No matter how much we read, how much we listen and how well planned we think we are…
Nothing prepares us for a journey called ‘ PARENTHOOD’.
They take away all our fears and fill them with joy! We want to give them best and nothing but the best will do…but sometimes we come across stumbling blocks which makes us unsure of what to do…out of these stumbling blocks many of us face a common one, of learning to build your child’s attention and learning ability.
As young children (say infants and toddlers), their basic nature stems from Curiosity.
Everything in their environment is new & provides them with stimulation and the need to explore.
However, the moment their eye catches something new and novel, there goes their attention. So, how do we as parents help or guide our little curious buddies to increase their attention and therefore encourage learning?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that a child’s attention span will only increase with time and also interesting opportunities provided.
5 Activities to improve attention and learning in children
Let’s take a look at a few activities that may help you and your child, at the same time not taking away the fun from growing up!
A game for the entire family (you can try it out during play dates too), team up (2 each). One team member will whisper an action word in the ears of another team member. This member will have to enact the action e.g. – running, walking, jumping (the idea is to keep it simple) and his team member will try to guess the word. If there is a difficulty for a member to answer encourage them by giving clues. At the beginning keep the level easy as you feel introduce new words. It will be a good idea for your child to repeat the action as you’ll say the action word.
2. Act Silly, Animal Silly:-
Fun interactive games. To start with, ask your child about animals he/she like. If they are toddlers still learning to talk, you may use picture books and point out various animals, one at a time and enact the animal sound even better if you can enact the walk or anything else. Encourage your child to follow suit.
3. Live Maze:-
Super fun activity.
You will need
a. Blocks of different sizes.
b. Space:- Floor or place a mat.
c. A car or a small animal object etc.
All you will have to do is, create a big size maze…with dead ends etc. Place your little object (car) at the starting point. It will be a good idea to physical show your child how to work the maze, the do’s and the don’ts. Let him follow the same maze once. For the next maze, make a small change not too many. Encourage your child to manoeuvre through it. Increase the level of difficulty. What will be more fun if it’s translated into a Sunday family activity or when you have friends or family over. Alternatively, you may place a dog at the start of the maze and a bone or cat at the end. Ask your child to help the dog get his bone or catch the cat.
One the most tried and tested way to build attention. why not add some twist to it! Use the regular 4 or 6 pcs puzzles (depending on your child’s age), solve the puzzle once, encourage the kid to solve it with you…Now the fun part….show your child a piece of the puzzle and tell him mumma is going to hide this one and we’ll have treasure hunt, ask him to close his eyes or ask someone to cover his eyes, hide the piece, sit to solve it once again when the missing piece is needed, play hot and cold with your child, give him clues e.g. ‘it’s near what we sit on’ etc.
Turn these simple daily routines into fun and learning opportunities. At the supermarket, ask your child to help you select red coloured tomatoes (be careful not to add to many adjectives e.g. round etc, stick to any one) this will apply to all the articles you buy that day and the entire week that follows e.g. colour. Planning an outing today…superb! involve your child in its preparations, tell him the place you are going to visit, what you are packing for the same. On the way back, recap the trip with your child.
Attention and Learning happen faster and easier when it happens the fun way…sing along with children, recite Nursery rhymes, let them fill in the word.All in all, have fun.
“Towards the end, I would like to mention here, each child grows at their own pace and providing an exciting and stimulating environment will aid in the overall development of the child.”
Feedback, suggestions, and questions are always welcome.
Special Educator and Child Counsellor.
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