Develop A Child’s Attentive Skills FREE OF CHARGE

‘My child can’t sit still in class’, ‘Where else to go?", "What else to play?", "How to grab their attention?" or "My child cannot focus". 

These questions are many times raised in forums by parents. Well, there are games or activities that are supposed to help in developing a child’s attentive skills and most of them are really simple, can be done anytime and place and best of all, some of them are doesnt cost a thing!  From newborn to 12 year olds.

Good reference books will be "Attention Games ‘ by Babara Sher and ‘Child’s Play " by Maja Pitamic.

Babara Sher says " if you want to focus children’s attention, you first have to capture their interest. There are 2 forms of attention. One Open & one Global. Open attention gives you an overall impressionof your environment. Think of riding a bike. When you ride a bike, you can attend to streering, padaling, and trhe traffic around you while also enjoying the feeling of the breeze blowing throught your hair"…The latter is more focused; you concentrate on one thing for a long time that requires active filtering of excess information like doing  a crossword puzzle, etc…

Here are some ideas taken from ATTENTION GAMES by BABARA SHER that costs nothing.

1. Follow my face

Type of attention encouraged : Focused

Suitable for : Infant below 1 year old

Materials : None.

Directions:  Place your face directly & close to infant face (who is nearsighted). Best distance is abt mum’s face to a breast-feeding baby in arms.Once u see her face widen up & focused on you, praise her "Good, you see me!" Slowly move your face to the other side of the face. Softly call her name until she moves her eyes & find you again. Praise her "You found me., Good for you!’

2. The Feely Game (my personal fave)

Type of attention encouraged : Open and Focused

Suitable for : 1-3 years old

Materials : Any or all items at home. Pillows, doors, hairbrush, sink, curtains, feathers, sand-paper or clothes with diffrerent textures like silk, velvet, courduroy, wool, etc.

Directions:  Best for a child learning to walk & likes holding your hand to explore. Tell him ‘Let’s play the feely game. Lets see waht things feels like’ Then touch the fridge and household items as you and child walk along the house. Talk about how you are feeling and make comparisons. ‘That hairbrush felt rough, but this marble counter feels so smooth, doesnt it?’. Use descriptive words like hard, soft, smooth, rough, bumpy, wet, dry, squishy, sharp, solid and so on.

Variations : Temperature Tour, touching fridge door and a cold cup and using words like warm, cold, ice cold, hot and very hot.

This also will help in sorting games later.

3. Shadow Games

Type of attention encouraged : Focused

Suitable for : 3 to 6 year olds.

Materials : None except the Sun or any light that will cast shadows. Outdoor or indoor game (cast a touch light onto a wall)

Directions :

a. Dont step on my shadow. Telling your child not to do something that she knows is really okay to do makes this game silly fun. Say ‘Dont step on my shadow’ and keep scurrying away as she tries to put a foot on your shadow. Take turns with this one, letting her tell you what not to do!

b. Can you make my shape? Take a position, such as arms out to the side and ask your child to make her shadow look exactly like yours. Keep changing shapes as well as imitating shapes she makes.

Whats being learned : Children’s attention is captured by the situation and then sustained through imitation and challenge.

4. Back Writing

Type of attention encouraged : Focused

Materials : Pen and paper

Suitable : 6 to 12 year olds

Directions: One persons sits with his back to another and a pad of paper and pencil in front of him. The other person, using his fingers, ‘draws’ a letter on the person’s back. At the same time, that persons draws on the paper waht he thinks is being drawn on his back.. Keep writing letter by letter till  a whole message is given. Take turns so that both the writer and the person written on get to experience what it is like.

Variation : Have a older child play with a younger sibling to help learn letters. YOu could also have the message be a clue to where a treat is hidden!

What is being learned? Children are learning to pay close attention to tactile information and to integrate that sensation with their academic knowledge.

Simple games right? Try them today!



Great article! Thanks!

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for sharing!

Focus games

Sound fun! 


Hi, my kid get distracted easily during lesson and this is quite disruptive to the teacher and class. Is there any method to share to work with him to lengthen his attention span and tone him down.



Thank you for this!

Thank you for this!

Very Good

Very good advice, I am going to practive with my girl soon 

Games for up to 12 years old

Back writing !

That is intersting to try w DS. Thks.

Games for up to 12 years old



The games can be done from 0 yrs to 12 years old leh.. I included 4 games for different age group. You gal is not 12 yrs old yet right?

Excellent advice

Hi quixation, this is excellent advice!  Makes me almost wish that my kids are younger so that I can do all that again 

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