Children often find it difficult to focus on certain things. This is completely normal, because in everyday life your senses are repeatedly called upon by many different suggestions. The age-specific concentration ranges vary depending on development, interests and personality. There are also big differences between children in terms of the duration and intensity with which a child can direct their attention. Concentration is not a quality that children bring into the world a priori, but has to be learned and practiced regularly. Parents must therefore take the time to show their children various ways of developing their ability to concentrate. The following tips are only intended to give you suggestions on how to increase concentration using various learning methods, concentration exercises and games.
Increase concentration in children – influencing factors that disrupt concentration
Whether children succeed in concentrating depends to a great extent on the respective situation. The influencing factors that disrupt concentration include, above all, visual distractions (e.g. TV, tablet, toys), acoustic distractions (e.g. radio, street noise), internal distractions (e.g. unpleasant thoughts and feelings, anger, fears, pressure and tension). In an optimal learning environment, it is easier to focus attention.
Tip: In general, a low-irritant environment promotes concentration. Make sure that your child has a quiet and bright place to study where they are undisturbed. There should be no toys, televisions or computer games nearby as a distraction.
The ambient conditions affect the concentration
Our body adapts to the light conditions. If it’s too dark, you quickly feel sleepy. Sufficient light, on the other hand, increases our performance and ensures concentrated learning. One Study on the right light for learning showed that the ability to concentrate and cognitive performance of students can be increased with the help of daylight-like lighting. This means that certain lighting properties such as color temperature, illuminance and direction of light can determine whether our organism is effectively stimulated or not. Cold white light sources with a high color temperature are best suited for learning.
Tip: Ideally, you combine direct and indirect lighting as well as light of different color temperatures and illuminance levels in order to illuminate the children’s room in an atmospheric and functional way.
Which foods strengthen concentration?
Diet can also affect children’s focus and mood. Another study found that omega-3 fatty acids have a positive effect on children’s ability to concentrate, alert and remember, because they improve blood circulation to the brain. High-fat fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring as well as walnuts, avocados and flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Glucose is also seen as a real “fuel” for the brain. This type of sugar is found primarily in foods that contain carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and potatoes, as well as in fruits, honey and sugar.
Tip: A porridge with cinnamon, pecans and brown sugar is great for the children’s breakfast.
Increase concentration in children – what type of learner is your child?
Everyone learns differently. For example, some children are particularly good at memorizing information in pictures, while others learn better by listening. When you find out what type of learner your child belongs to, you can adapt the learning techniques accordingly and improve their concentration significantly. The learner types can also mix. So try it different tools just once off.
In general, a distinction is made between four different types of learning:
- Auditory learning type: It can absorb information particularly well heard. It helps auditory learners to read texts aloud themselves or to learn from audio books. These people often find ambient noise disturbing when they are learning.
- Visual learner type: He is very good at remembering everything visual and learns best by reading information or looking at pictures. Content in the form of sketches, notes, diagrams or graphics is easier for him to understand.
- Motor learning type: He learns best through exercise and when he does something himself, for example through imitation, group activities and role-playing. So he has to be directly involved in his own learning process. It also helps him to move while learning.
- Communicative learner type: He learns best through communication and in partner work. He can benefit most when he can discuss the material, because it is only in dialogue that connections and meanings emerge for him. Question-answer games or a quiz are particularly popular with communicative learners.
Games that increase concentration
Children’s concentration can also be promoted through play. A good game of concentration increases the ability to learn and attentiveness, as well as training logical thinking. There are now many different board games on the market that address different areas in the mind and are well suited for children and primary school students. Well-known games such as “Mikado” and “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” can be used as well as modern variants. The classic puzzle game also offers a wide range of opportunities to specifically encourage children from an early age. Learning through play is a lot of fun and, by the way, other skills such as dexterity, team spirit, perseverance and patience are trained.
Train your children to concentrate – 5 simple concentration exercises
Concentration and memory can be trained like a muscle on the body. These exercises will help increase concentration in children 5 to 10 years old:
- sort an object with a certain property from a set, e.g. all red iron-on beads from other colored ones
- Count certain letters on a page from the newspaper or mark all “t” with a highlighter
- Counting steps – “How many steps do we need to get home?”
- Swap the first letters of words in everyday life
- “I see what you don’t see” is well suited for short breaks from studying.
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