A recent 15 year study has found that early attention skills are a major predictor of success later in life. Children who had higher rated attention skills at age 4 were significantly more likely to finish college by age 25. Attention was a bigger predictor of success than early literacy or maths skills.
Attention and Listening skills can be taught through fun and engaging group games that are perfect for circle time. Here are five Attention and Listening games that kids will love.
FOLLOW THE CLAP
In this game children must attend and listen whilst a clap is passed around the circle so they can join in on their turn. Make things a little trickier by changing the direction of the clap when a teacher, or student, blows a whistle. Once kids have the hang of this, they can pass different actions round the circle, like a wave or a click.
Children sit in a circle with a blindfolded 'Dragon' in the middle. Keys are placed next to the dragon. One child quietly steals the keys from the dragon. The dragon then has to guess who stole the keys, using their listening skills to follow the sound.
Have two of each musical instrument e.g two tambourines, two maracas. Play one instrument behind a screen and get the children to guess which instrument was played. You can split the children into teams to see who can score the most points.
JACK IN A BOX
Get all the children to crouch down on the floor. Then when a drum or other instrument is played, everyone jumps up. Make this harder by using different instruments. For example, children should jump only on triangle sound, not on the tambourine.
COPY THE ACTION
Similar to copy the sound, children are sat in a circle and the leader does an action, for example, a wave or clicking fingers. Everyone must watch and copy the action until the action changes. The leader changes the action multiple times and the children must watch carefully to keep up. Children can take turns to be the leader.
For more information on our attention and listening intervention for schools and families in Manchester, click here or contact us.
This blog is created by Hannah Broughton and Caspian Jamie. Caspian is a Private Speech Therapist and Hannah is a Child development Specialist We have our own company, The Therapy Adventure Limited and live in Ramsbottom, Manchester with our daughter.