11 June 2008

Wiggley girl

Annalivia had her dance clahss today. She woke me up at 7:30 and was ready to go by 7:45. Class began at 9. :)
She loved it. She was full of all sorts of information afterwards -- "I held on the big white bar!" and "The teacher told me something and I did it!" and "I danced and danced and danced!" and a bunch of other stuff. I'm glad she enjoyed it. This was literally her first experience with taking instruction from someone other than us and being with other kids her age. We don't have kids at our church and she's not in daycare, so I was relieved.
But something else came up and I'd like your-all's help out there! The parents stayed in a lounge area while the kids went to class and they had a video feed of the class into the lounge. We couldn't hear anything, but it looked to me like she did pretty well. She was very excited to do all the movements, but I noticed that she was constantly moving. If the kids were sitting in a straight line, Annalivia was scooting around the floor. She was mimicking the teacher's arm movements, but was also using her legs and doing all sorts of squiggley things. When they were playing a dance-while-the-music-is-playing, stop-when-it's-not game, she wasn't stopping until far after the other kids.
As I was watching her, I was realizing that Annalivia is always moving! She doesn't just sit or stand in one place anytime! I hadn't realized before that it is not characteristic of other kids her age, but I definitely noticed it today! She's like a little butterfly flitting around! And I'm wondering now what I can do to help her learn to contain herself and focus. Anyone out there got suggestions?


The Waltons said...

I think it's too soon to be worried. A vast majority of my 1st and 2nd graders are still like that. But if you want ideas to try, maybe go in to class with a few prompts/tasks for her to notice while she's there. "When class is over today, I'm gonna ask you about your teacher's outfit, like colors or sleeves, etc... Pay attention to those details and we'll see if you noticed the same things I did." Something like that may channel her wigglies. Or you could have her try doing something simple like hugging herself every once in a while, or practice sitting "criss-cross applesauce" at home for you.
Just some ideas... Stay loose Momma :)

Anonymous said...

Don't do anything. She'll be at a desk before you know it. Let her have this time to be free. Love-Lil

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

I agree with Lil. I think that it's fine for her to be active and moving at this age, especially during a dance class, where being active is encouraged. As long as she's listening and involved with what is going on, I don't think it's at all a problem. My 2-3 year olds were ALWAYS moving. So I think it's very common. It can be an issue when they're doing their own thing and not what they are "there for" (ie dance class), but it sounds like she was VERY involved, so I wouldn't worry. I think Lil is right too--kids are pushed SO hard so early to be "still and quiet and serious." I can't believe it, but I've become an advocate for P.E., which they are cutting from some schools around here. I think it's SO important to have that time in a child's day where they can move and jump and burn energy, and I think dance class is the same. :)

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

BTW--for future times, when she does need to "sit still," the criss-cross applesauce thing does seem to work pretty well. It sounds wierd, but we always say, "Criss-cross applesauce, hands in the hole" (meaning the space between their crossed legs) and this seems to work with the kids.

Sarah S-D said...

you've got lots of great wisdom here, nothing to add except that this behavior actually sounds REALLY normal for an excited young person, so much energy coursing through them. i wouldn't be surprised if she becomes more focused on her own as the newness wears off. but what do i know?

A. Lin said...

Her behavior is perfectly normal, esp. since it is her first time in a class like that. Do use the criss-cross applesauce thing to teach her how to sit. And my son learned about his "bubble" that he is suppose to stay in--basically teaching him to keep his hands to himself.

My sons went to Kindermusik, and boy #2 was always moving. It seemed like he wasn't listening, but he was really catching everything. As long as she is participating and loving it and the teacher has no problem, let Annalivia be herself.

The best thing is that she didn't cry for you the whole time or sit off by herself. You are raising a a great, independent daughter from what I have read. Way to go!

Shalom said...

I think she sounds perfectly normal.

But if you'd like a few experimental ideas, we were interviewing for a preschool assistant position yesterday and ended up in a really interesting conversation about helping kids who are really kinesthetic, who learn by moving.

One suggestion was to have them "turn their ears on" when it's time to listen - they rub their ears. A second suggestion was sort of like the criss-cross-applesauce idea: to have them sit in a chair, and alternate lifting the left knee and touching it with the right hand, then with the other knee and hand, etc. (I hope I'm explaining this okay.) Apparently the idea, besides helping them move in a more quiet way, is that this sort of movement actually connects right and left brain activities and can help kids whose learning style is very movement-oriented.

This might be too much advice! I was just really interested in the discussion and thought I'd pass it along. Hope it's at least semi-useful.

Linda Hunsaker said...

Hi April -- I agree with everyone else. Hannah Banana joined her fist dance class -- 6 3 to 4 year old little girls that did nothing but move constantly. And in the end -- the dance recital was perfect!!! They all did the dance just like Ms. Robin told them. Let your sweet butterfly soar!