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Let’s face it. In the age where children and even adults are commonly diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) at am alarming rate, there must be something that can help to get people to focus and concentrate in school and at work. There are many perscription medications that claim to help with focus and concentration, but at what risk to your overall health and well being? Luckily, there are other ways to get similiar results that are failry cheap, easy and fun; all at the same time!
Getting focused and staying focused is not always an easy task for children and adults alike. Some days it may easier than others to get focused and concentrate on the tasks of the day. It does in no way mean that there is something wrong; most times it is just that other outside influences may be distracting and not allowing us to focus and concentrate as well as we need to.
Sometimes your child may just need to do a few simple tasks BEFORE they begin their day, or they may need to take a break during working so that they can regain focus and concentration. These 5 activities that are listed in below can easily be done in a classroom or home school setting. Many of these activities can also be done by adults, as every once in awhile we also need to refocus to complete our daily tasks as well. The activities are children and adult friendly!
4 Ways to Get Your Child to Focus and Concentrate
Yoga is a very beneficial and successful way to get a child focused and even increase concentration. I use Yoga poses in my classroom very often; at least two times per week. We do a few select poses before we begin our two hour Montessori work time, and I have seen great results from using Yoga. If you would like to know more about how I incorporate Yoga in my classroom, click here. There are many options for using Yoga in the classroom. Books, pose cards, music recordings, etc.
2. PRACTICE AND ENGAGE IN MINDFULNESS
Mindfulness is a practice of noticing what is happening in the present moment. Mindfulness makes you aware of your surroundings and can help in calming anxious or frustrated feelings, as well as help with focus and concentration. It can be a way of recognizing your feelings and dealing with them in appropriate ways. I was lucky to find a great resource for mindfulness, and have begun to slowly introduce the practices into my classroom. They children have received it well, so I’m excited to add more mindfulness activities to my classroom routine. To learn more about mindfulness and the Mindful Schools movement, please go to their website Mindful Schools for more information.
Example of a lesson from Mindful Schools:
3. PRACTICE BRAIN GYM EXERCISES
I first learned about Brain Gym exercises about five years ago. I was working at a Montessori school and for one of our Teacher Training days, we had a Brain Gym workshop. A Brain Gym professional consultant taught us some exercises to get the children to get their brains moving & awake and ready for the day ahead. We learned twenty six movements and how to apply them along with proper techniques. For more information about the techniques, process, and strategies go to the Brain Gym website.
I have used a few of the Brain Gym products in my classroom in the past and had great results. The official website from the creators of Brain Gym; Paul and Gail Dennison, have a great assortment of activities, books, and music to fit your needs. My favorites are the Wooden Lazy 8 Track and The Brain Gym Activity Cards
I also use a similiar product to the Brain Gym activity cards. They are by Primary Class, and can be found here. I pick two or three cards to do with my class each morning or before lunch. They really enjoy these cards by Primary Class.
4. PRACTICE AND ENGAGE IN MEDITATION
I have just begun to research and find out the benefits of meditation. It can reduce stress and fosters clear thinking. It involves clearing the mind and peacefully coming into a deep rest where you are basically not doing or thinking of anything. It is like a sleep for your brain, in that it is at peace. Meditation can be done with or without music, just as long as you clear your brain. This one may be a little difficult to incorporate for the younger children in my class, since they are so very young. I have yet to find a good method of introducing meditaiton to my classroom, but my suggestion below is a start.
All of the activities and information listed above should be done with caution. Please follow any instructions or follow any listed guidelines for any of the products. I have first hand knowledge of how these activities have worked in my classroom of prescool aged children, and the results are very beneficial. There are many benefits to incorporating these activities, and if you have a child that needs assistance in getting focused and needing to concentrate, it is definitely worth giving these ideas a try!
Relax your brain!
Wake your brain up!