Many of my kiddos have a hard time sitting cross-legged even for 10 minutes. For my most restless kids, I’ve tried everything it seems. I’ve used fidgets of all sorts, putty, new seating arrangements, and more. Often these strategies not only distract them from lessons, but they distract other otherwise focused kids.
This lap pillow might be truly a God-send, and it’s easy to make. You can buy them, but I think my handmade option is even better and more exciting depending on the fabrics you choose. (Just make sure to have a plan for distributing them in case your kids tend to fight over exciting new things like mine do.)
Here’s why I think it works…
The weight of a blanket or pillow such as this has originally been used to help people with autism. Supposedly the weight mimics the sensation of a hug, releasing serotonin and improving melatonin. Overall, it calms kids down. School is stressful for beginning learners, no matter how hard we try to engage their creativity and make lessons fun. Sometimes mitigating the stress of having to sit close to peers and focus is necessary.
(Read more here: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317037.php)
I made a few, so my photos include several different fabrics. I got my fabric from Craigslist free a while ago, as well as for free from parents. I’m not an experienced seamstress, so if I can do it, I’m sure you can too!
Here’s what you’ll need:
– a piece of fairly sturdy fabric (about 12″ x 24″ for a finished piece of about slightly less than 12″ x 12″)
– beans or seeds (I’ve used a mixture from old art projects)
– sewing materials (preferably a sewing machine)
Cut, fold and press your fabric.
Sew 3 sides, plus a bit on your 4th side. I also recommend sewing a line across each corner to secure it even more. (Keep those beans from falling out while you’re teaching!)
Add your beans or seeds.
Sew up the remaining side securely, and then it’s ready to use!