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Believe it or not, some children really can not sit
still for more than 60 seconds.
If you have a highly active child, a fidgeter or a child who just wont sit still, read alouds can become a real challenge. You may feel like your child isn’t listening and the getting up and down or shifting about might drive you bonkers. I promise, there is a solution and it is one that both you and your child will be at peace with.
Our Little Fidget
In our home this child is M. It doesn’t matter what he is doing eating dinner, watching his favourite show or sitting down to read a book he has requested, he will fidget. He will play with his hands, chew his clothes, bounce up and down or shift back and forth between kneeling, sitting and standing. It was a source of irritation for me and it made read alouds a real challenge.
I decided that we needed a solution. In all of the classic family stories I have read there is at least one evening scene where the family gathers around as one member reads and the others set to work on mending, sewing cooking or other hands on tasks. I decided that this was exactly what M needed. The freedom to do some quiet activities with his hands that would enable him to keep his body move and his mind focused.
Quiet Read Aloud Activities
A Rubick’s Cube
These are the perfect solution for the child who needs to hold anything in their hands. Your child will be able to fiddle, twist and keep those fingers moving whilst listening to you read aloud. Personally, I think the Rubick’s has more value than the latest fidget spinner fad to hit the scene. Rubick’s Cubes are fantastic for exercising the brain and teaching the concept of algorithms.
Pen and Paper
Simple cheap but effective. You could have your child take notes but better still let them doodle away to their heart’s content. For some people doodling actually enhances their learning and comprehension.
Sitting on a Yoga Ball
Sitting and bouncing on a ball is perfect for the child who prefers to be physically active rather than being busy with his hands. It will reduce the amount of getting up and down, shifting around or even the wandering off in the middle of a story! You’ll want to make sure it’s the right size and their feet can touch the floor.
Play Dough or Modelling Clay
Ideal solution for the creative child. Give them a Lump of dough and let them go to town. I’d probably for go all the shape cutters and tools for the purpose of your read alouds.
With the same premise behind it as doodling. Painting is relaxing and you can even challenge your child to paint the scenes being described in the book. You’ll know for sure then just how much attention they are paying!
My boy’s love a snack time read aloud, as it usually involves popcorn. You’ll find us all sitting huddled around one bowl as I read. Feeding the soul, topping up our bellies and expanding our minds all at the same time! Warning! this activity may result in longer pauses between sentences than usual… “munch, munch, munch!”
So if you’re struggling reading to a child that just can’t sit still give these a try!
If you liked this post you may also enjoy:these 6 Tips for Creating Daily Reading Habits