Some Kids Just Can’t Sit Still!
Is your child the one who is always in motion, whether tapping his feet or twirling her hair? The one who can’t stay seated for any length of time? Lots of kids fidget. The problem is when it interferes with learning, school, or social development.
It used to be that fidgety kids were told to “just sit still!” If only it was that simple. Now we understand that there’s way more to it. Research indicates that some kids need a certain level of physical activity to “turn their brains on” for learning. And that, while relentless fidgeting might be distracting to watch, it actually helps kids concentrate, especially when appropriately directed.
In other words, more body movement, combined with channeled fidgeting, can improve a restless kid’s focus and learning.
Five Ways to Harness Fidgeting and Enhance Focusing
1. Promote More Active Play
Kids don’t get nearly as much physical playtime as they used to (as demonstrated by soaring childhood obesity rates). Experts suggest an least an hour of active play every day can help. In addition to organized activities like sports, dancing, and gymnastics, promote active play at home. Energy busters like swing sets, play equipment, trampolines and bounce houses can help satisfy a child’s need to move.
2. Develop Core Strength
Did you know some kids have trouble sitting for long periods because they lack core strength? Balance toys like our balance beam and sensory stepping stones build core strength and stability, which can actually help kids sit comfortably for longer periods.
3. Explore Sensory Toys and Fidget Toys
Research suggests that many kids who fidget rely on sensory feedback to get their bodies in check. If your child’s hands are always in motion, try introducing tactile toys, like our Sensory Balls, which may help your child settle.
4. Encourage Active Sitting
It seems counterintuitive, but letting fidgety kids move while they’re learning has been proven to improve concentration. Vibrating pillows and wobble chairs are great focusing tools, because they let students wiggle in a controlled way.
5. Make Your Child’s School Your Ally
If your child responds well to tools like wobble chairs and fidget toys, ask if you can bring some of these solutions into the classroom. Even something as simple as a textured pencil grip or pencil topper can make a difference and help your child learn.
Creating a Kids Playroom That is Fun and Functional
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