How to teach your little one to concentrate.

A clear space: remove all items from a room, with the exception of the core pieces of furniture. This reduces visual distractions.

Remove items from surfaces that they can reach. This reduces touching distractions.

Assemble 2 or 3 activities in a bag, box, or container. You can let your child select one toy, book, flashcard, activity OR you pick one.

Interact with your little one by playing with this one specific toy. Teach them how to play with it, then allow them to do it on their own with guidance from you. Praise or clap for them when they are performing an activity. Imagination allows them to play with toys in creative ways! The goal is stay concentrated on one activity. Stick with this one activity for as long as the toddler is interested. You can stick with one activity for as long as you feel appropriate. If toddler starts becoming disinterested or  “destructing” the play by swiping or throwing items, then it may be time to “clean up” and bring out another activity.

Teaching transitioning to a new activity: You can dangle the next activity/toy and tell toddler clean up first, then we’ll play with “xyz”.  You may be met with resistance on some occasions, however, stick with it as best you can even if that means helping with the clean up.   There may be times or days when your little one is grumpier, doesn’t want to end a play session of something really new or fun for them, but try to transition or end play smoothly.

Teaching decision making skills: You can give the little one 2 options of what to concentrate on (or play with) and follow his/her choice of interest. By removing the “distractions”, including phones – so both baby and you are not distracted by it – then your baby will be practicing the art of concentration.

Mastery of any skill takes concentration. Concentration takes removal of distractions.  And, if you are the one that has the sudden impulse to do something different, then practice ignoring the impulse.

Overall, don’t overstimulate your child with too many things, and purposely improve their focus by directing their attention OR following their interest to one activity at a time. Clean it up. Move to next activity.

Thanks to my child’s speech therapist for helping reinforce these new skills to apply to my child! I was 100% understanding of her recommendations because it’s what I do with adults that get scattered or overwhelmed in life.