Children can get distracted easily. When they are very young and everything is new, it is not surprising that they are easily taken off course. As children get slightly older, extreme concentration problems could be a sign of ADHD or other problems. If problems are extreme or concentration games don't seem to be working, consult with the child's physician. Under normal circumstances, simple games can help hone concentration skills and daily activities can be turned into games.
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Daily activities such as shopping or story time can be turned into activities to boost memory and concentration. On a trip to the grocery store, try giving the child a few things to remember from the "shopping list." If they are important things, you can write them down, too. When reading stories, or watching movies or a videotape, remember a few details from the story and ask the child to see if she can remember them. Simple exercises like this can help children remember important details.
The card game Memory, which asks players to turn over cards and try to remember where the matching card is, is a good game for boosting concentration. The game can also be recreated with playing cards. Or, play a similar game with coins. Take a collection of coins and make a pattern with a few of them. Cover the pattern so that the child cannot see it. Ask the child to choose coins from the remaining pile and match the hidden pattern.
Word games such as crossword puzzles and word searches are good for boosting memory and sharpening concentration. These types of games, along with jigsaw puzzles, are widely recommended for improving concentration in children---as well as seniors worried about memory loss. Try having these games on hand on a rainy afternoon or a long car trip. Rubik's cubes and math puzzles also fall into this category.
Many child psychologists, teachers and parents recommend rewards as a way to get children to do things they don't want to do or are reluctant to try. Rewards can also encourage success in difficult activities. Rewards do not have to be candy or toys. A reward can be time watching TV or a favourite movie, or playing video games. You can give the child a trip to the park or to another location he enjoys. If the child receives praise and feels like he is working toward something he wants, he will be more inclined to concentrate on activities and more likely to succeed at them.
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