Help your child to build focus and self-control in him/her through these games!
- “I Spy.” In the car you can play “I Spy” games. For example, the parent can say, “I spy something wet.” The child who guesses correctly with “Is it a water park?” gets to offer the next clue of what they spy. This game increases attention skills and helps children learn to focus on their surroundings.
- Work puzzles together. Solving developmentally appropriate puzzles helps your child focus on several different perspectives and patterns simultaneously. As your child manipulates the puzzle piece and discovers where it belongs in the puzzle, his or her brain forms new connections. Researchers describe this process as cognitive flexibility or the ability to adjust to changing patterns or perspectives.
- Name the animal by its laughter or voice. This game begins by either laughing or speaking the way you think certain animals might laugh or speak. For example, you could meow while laughing and see if the child guesses you are a laughing cat. Or you could say a sentence while mooing to see if you child can guess you are a talking cow. This game is a creative way to improve children’s auditory focus and self-control.
- The waiting game. To play this game, go into a store and explain to your child that if they can sit still in the cart or walk next to the cart, while you shop, he or she can pick out a dollar item from the dollar bins at the end of your shopping trip. The waiting game helps children practice self-control through delayed gratification. This game also promotes working memory by having the child prioritize what needs to be done in order to achieve the desired outcome.
- Ears are for hearing mouths are for speaking. If everyone in your family talks over one another, then you can practise the ‘ears are for hearing mouths are for speaking’ game. To start, have one member of the family point to his or her mouth before speaking. Everyone else present touches their ears, focuses on the speaker, and actively listens to what the speaker has to say. The use of tactile movements while learning helps children remember what to do when someone else is speaking. After several of these experiences, children begin to automatically listen when others are speaking.