Sitting Still at Circle Time

Introducing Lil’ Wally the Weighted Worm!

I have been going to schools for the last 10 years and many teachers ask me advice for the same thing: How do I keep the fidgety children calm and sitting during circle time?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Allow the child to hold something ex: a puppet and actively participate as much as possible (teacher’s helper)
  • Sit the child against a wall or bookshelf. The added support will help sit up straight
  • Provide weight across the lap or shoulders. You can even weigh a back pack and have the child wear it

This is how I started making Lil’Wallys. These are just basic leg warmers that I fill with either dry rice or beans. I add buttons for eyes and a piece of ribbon for the tongue!


The added weight across a child’s lap or shoulders provides them with a calming sensation to their nervous system (imagine getting a hug). This is not only useful during circle time but also during seated and quiet work or tests when added attention is required.

I like to make little Wallys for the neck/shoulders as well as longer Wallys that several children can put across their laps during circle time.

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Phyllis Martin
Phyllis Martin
2 years ago

I love your Lil” Wally. With what age do you use them? I’m in a class with older 2’s and young 3’s. Sometimes we have some very active ones and we need to remind them to stay in their chairs at lunch. I’m hoping to make or buy something like Wally. How much does he weigh? How long is one for a single child’s lap and how long for the double option.

Hi, I 'm Nancy

I’m an Occupational Therapist (OT) with more than 18 years of experience and whose greatest passion is working with children of all abilities. 

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