5 Ways to Boost Concentration (Pre-K- 1st grade Kids)

As a teacher, one of the biggest challenges we experience is concentration in young children.

First, we must understand and accept that on a Pre-K level, concentration is most likely to be limited to about 5 to 10. minutes.

However, this time gradually increases with age and these 5 steps that you’re probably already doing.

5. Allow Time to Explore

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It’s no big secret! If your child is working on fixing a puzzle, looking intently at bugs outside or anything that peaks their interests, give them that time to explore. Exclude screen time such as being on the phone or tablet as much as possible.

This not only develops their concentration but it also validates their interest. Imagine, it’s a beautiful Spring day and you actually stop one day to smell that beautiful flower. However, within seconds, you’re snapped back to reality and told to keep it moving.

With kids, they just want to stay in that moment until their mind tells them to look at something else. If they’re snapped out of it too quickly, it begins a cycle of broken concentration.

4. Play focus games

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We should all know that children learn best through play, especially at the Pre-K level. So this is the time to get adventurous and play some games that boost concentration. Picture matching games, grocery list, alphabet bingo, what’s missing? And much more. Check out our growing list of memory games here.

Also, don’t neglect the classic games you grew up on like tic tac toe, Monopoly, and other board games. Though your child may not know how to play these right away, teaching them in small doses will help them get it.

3. Create a distraction free environment

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This means the TV is off and the computer, phone and tablet are not nearby. Distractions are all around us but if you can limit these, this will be a big help to encouraging uninterrupted exploration for your Pre-K learner.

2. Play Outside

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Change your scenery, you don’t always have to be inside. In fact, some of the best learning I remember is being outdoors just embracing nature. Automatically I have images of children playing outside and making mud pies… Just don’t let them eat it.

However, exploring the outdoors is conducive to learning. Check out museums, the playground or simply a stroll down the street, just make sure you’re having conversations with your child about what’s happening.

Ask questions but don’t give answers unless your child explicitly asks for one. Engaging in the conversation process and allowing exploration boosts concentration and focus because the children remain engaged in actively learning. You’d be surprised by what kids retain through conversation.

1. Make big tasks into smaller ones

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Many times, we do not notice that we’re giving too many large scale instructions to our Pre-K aged kids.

For example, you may want your child to clean up after their hard day’s work of exploring. Usually, parents simply say “Clean up time!”

However, with Pre-K children, clean up is already a big task. Therefore, you have to be specific in what you want them to do.

Break down this big concept of ‘clean up’ into three parts.

1st. Give your child a warning a few moments before, “Hey, we’re going to be putting away the toys soon.”

2nd Tell them it’s clean up time. “I know you were having so much fun but now it’s time to clean up and put your toys away.”

3rd Let them know where the toys go. “Everything has a home, your toys belong in the toy chest, so all your toys go here.”

This helps with concentration because it creates a list of steps that they can follow. Think about in your adult life, almost everything you do from cooking to cleaning, can be broken down into steps. You had to learn the steps first before you were able to complete the task.

Hope this helped,

♥️ FSA Team