5 Great Movement Activities for Hands on Learning How To Read – Just Let Them Move


Man, that is a bold statement right?… reading is boring!?  I know, I know, reading is enriching to a child’s mind, and helps them develop and flourish into these beautiful, knowledgeable souls… Right, right?  Well tell that to my son who is diagnosed with Autism and ADHD.  If I can get him to sit still for more than 10 seconds while attempting to read or focus on next to anything for that matter, it is a miracle!  Telling him to sound out, recite, comprehend, and then regurgitate these again tomorrow with ease, come on!?  This isn’t real life! I can’t do that as an adult, why would I expect my son to maintain his composure and stature to learn like this…

So, how does a parent combat this struggle? You know, constantly reminding your child to sit still and constantly remind him to control his body, or to focus and pay attention… I know someone out there is like, GIRL PREACH!  The secret to success… LET. THEM. MOVE.!  Everything with learning has to have some type of movement or sensory item associated with it!  Now mind you, again I am speaking through an autism/ADHD mommy lens, but I can tell you, this will change the entire experience with your child!  The moment I started letting him be able to touch, manipulate, hold, jump, spin, whatever, while we were learning.  I noticed this beautiful thing, he started retaining the information and exceling at it!  He started asking to learn and READ because he knew he would be able to fulfill his sensory needs of his body.  

I have put some examples to what I am talking about and will do more specific strategy posts but wanted to start by including some fundamentals to channeling a child’s learning, most specifically for a child with unconventional learning needs. 

  1. Use your senses! Incorporate at least 2 senses in each activity you do—touch, smell, taste, hear, and see in each activity.  I would also add movement to this list.

  2. Break it up! If it is a lesson that you can’t move or incorporate at least 2 senses… spend short stents on it and then have a learning break.  My son is 5 years old and he can retain for about 3 minutes.  Then we get up and move our bodies.

  3. Get POST ITS! I HIGHLY recommend getting the large post its, the flip style ones, that you can stick to walls, doors, floors, etc. to write on yourself and have your kiddos write on and do activities on.  The bigger ones are the best because it makes them have to reach and use more muscles and core strength to write on or move items across.  I buy these by the packs! POST ITS! I use them almost daily.
  4. Roll those sleeves up and get involved.  I have had a stack of sight words that were daunting to look at and honestly was so scared to get him to learn… but we did it, and continue to use this strategy… We learn one or two, then we would run a house lap and do a race to get us back to the stack.  One by one we would do the word then run and review.  We would then count to see how many laps we could run.  He has learned the entire stack plus some and I think I burn about 1,000 calories a day when we do sight words laps.

  5. Finally, the most ESSENTIAL, fundamental item you must know to be successful. GIVE UP ON THE FIGHT!  Heck son, you want to run all over and we will read in between, you got it!  Five push-ups? Great!  You need a fidget item while we work on some math? Me too!  You want to jump on the trampoline while we count? Cool!  

Every child is wired differently.  The moment we realize this and we understand our children and accept them for who they are, that is when the experience changes.  You have to meet them WHERE THEY ARE AT and NOT where everyone THINKS they should be!  That my friends, that, is when the struggle turns into a beautiful journey that is so worth the ride!   

 P.S. In case you were wondering… reading was no longer boring in our house after we gave up on the fight and rather, joined in!

Enjoy every minute being a mom and continue to inspire your kids!