Have you noticed your youngster’s attention isn’t as long as you think it should be?  The length of time your child can sustain his/her attention is naturally lengthened as they age and through the activities in which they participate.  Nevertheless, it can’t hurt (and may even help!) to purposefully engage in some of the following.  By the way, research has shown that kids remain focused longer if parents are participating too! 

  • Find any slow-moving occurrence in nature and observe:  slow moving clouds, jet contrails, worms or snails.
  • Slow down a favorite game:  instead of playing catch with a ball, switch to a balloon
    • Follow the leader:  slow movements, count in between switching movements, increasing how far you count as child is successful.
  • Draw two chalk lines that they need to walk between (make them windy for an additional challenge)
  • Concentration:  See if they can stick with the game until they find 4 pairs, then 5, then 6, etc.
  • Find visually “busy” pictures (Where’s Waldo, I Spy books and posters for instance) and challenge them to find different things in the picture.
  • Think and wait games:  Simon Says, Red Light/Green Light.  A variation:  Think of something they like to do or a snack they like.  Explain that they will be doing that after a few things are done (picking up toys, you folding clothes and taking out the trash) AND they have to watch for a certain signal from you (could be words or another signal)  Stretch this out as they are able..

Thank you, Parent Tool Kit, for these great ideas.  If you’d like to learn the science behind focus and attention, here is the entire article.  

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