Does your child seem to have difficulty sitting in one place? Does he/she find it difficult to finish a task that requires some amount of focus? Are you getting complaints from school about your child being unable to pay attention to the lesson?
At five and six, all children have relatively short attention spans. Indeed, thanks to smartphones and tablets, children expect continuous stimulation. So what can we do?
Apart from limiting the time your child spends on technology, try playing games with your child.
Here are some simple games that help improve children’s attention span. You will find that many are what you yourself grow up playing.
- Statue! If your child has difficulty staying in one place, games like ‘statue’ that require your child to freeze in one place, will give them practice in controlling their impulse to run.
- Simon Says: Do you find your child has trouble paying attention to oral instructions? Try Simon Says. This game is great at getting your child to focus on oral instructions.
- Dodge Ball: Using a fairly light ball (not a basketball or something hard and heavy) teach your children to dodge ball. Best played in a group and in an open area, this game forces your child to remain alert and concentrate on the ball.
- Green time: Several studies have shown that children and adults who spent time in open green areas are much better at controlling their impulses and focusing. It makes play time in your local park all the more important for your child’s wellbeing.
- Skating class: Find a local skating class to enroll your child in. Skating is a fun way to get your child to practice focusing just to stay upright and avoid an accident. Also, skating is a great form of exercise.
- Happy thoughts: Sometimes children have trouble concentrating because they are bogged down by darker thoughts. There might be something happening at school or at home that might be distracting your child. Make sure that your child gets a good laugh on a regular basis. Play a happy thoughts game, where you have to make each other laugh with silly faces or tell each other funny stories and jokes, or sing a goofy song. Sharing a hearty laugh with your child will not only strengthen your bond but also reduce stress and anxiety.
- Memory games: Pick up a pack of cards to play a game of memory, or you can buy a memory board game. To play your child will have to sit in one place for the entirety of the game and will need to follow the rules.
If you think about it, most games we grew up with all require players to focus and be alert. Any game you play with your child should help your child learn attention and focus. So get your kids to put down all their electronics and start playing.