As moms, we tend to say the same things over and over again. Consider all of the times that you’ve said sentences like “be careful,” “don’t hit your brother,” and “eat your dinner.” One of the things I’ve said to my son hundreds of times is “Sit still!” — especially when it’s time to read.
Maybe you, too, have a child who struggles to be still for even a moment. My son has been that way since he was maybe four months old. He has always wanted to be doing things, involved in activities and going places. It makes for a fun (and exhausting) motherhood experience, but in some situations, we each have to learn to be still and focus our attention. This was, and still sometimes is, difficult for him.
One of the times that we have to sit still is when we are reading. My son used to be below grade level with reading skills, and we spent a lot of time reading at home for practice. Sitting still was the hardest part for him. We tried different tactics and finally found something that worked for him.
We created a fidget box.
Our Fidget Box
We filled his fidget box with handheld toys like silly putty and a mini slinky, as well as different scraps of fabric with different feels to them. Before reading, my son would select an item or two and then sit down to read. The toys kept his hands busy and he was able to put his mental concentration into his book. It made a dramatic difference once we started using the fidget items!
If you have a kiddo who has trouble sitting still to read or listen to a story, here are some ideas of what you could put into a fidget box of your own. Using these items will also help keep your child from biting their nails or playing with their hair while they read, which is something else we struggled with.
- Thinking Putty by Crazy Aaron
- Mini Rubik’s Cube
- Fidget spinner or cube
- Soft scraps of fabric like fleece or faux fur
- Squishy foam balls
- Small squishy dinosaurs
What tools do you use to help your fidgety son or daughter sit still so that they can read or complete homework? Put your ideas in the comments!