Teaching children how to concentrate will improve their memory and enhance their academic performance.
With hyperactivity rampant in video games and television viewing, it is easy to see how children can acquire an excitable disposition and lose the ability to focus. To counteract the mental chaos, a parent can be proactive in providing activities that will encourage problem-solving thought processes and increased ability to concentrate.
The following suggestions for improving concentration can be used by parents, preschool teachers and caregivers. These are proven methods of encouraging concentration in children, successfully practiced both as a teacher at the primary grade level and as a parent of five.
Activities that improve concentration:
Play board games and card games with your child. Checkers, Chess, Scrabble or any other game involving a mental challenge and conducive to two players. Some games are designed for two or more, but the level of excitement and competition increases with numbers, so as a purely teaching-concentration activity, limiting the number of players involved will be most effective.
Spending quiet time at an artistic endeavor will allow your child to focus his undivided attention on what he is doing. Safe scissor activity, crafts and freestyle drawing are all artistic projects that encourage concentration.
Puzzles are excellent for increasing the ability to focus. Coloring is an activity that promotes paying attention to detail. Safe scissor activity, crafts, freestyle drawing are all artistic projects that encourage concentration.
Teach listening skills
Listening is an important component to concentration. Tell stories to your children and follow up with a brief question/answer session. Praise your child’s successes at coming up with the correct answers related to the stories. The child masters the dual concepts of effective listening and concentration.
Monitor levels of fatigue
Children who are allowed to become overtired to the point of stress or melt-down will not be able to focus. Ensure you child has daily opportunities to rest and relax. This will increase his over-all powers of concentration.
Even children who perceive themselves “too old” to take naps can have a quiet respite in their room reading, or simply daydreaming. Children tire easily from mental activity; even primary grade students will benefit from a “rest your head on your desk” time out.
Verbal games of challenge
When you are driving in the car or taking a walk with your child, challenge his observational skills with verbal games. “See how long it takes to count 10 blue cars,” or “How many different types of trees do you see?” are verbal challenges designed to make the child think. To come up with the answers, he must focus.
Word play, such as rhyming words and spelling bees are excellent activities for fostering concentration.
Begin early, and practice often, when teaching your child to concentrate. Learning to pay attention and focus can truly be fun and games, and the prize might potentially be enhanced academic success.