Run around to sit still

I’ve been reading the excellent series of posts by The Mentor Mom. Learning tip 3 really clicked for me.

The big guy has so much energy after preschool in the afternoons I was having a hard time containing him. He was so tired he went into overdrive. He was a whirlwind of rolling, jumping, running, leaping all over the house. A trail of destruction around him…with his little brother not far behind.

The clash is this is the time I want to be making dinner, and cleaning up the house but this was also the time tempers flared quickly.

With the warm sunshine one day this week, I threw caution to the wind and took the boys out on their bikes. I sat and read, whilst the little guy finally managed to pedal his trike. The big guy cycled up and down the horseshoe many times zooming past his brother. They both played together going downhill backwards on a trike………..with helmets to shrieks of laughter. In fact they put the bikes away themselves and wanted in.

Out for a ride

Once in, the big guy checked his chores list. Did them. Got out some paper asked me to write something to copy. Copied a few lines and repeated it when the i and the l looked the same.

Drew a few pictures and then asked could he help me cook. The little guy got out the playdough and played on the table for 15minutes before joining in the drawing.

Getting up and moving around outside using those large muscles really helped them sit. The big guy needed this the most at around aged 2. When my husband called and said he was rolling around what do you do? I used to say “He needs to run around to stay still.” It soon became our shorthand and helped with his attention span. As he got older he learnt to self regulate more and reading the article reminded me of those times.

Dinner was later…..always seems to be in our house….especially that night but the tension of getting things ready certainly wasn’t high. The kids were calmer and happier doing sedentary activities there is no way they could attempt earlier.

Just like we get up and stretch, walk around, go for a run- it’s important we teach our kids how to self regulate so they can work well. Whether you child is a toddler or in school finding what works for them can really make the difference between getting things done and getting things done well.

Why not pop over and read the others in the learning series?

Learning tip 1: Drink water

Learning tip 2: Chew gum

Learning tip 3: Get up and move!

Another great place to learn about the link between movement and learning, visit Rae Pica’s The Pica Perspective.

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  1. Thanks for the shout out, Melitsa! It’s always nice to read personal stories of parents experiences with different strategies 😉

  2. Thanks for contributing this post to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul! The Carnival will be live on March 31, 2008, so make sure you stop by and check out all of the other wonderful posts included in this week’s edition!


  1. […] was perfect for him to push, pull, poke, squeeze, cut, roll, toss and shape. Also I found combining gross motor activity and a craft made the craft accessible for […]

  2. […] Run around to sit still […]

  3. […] up some speed. Expending that energy gets all the wiggles out of them. They are totally awake and organised. They get to be active with their bodies which leads to active minds at […]

  4. […] talked before about often children need to run around to sit still. Getting to play activities is so much easier when they are ready to do them. Instead of just […]

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