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I have a 4 year old DS and a 2 year old DS. Currently during the day we go go go. During my 2 year olds nap(1-4 in the afternoon) my 4 yr old just wants to talk, play legos and go go go. His preschool teachers have said he is over the top (hinting he is hyperactive and yes he is) but I really want to teach him to slow down, read and maybe even draw. Currently when we sit to color he just scribbles passionately all over the paper until there are holes in the paper. He moves project to project and make unbelieveable messes. I have just recently had an AhHa moment thinking we should have an hour of workbook and story time. Anyone have some good recommendations on how I can start him to slow down each day for a bit?
 

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hm... pay attention to his rhythms. is he more mellow at certain times of the day? or can you give him a chance to get his energy out by running and physical activity and THEN try to have a quiet moment or two?

some other tips:

- have a reading nook or spot that is quiet and attractive. have baskets of books available and within his reach.

- you might want to try some sort of audio book device if he's more responsive to spoken stories!

- read before bedtime.. you might try to ease back bedtime a little and have quiet down reading time right before bed.

- not all books have to be quiet! and not all books are stories. some kids like the waldo/i spy books. there are also lego books out there, but i haven't seen whether these are good or not.

- make library visits a weekly or bi-weekly habit and let him pick out books that appeal to him. you can ask the children's librarian for ideas or lists.. if he has a few books he's really liked, tell the librarian this and he/she can recommend similar things.

-books and art are separate things for some kids. if he likes to make "messy art," then.. find some activities that let him do that! some good books to try are first art and the big messy art book. some of the activities in there have kids making art through physical activity which might really appeal to your kid.

here's one resource on how to raise a reader..
 

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After lunch can sometimes be a time when kids tend to be more open to doing a calm activity. An hour for workbooks and reading is a long time if he isn't interested. If you want to build his interest I suggest bringing him to the library and letting him choose the books he wants, you can look through them at home and pull out the ones you don't think he is ready for. My dd and I used to read for about an hour a night to help transition to bedtime and that was something she would sit through. I have found that if you just start reading kids will often quiet down and come look at the book, I use this a lot in my job right now to pull kids together and calm the room down when it gets chaotic. I am not sure if it would work at home but it may be worth a try.
 

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What is he like playing lego? Does he stay working on one thing for a little while? Are there any toys he'll keep focused on for ten minutes at a time?

What kind of books are you reading him? Picture books? Chapter books? Comic books? Nonfiction? What types of pictures does he like? Will he look for a while at complicated pictures like those from Where's Waldo? Or "I Spy" books? Will he look at comic books? (Tintin? Asterix and Obelix? )

Will he let you read chapter books to him while he dances arounds the room? (It might not slow him down but at least he would get the language experience.)

Does he like to learn new things? Will he join you looking at nonfiction books written for slightly older kids? Does he like charts and diagrams?

What is he doing as he scribbles? Is the scribbling part of an action story? (My boys will draw something then keep scribbling over it to make it explode. Shifting to comiuc book style lets them draw an explosion without blanking out the origional picture.)

Can he play games like Simon Says or Red Light Green Light that involve self control? What about board games?
 

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Just to add on to what I wrote... you might want to consider using lego as a way of trying to calm and keep him settled. If you sit and play lego with him, maybe you can stretch the amount of time he's interested in it and settled. Help him develop committment to a project using lego. Help him develop story-telling ability using lego props. Talk about how to expand on an idea... "We made a little car... what could we make to go with the car...?" There are a lot of thinking, planning, self-control and communication skills that can be developed playing lego that will carry over to other areas of his life. Maybe he would be interested in drawing a picture of what he made or what he is planning on making with lego.
 

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My son used to play with a tray of "Moon Sand" (it's like wet sand but it never dries; it's awesome, it clumps and can be shaped and molded, etc) while I read to him (we read every night). We just left that tray of sand out there on the table for whenever he wanted it. He'd go to it frequently and I think it helped him calm down and become centered.
 
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