Attention Span Tips

Attention span is a developing trait through the preschool and grade school years.  Children are gradually learning to be better listeners, to sit and attend through activities, to block out distractors, to listen and follow directions.  There are many ways to encourage attention to tasks including

  • Build on their interests – If your child is into dinosaurs, find ways to build that into to his learning math with dinosaur counters.  Challenge his listening with dinosaur books.
  • Build on what they already know –  When you move from 10 piece to 25 piece puzzles, start by reviewing previous puzzle strategy and talk about how he has approached similar tasks.
  • Think gradual progress – Read gradually longer stories, complete gradually harder puzzles, play gradually longer games.
  • Challenge them to set and accomplish goals – Occasionally before they play, have them plan what tasks they are going to accomplish then help them work through the tasks before moving on. 
  • Play listening games – Games like telephone, robot and grandma’s house are fun ways to challenge their attention span.
  • Work to keep them there just a little bit longer –  When they are finishing with an activity is the time to challenge them to find one more way to engage, something to extend the play.
  • Teach them to review and consider their own efforts – Sometimes when they draw or write ask them if this was their best effort or if there is anything they could improve about their product the next go around. 

There is an interesting chapter in Nurture Shock by Bronson and Merryman on teaching impulse control.  It’s a good take on the current research and practices around slowing kids down and getting them to think.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: