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.
Before we get into specific activities you can do in the morning circle, the building blocks need to be in place first. Today, we’ll talk about location.
Where in your home can you set-up and execute the morning circle successfully for your child with special needs?
Setting up the morning circle in your home
Ideally, morning circles can take place just about anywhere in the home. However, with the increase in technology in homes today, I suggest finding a spot that is not close to a television or a computer. All small handheld devices should be put away unless you are using them as part of the circle (such as for communication purposes or to teach a new skill).
Technology not only distracts children visually, but the buzzing sound they emit can take away from the peace of the morning for a child with sensory issues.
Listed below are some suggestions for where you can hold a morning circle. They are meant to inspire or trigger an idea for you. You will know where the best spot will be based on the floor plan of your home. You should at least have some space for you and each of your children – with a little extra wiggle room for each person.
Locations in the home to hold a morning circle:
- the living room with the coffee table pushed out of the way
- on the sofa in the living room
- a spot on the dining room floor
- around a table
- a play area/ room
- your child’s bedroom
- a carpeted area
- a hallway or foyer
- outdoors on a porch, or on a blanket in the grass
- in a play tent (children with special needs often enjoy an enclosed, secure space)
- a nook your child already loves to be in
Tip for morning circle location set-up:
When first starting the gathering, aim to hold it in the same place over an extended period of time. Your child will begin to internalize the transition from what you were doing before the circle to this special activity simply by you going to sit in that spot.
If your child is resistant to join you at first, begin with the opening activity in that spot just the same. Even if your child is moving about in other parts of the house, you are making a direct statement that this new activity is going to happen daily and it’s going to start in the place where you are sitting. Do this for several days in a row, even if you feel silly doing it alone.
Eventually, you can move to join your child where he is, but you will find that before you do that, he will be joining you.
Posts on adaptations for positioning as well as some additional adaptations for execution can be found on days 4 and 6, respectively. For now, take a walk around your home to find the perfect spot for your morning circle.
Where do you hold morning circle? If you haven’t started yet, did you find the perfect spot? Share your idea below so that we can all be inspired by your space selection.