Children are keen to get back to see their friends. Children are keen to leave the home-bubble and get to school. But not many are ready for school as their attention span may need a little attention having been away from school for so long.
With children returning to school, there are so many skills needed for school readiness.
According to research ‘A normal attention span is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child’s age. Therefore, a 2-year-old should be able to concentrate on a particular task for at least 6 minutes, and a child entering kindergarten should be able to concentrate for at least 15 minutes’
Children are naturally curious and love to explore and experiment with new activities. Therefore, it is imperative to seek out games or simple play activities that can increase a child’s attention span. There are many ways as a teacher, parent & caregiver we can work on this with simple games for our children.
Here are just a few we suggest to start with:
1. Playing Catch or kicking a ball to each other.
This is an age-old way to engage with your child and direct their attention to an activity. Even with small children you should be able to get them to roll a ball to you. This is also a great way to develop hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills for children.
2. Board Games.
Yes, it takes a lot of concentration to play a board game. Players have to wait for their turn, concentrate on the game and use strategies on where to go next or how to play. There are many different types of board games from Pie Face which is fun and messy to Monopoly (even junior editions) and Hungry Hippos. If you’re not familiar with these, please do seek out these games for your children. You’ll thank me!
3. Construction activities with simple instructions.
From our own Rainbow Pebbles Activity to Lego, all children love to play and build. Construction toys are lots of fun where children can follow simple directions, whilst also using their imagination to create new designs. Children sometimes need a few prompt to get involved in these activities so talk to them about building the tallest building or rainbow tower or butterfly.
4. Card Games.
Across the ages an infinite amount of games have been created. Some well known and others comparatively new. You’ll know Snap and Uno. You should get to know our own Lenu. And Go Fish is worth seeking out. Similar to board games children will have to wait their turn, concentrate on the game. The first time you play it maybe hard for children to understand. Try to give them simple options and then make it harder by introducing more of the rules of play.
5. Musical chairs.
This is always a fun game where children will play, have fun expend their energy by dancing around the chairs and waiting for the music to stop. This is different to card and board games as minimal formal direction is given to children. However they will need to pay attention to the music and direct their bodies to an empty chair when the music stops. And there are always winners and losers in this game. And there’s a way to help school readiness!
Yes, all children love to play. Some love to learn. And there’s the opportunity. Let’s make learning playful. And make play educational. It’s a great way to expand a child’s attention span.