Does your son (or daughter) wiggle and squirm through circle time? Does he run circles around the others during circle time? Well you are not alone. Many parents loose sleep every night trying to come up with ways to help their child SIT STILL in Circle Time. In fact, Circle Time has become the dreaded “C” word in our house. From the moment my son started preschool we have heard it over and over again. “He just doesn’t want to sit in circle time”. “He had trouble in circle time today”..etc.
What can you do? Are there any ways to help encourage your child to sit still in circle time? While children mature at different rates, there are a few things you can do to help your child understand what is expected of him during circle time.
1. Start having circle time at home. Pick a book or a subject that you would like to read and announce that it is now circle time. Sit in a chair and instruct your child to sit in front of you on the floor in a small circle. Have them sit still while you read a story, or go through a small lesson plan. Every time your child doesn't cooperate, redirect them to come back to the circle and sit still. When he does sit through circle time, place a sticker on his chart and some positive praise. If you are stumped for things to talk about during your "circle time", try copying some lesson plans
2. Talk with his teachers. Maybe there are incentives they can use to make circle time a bit more interesting for your child. (Give him a stamp on his chart at school if he sits still etc). Remember that he is still little and going to preschool to learn how to sit still in school. Try not to get too discouraged or "down". There will be good days and bad days.
3. See if your preschool teacher will make special place mats for the children to sit on during circle time. Sometimes having a special "place" to sit will help to remind him to stay seated during the circle time. Sometimes these simple reminders are all they need to stay PUT!
If your son or daughter is still having trouble sitting in circle time, you may consider having them evaluated by an OT. Occupational Therapists can suggest many ways to help a "Fidgety" child learn to manage their impulses. Sensory Seeking behavior can be curbed with good management skills that can be learned in OT.
Try these great articles and blogs about circle time:
Sitting still in circle time and the 3 year old Boy
3 Skills a Preschooler really needs to Know