When it comes to boosting attention in kids, there is a lot going on. Attention is aligned with executive functioning, sensory processing, self-reflection, and so much more! Below, we are chatting about a few attention activities for kids. These are the ones that develop attention through games, activities, and fun. Being that a child’s primary occupation is play, why not develop the skills they need (like attention!) through active participation in an interest-based activity?
Attention Activities for Kids
There is a lot of information out there on addressing attention needs in kids. Parents can become easily overwhelmed by the shear amount of tactics and treatment approaches for attention.
We’ve shared a lot of activities that develop and grow attention here on The OT Toolbox. You can check them out on our Attention page.
You may want to grab a few of these games and tools that boost attention and focus. These are the games and toys out there on the market that make great gift ideas for kids…fun activities that develop attention at the same time!
One thing that stood out in our list of games and toys that develop attention is the sensory aspect.
When it comes to boosting attention in kids, there are a few things that stood out. First, games are huge part of boosting attention! Games like DIY memory games can be adjusted to meet the interests of each child and can be modified based on ability or age.
Kids love target games. Using an item like weighted bean bag games add proprioceptive input that is calming. These snowflake bean bags or ice cream cone bean bags are easy DIY ideas.
Adding sensory supports that reduce overwhelming input can be helpful in addressing attention needs, too. This article explains a lot about the sensory aspect of attention.
Adding some gross motor activities into a routine through outdoor play, or via brain breaks in the classroom, or with simple games can be a big boost when it comes to helping with attention and focus. This dinosaur movement game is a big hit. It can be adjusted based on the child’s interests, too. Have a little one who is more interested in Shopkins than dinosaurs? No problem! Just make the game based on those tiny figures!
If you’re needing more movement ideas, this list of monthly movement activities is a good start. You can get ideas for the whole year in this one post.
Working on mindfulness is another approach to addressing attention needs in kids. Here are YouTube videos that address mindfulness and are appropriate for kids.
It can be helpful to work on identifying and expressing emotions with kids of any age. For the child with attention challenges, emotional regulation and working on strategies to manage big emotions can be a huge help.
Teaching kids about coping skills and self-regulation is a good strategy for addressing attention during tasks, too.
There are so many strategies to address attention in kids and activities that can help address attention needs. One tactic that can be a big help is analyzing precursors to behaviors related to attention and addressing underlying needs.
The Attention and Sensory Workbook can be a way to do just that.
The Attention and Sensory Workbook is a free printable resource for parents, teachers, and therapists. It is a printable workbook and includes so much information on the connection between attention and sensory needs.
Here’s what you can find in the Attention and Sensory Workbook:
- Includes information on boosting attention through the senses
- Discusses how sensory and learning are connected
- Provides movement and sensory motor activity ideas
- Includes workbook pages for creating movement and sensory strategies to improve attention
A little more about the Attention and Sensory Workbook:
Sensory processing is the ability to register, screen, organize, and interpret information from our senses and the environment. This process allows us to filter out some unnecessary information so that we can attend to what is important. Kids with sensory challenges often time have difficulty with attention as a result.
It’s been found that there is a co-morbidity of 40-60% of ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. This workbook is an actionable guide to help teachers, therapists, and parents to help kids boost attention and focus in the classroom by mastering sensory processing needs.
You will find information on the sensory system and how it impacts attention and learning. There are step-by-step strategies for improving focus, and sensory-based tips and tricks that will benefit the whole classroom.
The workbook provides tactics to address attention and sensory processing as a combined strategy and overall function. There are charts for activities, forms for assessment of impact, workbook pages for accommodations, and sensory strategy forms.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.