How to Help Wiggly Learners

One of the most common questions I get in the fall is how to help fidgety kids become more centered in a classroom.

First, let me encourage you to talk with your child’s teacher before you purchase anything! The teacher needs to be on board letting your child use these tools.

Second, you will need to show your child how to use these as tools and not as toys.

Third, I’d encourage you to practice some mid-line cross over exercises at home that you child can use in the classroom when they are feeling extra wiggly.

Fidget for Fingers – this is a super easy and a really non-distracting way for fingers to get their wiggles out. Unvelcro the strip, use the more abrasive side and adhere it underneath the front of the student’s desk. Your child can run their fingers over the texture while listening to the teacher.

Fidget for Feet – This band is quiet and great in a classroom for kids who have feet that need to move. It loops around the front of their desk or their chair and they can bounce their feet on it. Try it in both locations before you leave them with it. On their chair works great for smaller kids as it is closer to them. If you do put it on the desk, it can make the desk scoot forward and if they get really aggressive with foot bouncing it can start knocking things out of their desk which would be obviously counter productive.

Fidget for Body Core – Try starting out with the seat cushion first, it is less distracting; then if they need more of their body to wiggle get the chair. Both will need practice at home before you bring it into the classroom. Kids really like being silly on these at first, but if you introduce it as a tool to help them learn and practice using it, they will be far more successful. Word of wisdom for the wobble seat- it can make farting sounds- so talk about this upfront by coaching them how to avoid making that sound and what to do if it happens.

Be sure to check with your child’s teacher before introducing something new in the classroom. A simple narrative would be:

“You may have noticed that our child is a wiggly learner. We have some non-distracting tools to help center energy so s/he’s a better listener to your instruction. Would you be willing to have a conversation about us bringing these tools into the classroom?”

In addition to these physical tools to help with wiggly learners, you can also use midline cross-over exercises to help with centering their mind. I’ll share another post on this soon!

Helping you cultivate curious minds! ~Michelle

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