My 7-year-old needs to move all the time. That’s fine with me, but I’d love to find a few ways to make movement part of our everyday learning activities. We follow a fairly relaxed curriculum, but I’m committed to everyday math, reading, and science. Any ideas to bring a little more kinetic energy to these daily classes?
Some kids just need to move, and it’s great that you make space for your child be active during the day. You probably already know that readalouds can be a great time to build Legos, color, play with clay, bounce on a mini trampoline — my 10-year-old still loves to do this! — or balance on a yoga ball, but I’ll mention these things just in case.
As far as classes go, look for ways to add activity to what you’re already doing. For instance:
Scramble up the letters of spelling words on individual cards, and race back and forth across the room to collect cards to spell each new word. Or if you have the floor space, tape letters to the floor and let your student jump out the spelling of each word.
Do jumping jacks to answer short addition and subtraction problems.
Set up a stack of numbered cups, and let your student toss a ball to knock two down. Add the sum of the numbers on the dropped cups.
Practice simple math or multiplication tables standing on one foot. (Try to increase how many you can do in each balancing session.)
Take a math walk: Grab a stack of flashcards, and head outside. Each time your student answers one, take that many steps.
Learn the sign language alphabet, and practice spelling out words with your hands. (This doesn’t burn a ton of energy, but it gives a physical focus to spelling that can be helpful for kinetic learners.)
This was originally published in the winter 2018 issue of HSL.