Indoor Activities At Home For Active 4 Year Old Boy Help for ADHD Kids During the Dreaded School Circle Time

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Help for ADHD Kids During the Dreaded School Circle Time

Sitting still can be difficult for very young children. For children with ADHD, sitting still can be impossible. Most schools now use an activity called circle time to teach children all kinds of academic subjects. Although sitting in a circle is better than being tied to a desk, for children with ADHD this is still a difficult school activity.

Fortunately, there are strategies and devices to help all children stay engaged during circle time, and for children with ADHD, these strategies can mean the difference between learning and sitting in the ‘time-out’ spot for most of the day. This list of suggestions can help children in elementary school and may even be helpful for preschoolers.

Before sitting in a circle, children should be allowed to engage in some form of gross motor activity (eg stretching, jumping). This may not only be necessary 2-5 minutes before circle time, but may also be necessary during that time if the time the children are expected to be quiet is longer than 20 minutes. High-energy children may need to run around for more than 5 minutes, and if a break can be scheduled just before they have to sit still, distractions will be minimized.

All children need rest, preferably in a green space. We know from countless studies that both green spaces, such as parks and playgrounds with trees, and physical activity will improve hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and inattention in ADHD. All children benefit from green spaces and exercise, but for children with ADHD, twenty to thirty minutes of active outdoor play is just as important to their therapy as medical treatment.

The trend in many schools is to eliminate recess, but most teachers realize that skipping recess is counterproductive and that all children are more attentive after recess in the fresh air. Parents of children with ADHD should insist that their child’s school includes outdoor recreation in their curriculum.

When circle time begins, a small sketchbook can keep a hyperactive child occupied as well as a quiet ‘job’. Some teachers give restless children a pile of crayons and ask them to sort them by color, other children are asked to sharpen pencils in the classroom. The tires can be sorted by color and the markers can be organized and wrapped in rubber bands. Creative teachers have found that giving active children a ‘job’ during circle time can keep children attentive and engaged.

Some schools have had great success using ‘sticks’ during circle time. For impulsive ADHD children, this reminder of when it’s not appropriate to talk can be a powerful and helpful tool. It is also important for the teacher to tell the children what activity is acceptable during circle time because many young children do not intuitively know what the expectations are. Children with ADHD can be particularly unaware of teacher expectations, and clear and age-appropriate instructions regarding circle time rules are essential if children are to learn during this school activity.

Many school-age children with ADHD find it difficult to sit still in a circle. The above school and classroom strategies can help make circle time an educational, relaxing, and productive time for every child in the classroom.

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