4 Ways to stimulate your child’s concentration

We know that the ability to focus on a task is a very important aspect of learning. Yet, concentration often poses a challenge for young children. Here’s how you can help. By Sam Toweel-Moore

Start a creative project

Tasks that require ongoing effort provide an opportunity to improve concentration. Ensure that the project allows self-expression and revolves around your child’s area of interest – beadwork or sculpting his favourite animal, for example.

Listen and re-tell audio stories or nursery rhymes

Arrange a quiet place for your child to listen to the recording and make sure he’s comfortable. Encourage him to listen carefully to the rhyme and story. Stop the recording and ask him to tell you what he heard. Once he successfully masters a certain length of story three times, add another minute before you ask him to recall.

Care initiatives

Introduce a pet that your child can wash and brush regularly or let him help you was your car. This act of caring for something engages his concentration in a fun way.

Get physical

Games and play pump oxygen to your child’s brain, which boosts concentration. Jumping, hanging and stretching activities help your child’s body to gain the muscle tone it needs to keep an upright posture. You’ll notice less slouching at the desk. The brain is as its most alert when the body is upright.

Six diet tips to boost concentration

  • Avoid processed foods with additives: biscuits, soft drinks, breakfast cereals. Avoid foods with labels that list glucose, maltose, dextrose, sucrose, inverted sugar syrup and ‘E’ numbers.
  • Ensure your little one eats fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
  • Be creative and make eating fun. Fashion fruit caterpillars out of bite size pieces to entice him to finish his meal. Toddlers also love to dip cucumber, carrot and celery sticks into yoghurt.
  • Add enough fibre to your tot’s meals to encourage good digestion.
  • Essential fats are important in your child’s diet. Sardines, salmon and fresh tuna are excellent ‘brain food’.
  • Eliminate common allergens from the diet, such as wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs and soya. If you suspect your child is reacting badly to a particular food, remove it from his diet for two weeks and note any changes.

 

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