Concentration games give parents a fun way to help improve their child’s concentration and memory skills. Most games of this type can be played with ordinary household objects or with numbers and words. Concentration games are especially helpful for children with ADD or ADHD.
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Memory, also known as Concentration, can be played with a standard 52-card deck or with special picture cards. Cards are shuffled, then dealt in rows and columns face down. On each turn, a player flips over 2 cards, 1 at a time. The goal is to find matching cards. If one player flips over cards that don’t match, the cards get turned face down again and it is the next player’s turn. If the cards do match, the player gets to keep the cards and take another turn. The player with the most cards when at the end is the winner.
Simon is an electronic game with 4 buttons coloured blue, red, green and yellow. The device lights up the buttons in a sequence, and each button makes a different sound. The player has to repeat the sequence by pressing the same buttons, with the sequence getting longer during each turn.
The Coin Game
The coin game is played with assorted coins, a cardboard sheet and a stopwatch. The parent chooses coins from the pile and makes a sequence; for example, penny, nickel, penny, dime. Give the child time to memorise the sequence, then cover the coins with the cardboard sheet. Start the stopwatch and have the child recreate the sequence from the coins in the pile. Write down how much time it took. The sequences can get longer and more complicated as the child’s memory and concentration skills improve.
Hidden object and Find the Differences picture puzzles help improve children’s ability to concentrate. Hidden object puzzles offer a list of objects to find in a picture and come in varying levels of difficulty. Find the Differences puzzles have two pictures that look the same, but have a specific number of differences to find.
Tongue twisters are phrases difficult to articulate, such as “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,” and “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.” Tongue twisters help improve memory and concentration skills.
Any child who can count can play missing numbers. The parent counts out loud, and purposely leaves out numbers. When the child notices a number is missing, she calls it out. This game can be reconfigured for older children using multiples instead of simply counting.
Opposites and Synonyms
The opposites game helps improve memory and concentration in preschool children. The parent says a word and the child says the opposite. The words chosen should be based on concepts with which the child is familiar. The synonyms game works well for older children. Instead of saying opposite words, the child finds words with the same meaning. For example, if the parent says “small,” correct answers would include tiny, little, mini and petite.
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