10 Tips to Help your Middle Schooler or Teen Sit Still During a Test.

Test taking in middle school can be stressful for your child and he/she may find it difficult to sit still throughout the duration of the test. There are a number of different strategies that you can teach and provide your child to help organize his/her body for improved focus during a test.

 10 Tips To Help a Child Sit Still During a Test:

1. Eat well and sleep well on the days leaving up to the test: This will ensure the body and brain are well nourished on the day of the test.bored boy taking a test

2. Work out before the test: Getting exercise and activity can help the body and mind to focus and organize for a day’s work, particularly on testing day.

3. Take deep breaths: Prior to test day, review deep breathing techniques with your child so that he/she can exercise the deep breaths during the test. Deep breaths will help calm your child and help him/her focus.

4. Drink from water bottle: Encourage your child to keep a water bottle with a straw on his/her desk during the test. Have him/her take sips from it when he/she begins to feel antsy during the exam.

5. Fidget tools: Small items such as stress balls, rubber bands or bean balloons can be manipulated with the hands while seated at the desk during the test. .

6. ChewEase pencil toppers: An alternative to a fidget tool, the chewy pencil topper can help direct your child’s extra energy during the exam and help with concentration.

7. Wall pushes: Have your child take a break from the test to do wall pushes. Similar to push ups on the floor, place hands shoulder width apart at shoulder level on the wall and keep the back straight. Do 10 wall pushes by bending elbows and bringing the nose to the wall, while keeping the back and hips in line.

8. Use a timer or a stopwatch: This will help your child time him/herself throughout the test and know how to pace him/herself during the exam period.

9. Chair push ups during the test: Place hands on either side of the chair near the hips. Push through the hands and shoulders to lift bottom up off of chair. Do 10 repetitions.

10. Sit on large exercise ball/move-n-sit cushion: Sitting on a therapy ball or move-n-sit cushion will provide your child with controlled movement and vestibular input while seated during the test. This will aide in your child’s focus without him/her needing to get up out of the desk.

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How To Improve Handwriting in Children Part 1 | Pediatric Therapy Tv

In part 1 of 2, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist shows all the ways to prepare a child for optimum handwriting skills.

In This Video You Will Learn:

  • How to wake up a child’s hands prior to writing
  • How to slow a child’s hands down
  • Which materials are best for a child’s handwriting

Video Transcription:

Announcer: From Chicago’s leading experts in pediatrics to a worldwide audience, this is Pediatric Therapy TV, where we provide experience and innovation to maximize your child’s potential. Now your host, here’s Robyn.

Robyn: Hello and welcome to Pediatric Therapy TV. I am your host, Robyn Ackerman. Today I am standing with occupational therapist Deborah Michael. Deborah is going to show us how to work with a child on handwriting.

Deborah: The first thing that we’re going to do is wake up your hands. Before we start writing, we have to wake up your hands because they could be sleepy and tired. Go ahead and put that Theraputty on the table. This is called Theraputty, Levi. What does it feel like?

Levi: Gooey.

Deborah: Gooey and hard. It exercises your fingers. Go ahead and make holes in there and wake those fingers up. Roll it like a snake. Do all kinds of stuff with it. This comes in all different kinds of hardness. You can get it a little softer, a little harder, depending on how old you are and how strong you are. That’s how we wake up your fingers.

You can wake up your fingers with Theraputty, you can do some pushups, you can do some moving around of your hands, you can do some pegs on the peg board. You can do all kinds of stuff to wake up your hands.

Now that your hands are awake, we are going to start to write. Now how does your engine feel? How does your body feel right now, Levi? Does it feel just right, fast, slow? A little bit fast, right?

Levi: Yeah.

Deborah: There are a couple of things that you like to do when your engine is fast in order to be able to sit down and write. One thing we can do is we have this weighted, heavy blanket. We can put this on you and it will give you a little weight to hold you down. We also have a vest that we could use for that.

Another thing we could do if you don’t want the vest, and we can only use these for 20 minutes, once you’re done with that, we can put you on a ball or another kind of ball that’s called a peanut. That is so that you’re constantly moving around a little bit, and kids can sit still better. Right? You’ve used these before? All right. We’re just going to leave that right next to you.

Now we are going to write. Levi, you write very fast and a little bit messy because your engine is going so fast. We already tried to slow you down a little bit. Some other ways that we try to slow you down could be, first of all, using a timer so that you have to write until the timer stops so that you don’t write too fast. Correct?

Levi: Yeah.

Deborah: And then we have pencils that have weights on them so they slow you down a little bit. These are fidget pencils. This is more for when you’re just waiting after you’re done writing the sentence so that you don’t have to sit doing nothing. It’s something to do and it doesn’t come off. And we have paper that has lines on it to keep you in the lines. So you have to stay between the two red lines, right?

Robyn: Thank you, Deborah, and thank you to our viewers. And remember, keep on blossoming.

Announcer: This has been Pediatric Therapy TV, where we bring peace of mind to your family with the best in educational programming. To subscribe to our broadcast, read our blogs, or learn more, visit our website at That’s