1. Squeeze BallsSquishy balls, stress balls, koosh balls, hand exercisers… there are dozens of objects that can be squeezed quietly. Teacher tip: make sure that kids use them under their desks for minimal distractions to others. Fun activity idea: fill balloons up with different items (seeds, playdough, flour, etc.) to squish.
2. FidgetsFidgets are small objects that help keep students’ hands occupied. You can buy these onAmazon.com or use objects like beaded bracelets, Rubik’s Cubes, or slinkies.
3. Silly PuttySilly putty, playdough, or sticky tack can also keep students' hands occupied.
4. VelcroTape a strip of the hard side of velcro under the student’s desk. It gives them something to touch. Many types of objects can work, such as emery boards or straws.
5. Gum or Chewable NecklacesChewing gum can help keep some ADHD students focused. In no-gum classrooms, necklaces with chewable pieces can also work. You can also wrap airline tubing or rubber bands at the ends of pencils for students to chew.
6. DoodlingDoodling can help many students focus, not just ones with ADHD (here's the research if you're interested). Some students also benefit if they can draw during storytime or a lesson.
8. Chair Leg BandsTie a large rubber band (or yoga band) across both front legs of the chair for students to push or pull against with their legs.
9. Bouncy BallsAKA yoga balls, stability balls, or exercise balls. These are potentially great for all students, not just ones with ADHD.
10. Swivel ChairsKids can twist a little bit from side to side. A rocking chair also works.
11. Wobble ChairsSimilar to swivel chairs or disk seats, these chairs let students rock within their seats. Teacher tip:don’t let students wobble too much, or they may fall off!
12. Disk SeatsThese sit on a chair and allow students to rock in their seats (without being as dangerous as rocking the entire chair). Cushions can also work.
13. Standing DesksGreat for all students, not just ones that need to fidget. Learn how students brought standing desks into their classroom in this Edutopia community post: Using Stand Up Tables in the Classroom. If it’s within your budget, you can also use treadmill desks.
14. Desks with Swinging FootrestsA built-in footrest can help reduce the noise that would otherwise happen with foot tapping.
15. Stationary BikesPutting a stationary bicycle at the back of the classroom is a great way to help students be active, with the added benefit of exercise!
16. Classroom Space for Moving AroundClear an area in the side or back of the room to let students stand, stretch, dance, pace, or twirl. If you’re brave, you can set up small trampolines for students to jump on.
17. Flexible Work LocationsStudents don’t have to do their learning at their desk. One student did his work at the windowsill, while another moved from one desk to another. Having different learning stations can benefit all types of students. For ideas on setting up your classroom, check out this post: 7 Learning Zones Every Classroom Must Have.
What has worked for you?
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