Taming the not so idle hands

We have all had moments like this when working with a group of kids. One child is so full of energy that sitting still is impossible. Yes, impossible, and I do not say this lightly.

I watched this energetic child squirm, wiggle and twist. With hands that drummed, fidgeted and poked it seemed like we were in for a long night of religious education.

One quick glance from me garnered an, “Am I in trouble?” response.

The child seemed to be trying so hard to sit still, listen, and not interrupt the lessons or other pier participation.

“Am I in trouble?” the child queried again.

I slid a few sheets of paper under those fidgeting fingers along with some colored markers. “When I am easily distracted, it helps me to doodle. Give it a try.” My smile was met with a broad grin and my offer accepted.

An amazing peace fell over the room. Oh, the hands were still busy, writing each pier name on a paper airplane. Then a dove with an olive branch followed by three crosses on a hill.

The student was listening and exchanging in dialog all the while creating little masterpieces.

Religious education class is opened and closed with prayer. That evening, the doodles during class were placed in the center of the table as we all prayed together.

When trying to reach a kid, try art.

7 thoughts on “Taming the not so idle hands

    • Including art as a part of their studies has elevated the conversation. With student and parent permission I may be able to share some of their creations.

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  1. My youngest daughter was a “mover”… She wiggled and hung off the couch and practically stood on her head while we homeschooled. But, if she had something for her hands to do, she would be still enough to not distract her teacher! Moving seemed to be a necessary part of her learning… I finally realized that even though she was fidgeting, she was listening to everything I was teaching!

    Great post!

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