Gifted kids often exhibit surprising intensities. You might have students (or children) who have intense imaginations or intellectual interests. But, often more unexpected, are sensory and psychomotor overexcitabilities which might manifest as:
- sensitivity to sounds
- a need to physically move in order to learn
- heightened awareness of light
- a love/hatred of certain textures
- fidgety habits
Here’s a shopping list for a classroom or home with intense kids. Anything purchased through Amazon will help support Byrdseed.
You know the student – always bouncing an eraser, clicking a pen, leaning in a chair, or kicking their desk. You can’t get them to stop, so the key is to let them fidget in a way that doesn’t bug you or other students.
Luckily there are tons of fidget choices to try out. But definitely read the reviews on Amazon before buying anything. Many are just cheap toys that are noisy and break quickly.
These “pencil fidgets” are attachment that silently slide up and down a pencil as the student twists them. Comes in a set of 6 or 12, currently rated at 4.7 stars on Amazon.
Tangles are wiggly devices that silently twist and turn in a students’ hands. Comes in a set of 3, currently 4.4 stars on Amazon.
This ruler is textured so students can feel the ridges and bumps while they listen to a lesson. 4.5 stars on Amazon.
These Bouncy Bands are giant rubber bands that attach under students’ chairs, giving them something quiet to kick and push with their feet. 4.6 stars on Amazon.
There’s been tons of stories about using yoga balls as chairs to help kids wiggle their energy out. Here’s another alternative: blow this Wobble Cushion up for kids to sit on. It’s got a cool texture too! 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Eyes and Ears
I definitely have some sensory sensitivities and nothing has helped me sleep better than a nice eye mask (This is my actual model – it looks like Batman!). They help me for two reasons:
- they shut out any distracting visuals
- PLUS the pressure on my face feels good (weird I know!).
Students with visual sensitivities might be bothered by fluorescent lights. Consider putting some cheap, warm lamps in the room to change the visual environment.
I also like to block out sounds (music distracts me). Here are some kid-sized ear plugs to try out. Maybe, during work time, some students will focus better with a noiseless environment.
For more info on intensities:
- My article on high-energy gifted kids
- An overview of the five intensities
- And I always recommend reading Living With Intensity for a deep dive into the overexcitabilities.
Photo by Stewart Photography