Being able to focus is a very beneficial skill. Schoolchildren have to be able to take a test, even if their classmates are not keeping quiet. They have to be able to focus on their homework, even if some other kids are playing outside, or a sibling is listening to the radio.
A person's ability to focus and concentrate, affects their level of performance. In order to solve a problem, you have to be able to focus, and if you can't concentrate, you can't find s solution. The ability to concentrate is important to anything we want to accomplish. When a person increases their concentration skills, they see a big improvement in everything
Children in general have shorter attention spans than adults. It is impossible to expect a child to sit and concentrate for a long time, because it is natural for children to move around and be active.
Often you can observe a very young child playing with a toy. The child will be "all into it", fully focused on the toy. For how long? That varies, depending on many factors. But as long as they are playing, they are fully focused.
There are some exercises, or games, that you can play with your child, that will increase his ability to concentrate and focus. Here are some suggestions:
1. Have your child close his eyes, and imagine a triangle. Then have him draw the triangle, with his eyes closed, on a piece of paper, slowly, and accurately. Then have him do it again, and watch if there is any improvement in the triangle he has drawn. The slower he does it, the better. It is practically impossible to perform this task, without concentrating and focusing on it. You can organize a group of kids to compete with each other & when your child is drawing perfect triangles, you can advance to more complicated figures, i.e.: a square, a star.
2.Have your child practice reading in different environments. Take him to the library, have him read there, take him to a fast food restaurant, and have him read there. If your child doesn't read yet - read a story to him. That also takes concentration! Any environment that you can think of is a good place to practice concentration.
3. When you are visiting the park, or walk on the beach, have your child listen to the sounds of nature and life. The sound of the waves, or the sound of the birds and other animals in the park. Have him practice listening to the sounds intently for the longest time possible, and try to increase from there. If you have a recording of nature sounds, your child can do that at home, listening to it. You can play the "quiet game", yourself and the child (or a group of children) listening to the sounds of nature CD. The last sitting is the winner.
4. The finger game. Have your child hold his hand out, and bend each finger very slowly, focusing only on that finger. When all fingers are bent, start straightening the fingers one at a time, very slowly. You can play this game with a toddler or a baby, too!
5. The breathing game. Have your child breath in very slowly, counting to ten, paying attention only to his breathing. Then have him exhale as slowly as he can.
6. Have a competition, who can gaze at an object the longest. You can put an object at the center of the room, and have your child and yourself, or a group of children, gaze at the object. The person who can stay with this assignment the longest without taking their eyes off the subject is the winner.
Finally, you'll be surprised with the results; moreover if you participate in these games with your child, you will notice an improvement in your ability to concentrate, too!
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