Fidget Toys and Activities for a Preschooler
March 30, 2015
Spring is here. Well there is still a little snow on the ground…but spring is just around the corner. Spring means sunshine, outside time, holidays, family commitments, and special celebrations like weddings and graduations. Events we all look forward to, except maybe if you have a fidgety preschooler.
Preschoolers aren’t really built to sit still for 30-60 minutes and just listen. Preschoolers are built for action. They like to talk, move, sing, and play. So what do parents of preschoolers do when social etiquette dictates that their four year old should just sit and listen? Not go to the family occasion? Leave the preschooler at home? Grin and bear it? None of these are great choices! How about…
Fidget toys are small items that a child can quietly play with without distracting the people around him/her. They can help ease a little of the tension that builds up when a preschooler is asked to sit still for an extended time. The great news is that fidget toys are small and easily fit into a purse or small bag and usually they are pretty inexpensive and sometimes can even be homemade. In short fidget toys are a must have for parents of preschoolers.
Teachers at Next Generation Children’s Center often use fidget toys as a tool for children who struggle with sitting during circle time. The fidget toy gives the child’s hands something to do so the child can pay attention to the teacher and the circle time discussion.
A few of NGCC’s favorite fidget toys:
Fidgeting Finger Springs
Stretchy Frogs or Worms
Eye Spy Squish Bags
Drawing Squishy Bags
Balloon Stress Balls
Fabric Marble Mazes
Pin Point Impression Toys
Twist and Lock Blocks
I Spy Books
Fidget toy collage
A few other tips to help with a fidgety child…
Bring a few small non – messy snacks to help with any hunger and to keep your child busy
Keep the fidget toys in your bag as surprises and bring out one at a time as your child loses interest in the toy they currently have
Try to get a seat in the back and on an aisle this way if you have to make a quick exit or pop out for some fresh air it won’t be very disruptive
Prep your child before the event so they know exactly what to expect
If you prepare as much as you can before the event it is possible for both you and your preschooler to enjoy it. The good news is that once the sitting quietly part of the event is over your preschooler will probably be the life of the party. Four year olds usually have some pretty awesome dance moves!
Many thanks to Cynthia Parker, VP of Development and Jess Donato, Walpole Director for their ideas and input in the development of this article.