These circle time ideas are the perfect way to provide support for wiggly, fidgety kids who can’t sit still.
Circle time. It’s the event that marks the start of the day for preschoolers and kindergarteners. The time when they all congregate to one area of the classroom to sit on the carpet and talk about the weather, the alphabet, and the calendar.
It can also be a time of anxiety for a lot of teachers. After all, it isn’t easy to get 25 wiggly bodies to sit still in “criss cross applesauce” for an extended period of time.
Why Kids Can’t Sit Still During Circle Time
Why do so many kids have trouble sitting still during circle time? There are a number of possible reasons. Kids may be craving a little extra vestibular input, maybe they are sleepy and trying to keep their bodies awake or maybe they just don’t have the core strength to sit very long without support.
I’ve used circle time as an opportunity to provide push-in therapy services to some of my kids and to provide circle time tips and strategies to teachers. It’s the perfect time to work on sitting balance, stretching and positioning. What I have noticed is how hard it is for most of these kids to calm their bodies and remain in one position.
Kids are built to move and sometimes, when provided with the right alternative seating, they can give their bodies the wiggling they crave without distracting everyone else during instructional time.
Circle Time Ideas for Kids Who Can’t Sit Still
These chairs are designed to give a little vestibular input and support. Try introducing them during free play so that the novelty of the cute rocking chair wears off before the kids actually have to use them appropriately during circle.
Weight provides proprioceptive input which can be calming for wiggly kids.
3 || Therapy Ball in a Laundry Basket
By placing a ball inside a laundry basket, kids have the opportunity to bounce without the ball rolling away from under them and over the child next to them! Try to find a flexible basket that allows for some freedom of movement so that the child works her core a bit during this activity.
Typically used for the dreaded bleachers at a football game, stadium seats are also great for providing a little support for tiny bodies during floor sitting. They also give a sense of personal space.
A staple in many preschool classrooms, cube chairs provide just enough support while still letting the child be at the level of his peers.
6 || Milk Crate With a Cushion
Make friends with your custodian, grab a few milk crates, turn them upside down and put a cushion on top. Instant chair! And a great way to help define personal space for kids.
This is a convenient, go anywhere chair. The back provides just enough support for a wobbly core and the seat gives a sense of personal space.
For that super wiggly kid, try a body sock. The resistive fabric will provide awesome, calming proprioceptive input.
What are your favorite seating ideas for circle time? Share them in the comments below! Looking for more circle time tips and strategies? Check these out!
Latest posts by Lauren Drobnjak (see all)
- The Best OT Podcasts! - April 7, 2019
- 10 Fun Ways to Play With Lummi Sticks - March 17, 2019
- What’s the Difference Between a School Therapist and a Clinical Therapist? - February 19, 2019