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Four Ways To Increase Your Child's Attention in Play!

You have just wrapped up taking care of things around the house and sit down to play with your child. However, you find your child having a difficult time attending to the activity you are bring to their attention. They look, but then they get up and move onto the next toy/activity. As a parent, when we have a specific activity in mind, and our child doesn’t appear interested, it can be a tad frustrating and sometimes discouraging. It is important to remember that children can be easily distracted and do not have a large attention span to begin with. Make sure you expectations are in the right place and minimize distractions. When looking to engage your child, think about the senses. What can you present them with that will engage multiple senses?

Think of auditory stimulation. This can include music, sounds with simple objects, singing together, or simply raising and lowering the intonation of your voice. Pairing the sounds and/or music with movement is also fun and engaging for the child. Picture them stomping their feet on the ground while producing a “Boom!” with each step. When it comes to visual stimulation, this can include bright, yet simple pictures. Also, simple objects that move or that the child can move themselves. Pairing auditory stimulation with a visual is a great way to promote speech production. Tactile stimulation is a GREAT way to increase engagement and attention in your little one. This could be exploring different textures. Fill bins with beans, sand, sugar, pom-pom balls, and let them explore. Play-dough is always a huge hit. Children often find the soft and manipulative texture calming. For the kiddo who has a tough time attending to pictures, find books that present the child with various textured pictures. The next one, may not have been on your radar, but smell is another way to engage your child and stimulate their senses in play. Have you ever seen how excited your child gets around Mr. Sketch markers? Not only due they get to color with those bright colors, but there is a sweet aroma that goes along with it. Add some essential oils or a spice such as cinnamon to their playdough or sensory bins. Attention and focus will be elevated! When multiple senses are engaged at one time, your child is likely to attend better to task as well as engage and participate in the activity you present them with! Don’t be afraid to be silly with your voice or movements when it comes to play either. Get creative with various textures and smells. This could include playing with various foods or helping you in the kitchen. Next time you go to sit down with your child, think about how you can elevate your activity by incorporating the senses.


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