This is a post out of the “31 Days of Morning Circles for the Child with Special Needs”. You can find the main page for this series here.
Note: If you’re reading this series for the first time, I suggest you look at the daily structure post to understand the routine we follow in our morning circle.
Because the opening activities are often done sitting or standing in one place, it’s a great idea to get a little movement in the main activity part. Some children have short attention spans so think of movement as a brain break in the circle.
When we learned that our son had a hearing loss (at four months old), I looked all over for ways to communicate with him. I watched a video of a mom and her child playing “Row, row, row your boat” facing one another, holding hands and “rowing”. I cried because my little guy could not even sit up – and didn’t, for at least a couple of years.
Today, I’m thrilled when we can “row” our own boats because not only is he sitting; he’s also pulling me and signing MORE when it’s over!
In the morning circle, I try to incorporate as many songs with movement as I can. I leave the more elaborate movement activities for later in the day or week. However, in the circle, I keep it tight because I don’t want to lose him since following a main activity is a closing activity that I treasure.
Below is an activity you can do in tomorrow’s circle even if your child has limited mobility.
Movement activity in the morning circle:
Sit your child in front of you so that both of you are facing the same direction. Hold his hands and move his body parts according to this familiar song:
The Hokey Pokey
Put your right hand in,
Put your right hand out,
Put your right hand in,
And shake it all about,
Do the hokey pokey
and turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!
(repeat with left hand, right foot, left foot, elbows, knees etc.)
Change the parts of the body as you work on them within your curriculum. Don’t expect your child to know/ do them all the first time. Also, keep in mind your child’s physical needs and support him accordingly.
Even though the song is a basic one, adapt it by eventually adding other objects as you work on vocabulary. For example: “Put your right shoe in”, “Put your left boot in”, “Put your red crayon in”, “Put the blue block in” etc.
What movement activities do you include in the morning circle?