It can sometimes prove difficult to keep the concentration of a young child and parents and teachers are faced with these difficulties each day.
It’s quite normal for most children to lose focus and get distracted easily. It’s important for adults to understand that it’s not a result of any impending issues, it’s just down to their natural curiosity and exuberance.
There are many things that adults can do to help improve concentration levels within young children to keep them engaged and interested for longer.
With this in mind, we have come up with some simple tips for improving concentration skills not just for now, but as a long term skill.
These useful tips can be put into place to improve concentration at home and at school.
Having a well-established bedtime routine will improve concentration levels. Research suggests that a child of 5 years old should have between 10-12 hours of sleep each night. So by implementing a good bedtime routine will help increase concentration levels.
This is a quick and easy win for most and will have a positive influence almost immediately.
A healthy and balanced diet is beneficial to everyone, however, it is even more important for children for many reasons. For example, it helps to improve their concentration, learning and behaviour whilst at school and at home.
It also promotes proper physical growth and development, and encourages resistance to infection.
Remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Ensure that you aren’t letting your child skip breakfast, ideally it should be the largest meal of the day. It is there to give you the boost you need after 10-12 hours without food.
As a minimum, a child should have a bowl of healthy cereal such as whole-wheat cereal or porridge oats, along with a piece of fruit.
Children who are active enjoy long term health benefits, as well as improved mental health, concentration levels, motor skills and co-ordination.
Children need to be active every day to stimulate growth and improve their health. Regular sporting activity will increase stamina, strengthen bones and help maintain a healthy weight.
It’s also a great way for children to let off steam and release that excess energy the so many children have.
Children can be easily distracted, so it is vital when trying to maintain a child's focus you do so in an environment where there is as little distraction as possible.
You need to keep the place where the study, learn, read or carry out certain tasks free from all the thing you know will grab their attention.
Each child has a different interest and different things that can stop their concentration, but there are common things to be wary of, such as televisions, mobiles phones, loud music, noises, computer consoles, games and even siblings.
When it’s time to concentrate it’s a good idea to separate yourself and your child into another room, which is quiet and relaxing.
It can be a good idea to set goals for children when giving them tasks to complete. Most children can be quite competitive so having time goals to complete tasks can really push them to focus and achieve. Once completed, it can give them a real sense of achievement and improve their self-esteem.
It also allows them the opportunity to always try to better themselves when completing the same task again in a faster time.
However, it’s important to use this technique sensitively as some children can be more sensitive than others and might find setting time limits too pressurising, and could result in anxiety rather than improved concentration.
Setting a homework time for each day means that homework will just become a part of your everyday routine.
Routine for all children is key. Find a homework routine that works best for your child, you many not find it straight away but you can experiment a little to find the one that suits you all.
You could try completing homework straight after school while they are in ‘school mode’, or you could try just after dinner or before dinner.
Every child will be different, just make sure they aren’t leaving their homework until the last minute as this can be stressful on both you and your child.
Once you have found what your child prefers, make sure they stick to it consistently and it will soon become a habit they get into every day, and concentration during this time will become natural.
When it comes to setting tasks for children they all work differently. Some children prefer one big challenge too complete at once, whilst others prefer smaller bite size tas ks that feel less daunting.
Obviously, it’s best to go with whatever makes them feel most comfortable. Setting smaller multiple tasks can help and encourage children to want to complete them, and go on to do more.
It can often be encouraging for young children to have multiple wins, this will help to improve their self-esteems and confidence. Smaller tasks are likely to take less time so it’s easier to maintain their concentration for the duration of the task.
Water is very important to the brain, and dehydration has a clear negative impact on concentration levels. It’s important for children to always have access to a drink of water during the day and most schools now allow children to take a bottle of water in with them to class.
Drinking water isn’t just something that you should stay on top of during the warmer months but also during the winter too.
All children should experience routine during their day to day lives. Routines gives children a sense of security and helps them develop self-discipline.
Structure and routine teaches children how to constructively control themselves and the environments around them and gives them the ability to deal with unexpected changes that may occur.
A happy and secure child with a well-established home routine will be more likely to react well to the new experiences they are faced with most days.
As with anything, if a task is boring and not engaging enough then concentration levels will drop and it’s easy to get distracted.
It’s important to make things fun for children. Less like a ‘job’ and more like a ‘game’. If children are finding things fun and interesting, then there are far more likely to stay focused on the task and complete it to the best of their ability.
Here at Early Learning Furniture we pride ourselves on offering great value, quality products backed up by a reliable and flexible service.
We are UK suppliers of classroom furniture, classroom storage and school dining furniture predominantly for the early years' age groups in primary schools, pre-schools, playgroups and nurseries.
For more information on any of our early learning products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511121.