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Old 08-02-2011, 10:57 AM   #1
tigerlily
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Default Ideas for fidgety listeners

I have a fidgety 6 yo and a 4 yo. The 4 yo, of course, isn't required to listen to all the readings, but she wants to participate and she's our tag-along learning.

What are your best suggestions for quiet activities to do while listening to read-alouds?

I know of:
coloring
legos (don't really have any though)
I'm thinking maybe silly putty?

What other suggestions do you have? It needs to be something that's not too interactive or so interesting that she would be distracted. Just enough to distract her fidgets and let her mind focus.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Anything her fingers can fiddle with whilst her ears are listening

Coloring in is great. You can also get little squishy balls, or anything really that can be manipulated with fingers...
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Get books in twos. I read one copy and they look at their copy as I read.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

I'm curious too... So far, I just sit on the couch and read while they roam around the living room...we have a mini tramp in there, snack time or meal times work too.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

stained glass window coloring books are good...not the ones with the pictures, but the Rose Windows or kaleidoscope ones http://www.amazon.com/Kaleidoscopic-...ref=pd_sim_b_6
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

An exercise balls works as well.
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Silly putty has been banned from my living room, they like to make little pieces and it ends up in the carpet. In theory, or if you're sitting at the table, it's a great fidget though.

An exercise ball is great if it doesn't drive YOU nuts (my girls get to bouncing really high, they listen well but it about drives me batty).

"Tangles" (they sell them in the checkout area at walmart & such)
stress balls
coloring/drawing is definitely a favorite around here
folding laundry (it's their chore anyway, so I "sell" it as freeing up time later LOL)
we often do read-alouds at mealtimes, so they're busy eating. Especially if I can find the book on tape/cd/mp3 so I don't have to read it, but even if I do, sometimes I'll read while they eat and then eat while they're doing other things
my girls like to knit, but I think they were 6 or 7 when they learned, yours are probably old
enough to learn finger knitting though
I got some little "disks" from amazon that are designed to stand on and "twist" to get a waist workout, the girls stand or sit on them and spin or twist back and forth. They're compact, not too distracting for me, and were only like $10
similar to the workout discs, but pricier, sites that specialize in things for special needs kids sell squishy disk things that can be put on a chair to let the child bounce/wiggle while they're sitting.
The girls love crafts, so I often include them in what we're learning. Even if it's a different subject from the read aloud, I'll give them craft stuff to work on (coloring, cutting, painting, glueing . . .) while I read to them
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Old 08-06-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Yes, I'm sure the exercise ball in our not-so-big living room would drive me nuts.

Of course, that's the problem with most things.

Today Lucy was playing with the ends of the afghan while I read.

I wonder if it would be safe to ask her for ideas?
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Food Do as much of your reading to them over breakfast and lunch when they are already sitting down and busy. Side benefit, you get to send them off to play and have a peaceful meal alone (or with a book, or on GCM or.....) It worked at my house.
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerlily View Post
Yes, I'm sure the exercise ball in our not-so-big living room would drive me nuts.

Of course, that's the problem with most things.

Today Lucy was playing with the ends of the afghan while I read.

I wonder if it would be safe to ask her for ideas?
Yes, we reserve the exercise ball for when they're needing help concentrating to memorize things or something like that. . . it boggles my mind, but they can be completely struggling to remember their memory verse for church or whatever, and I'll have them bounce on the exercise ball & they get it right away. . . .

Does she know how to braid? When I was a kid I did a craft that was just a bunch of yarn glued to a styrofoam craft ball & then we braided the yarn into 8 "legs", and glued googly eyes on. Maybe have her make herself a whole family of those, or make them, then unbraid & rebraid the legs? (the playing w/ the afghan made me think of it, I've been known to braid together the little fringy things on afghans LOL)

I'd give her the advance warning that you get veto power on her ideas but then sure, see what she comes up with
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ideas for fidgety listeners

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Originally Posted by elcollins View Post
Food Do as much of your reading to them over breakfast and lunch when they are already sitting down and busy. Side benefit, you get to send them off to play and have a peaceful meal alone (or with a book, or on GCM or.....) It worked at my house.
This is what we do. Works extremely well with my kids. They are 6, 4, 3. I also read in my rocker, and let them play with legos, blocks, things they can build with. Also, rice in a bucket with kitchen utensils. They can pretty much play with anything, so long as it's quiet.
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