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Leader Resource 4: Fidget Objects
The idea for a basket of "fidget objects" to provide children during session activities comes from Sally Patton, author, workshop leader, and advocate for children with special needs.
A basket of fidget objects is a simple, inexpensive way to include and welcome children who find it difficult to sit still or who learn better while moving.
Provide a basket for fidget objects. Fill it with pipe cleaners, modeling clay, and other quiet, manipulable objects.
Introduce the fidget object basket to the group by saying that some people learn best when their hands are busy. Give an example such as someone who knits while listening to a radio program or doodles during a meeting or class. Point out the fidget object basket. Tell the children they may quietly help themselves to items they may use to keep their hands busy if this helps them to listen. However, also tell the children the fidget object basket will be put away if the items become a distraction from the story or any other group activity.
You can make the fidget object basket available for the duration of the session, or bring it out only during activities, such as hearing a story told, which require children to sit still and listen for a significant period of time.