In our busy world, distractions are all around – but so too is useful information and opportunities for learning. With so much to pay attention to, how can your child learn how to focus on what’s important?
By developing their concentration.
The ability to concentrate on a task is an essential skill for all children to have. With increased concentration, your child can pay attention more easily and learn more fluently – which will boost their self-confidence and help them to nurture a positive “I can do it” spirit!
These are 6 fun and simple ways you can improve your child’s ability to concentrate on tasks and other important things.
#1 - Make tasks fun!
At NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool, we believe that children learn best when they’re having fun – that’s why we incorporate elements of fun and play into all our lesson plans. You can do this too, with tasks at home.
Want your child to increase their concentration and attention span while learning the piano? Instead of simply practising scales or songs, you could try bringing their favourite soft toys to the piano to act as “audience members” who will cheer your child on every time they succeed, while also giving them words of encouragement to keep trying and trying again, as they overcome mistakes and difficulties.
#2 - Play concentration games!
There are lots of engaging games that require concentration, and these are fantastic for building your child’s focus. Best of all, you probably already have everything you need to play many of these games.
“Simon Says”, for example, can be played with just two players and no special set up. This activity is excellent for developing increased concentration, focus, listening abilities, and the willingness to follow instructions. “Spot the difference” is another game that trains your child’s attention as they focus their attention on the images and learn to identify details in each of them, while spotting the differences.
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#3 - Make a to-do list, then have fun checking items off
It’s easy for children to forget what they should do, if they don’t have a system for remembering all these “to-dos” – and it isn’t nearly as motivating as getting tasks done this way, either. To-do lists solve these issues by placing all your child’s “must-do” activities in a list that they can easily refer to.
Create your child’s to-do list together with them, so they’ll feel a sense of ownership for the list. These tasks can be simple, such as “brush my teeth in the morning” or “put my toys back after playtime”. What’s important is that your child can now keep track of their daily “to do” items and concentrate on completing each task – happily checking the items off the list, one by one!
#4 - Engage their senses, one activity at a time!
Children are naturally curious about their surroundings, and their inquisitive minds can be very helpful for learning new things. When paired with the ability to focus on one completing one task at a time, your child will be equipped with the skills they need to get things done well!
Also, know that the more you engage your child’s 5 senses, the more likely they are to remain focused on the activity at hand. In our learning environments, for example, we engage children in activities like fingerplay and science experiments. The nature of these activities requires children to concentrate, so they can understand what’s happening, make fascinating discoveries, and have fun learning!
The more engaged your child’s senses are during an activity, the less likely they are to be distracted by anything else in their environment – and the more likely they are to concentrate on completing “one activity at a time”.
#5 - Break activities into bite-sized pieces
Is your child still having trouble maintaining focus throughout an entire activity? The task could simply be too big – or take too long – for their current level of focus. The solution is simple – just break the task up into small, more manageable pieces.
For instance, instead of reading an entire book, you could ask your child to read just a few pages – or even one page. Start small and work your way up, making sure your child feels the accomplishment of completing the task they set out to achieve, as often as possible. This will build up their confidence and positive feelings towards completing tasks.
#6 - Schedule frequent breaks
Your child’s attention span typically depends on their age, as well as their current ability to focus. So, remember to schedule breaks in-between their activities – whether it’s helping with simple household chores, practising ballet, or anything else.
Every 10 to 20 minutes, give your child a breather to relax and take their mind off the activity. Just make sure they don’t begin engaging in another activity during their break – use their breaktime exclusively for relaxing.
Nurturing focus, building bonds
At My First Skool, our relationships-based curriculum (RBC) is designed to build close bonds between children and their preschool teachers.
This is important because when children feel secure in their learning environment, they learn more easily. In fact, research shows that children who have undergone a relationships-based curriculum are more engaged and focused!
Interested in giving your child a valuable head start in life? Register your child at NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool today!