active physical part and a quiet listening part. For some children, a brief bout of physical exertion can help them settle down and focus on the teacher.

Carrying a few strategies in to the circle can help you get the most of the time spent in the circle.

Have fun!

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Learning Shapes the Musical Way!

Children with special needs can be slower to learn their colors, shapes and fastenings. The Jumbo Music Block teaches all three at once! A song tells children which side of the block to turn up and a special treat is hidden behind each fastening. Try saying the name of the color and shape as the child is searching and again when it is found to add extra reinforcement of the concepts.


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