Do you have a fidget box or Calm down area in your classroom? Its been a lifesaver for me, my staff and it has also helped the many children that have used it over and over.
Here's how I have used fidgets.
SET THE FIDGET SPACEThis is the first center set up in my classroom each year. I usually like to give it a name. Something like "Space Place" or "Chillville" have been a couple of my favorites.
USING THE FIDGET SPACEI find a fidget space, a great proactive way to alleviate behaviors before they begin. So, I use them in several ways.
- I integrate a time for the fidget area into the kids' daily schedules. This way they can count on a guaranteed time to go. "If I do my reading then I can go to Chillville."
- A few decorations populate the wall including the rules for the area. Some of the rules include quiet voices, one toy at time and sty in the fidget area.
- Some must haves in my fidget space are a beanbag chair and some plastic baskets to hold fidgets, post the fidget space rules and
- Sometimes when we see the behavior escalating, we call a break and allow some down time in Chillville. This often gives enough of a break that when their time is up, they are ready to work.
- When I have students in need of some space to themselves, just some time to chill out or a break time to gather themselves together, I schedule a Chillville or SpacePlace visit. The students get 10 minutes to go to Chillville and "play" with the fidgets in the area.
WHAT'S IN THE FIDGET SPACE?
There are so many fidgets but I wanted to share just a few of the ones that I have used. Some fidgets that can usually be found there are
1. different colors and resistance levels of thera-putty
2. squishy balls,
3. fuzzy, prickly, spiky types of tactile balls
4. tangle toys
5. Leap Pads with velcro holders for fingers to touch and feel
6. Small stuffed animals
7. Small wind-up toys
Here are a few other examples of things in Fidget Area.
That last little fidget, pictured above, is a Pop Tube or sometimes written Pop Toobe. If you've ever had one of these, you know it isn't necessarily a quiet toy. However, I had a 3rd grader that just LOVED these things. I will try anything at least ONCE for students I teach!
For this student, the Pop Tube was amazing. He would sit and play the accordion-like pleats, in and out for long periods if you let him. That didn't cause too much noise and was not a disturbance to the rest of my kids and worked wonders for him. However, the PopTube didn't work for another child because he learned how to extend it, swing it around his head to make it whistle. We then worked it out so the tube was only available to those that use it quietly.
Check it out!
Thanks for stopping by. See you next time!