For my son, it was what we called his “pinky pants”. I had a pair of silky, pink pajamas pants that he loved to rub between his fingers while we snuggled at night watching TV or reading a book. One evening, I went to put them on and couldn’t find them. As it turns out, my son, swiped them and they became his “security blanket”. I’m sure he doesn’t appreciate me telling his childhood business, but when I walked into Fran’s classroom, her brilliant idea took me right back to my son.
I am an educator myself and have talked with many parents of children with ADHD. Guess what they all have in common? Hands. Their kids can play video games into the wee hours, text for hours on end, or play computer games. They ask why can their children do those things, but they can’t focus long enough to learn? It is in the hands, people. So, Fran is capitalizing on this.
Last year, Fran served many students with disabilities, many of whom had ADHD. Often times, if ADHD students are not diagnosed, medicated correctly, or have not learned how to cope with their high energy levels, they have serious learning gaps. Fran was determined to help her students calm down and learn. So, Fran bought a plastic bucket and filled it up with tactile objects that kids could touch while she taught and they worked. These were especially helpful during high stress situations like testing.
Fran told me her kids, “Beg for the bucket.” She even gives them a chance to trade off objects. Now, if you are a teacher, this is fair warning, if you have a stress ball, they will throw it. Parameters and expectations have to be clearly taught and practiced when placing a tactile object in a kid’s hands.
What’s in Fran’s magic bucket? Easy cheap stuff like velvet ribbons, silky scarves, and ribbon rolls with different textures. There’s an assortment of stress balls, Tangle toys, Knobby Balls, mesh, marbles- all cheap solutions that can help kids learn. They are all available on Amazon, but check out dollar stores and thrift shops for more ideas. Give Fran a hand! Her kids were some of the top performers on our state tests this past year.