Is your child having a hard time staying on task in class and  constantly distracted by what’s going on around them?

Does your child confide in you that they do not understand what the other students or teachers are talking about in class?

It may sometimes be difficult for children to focus. Here are 3 tips and tricks to help your child focus better, especially in a group setting.  

Tip 1: Do one thing at a time  

Instead of doing multiple tasks at once, allow your child to focus on one at a time, as it is the most effective way of using attention span (Washington, 2020). Children, when having a hard time focusing, also often face difficulties following instructions. It is important to give sufficient time for your child to practise focusing on a task before moving on to the next.  


Tip 2: Create a list  

Often, children do not know what to focus on. You can work together with your child to set a list of goals and tasks to follow. Once your child has achieved the goals and tasks, congratulate them and celebrate it! If they do not manage to achieve all the goals and tasks, continue to encourage and motivate them to work towards completing smaller tasks.


Illustration of playing board game

Tip 3: Games and play-focused exercises

Concentration and memory games (e.g. jigsaws and puzzles) develop problem-solving skills and help to improve attention span. (Hardy et al., 2015).  Children are also more likely to finish such games, as compared to other activities like drawing, as leaving it halfway would mean that it is incomplete. This provides an opportunity for children to persevere and stretch their attention span, allowing them to better focus when in a group.   

Red Light, Green Light is a simple game that you can play with your child at home. Children are required to listen to the direction given to them (i.e. red light means to stop and green light means to go). They then respond accordingly with careful concentration and controlled movements. This game encourages children to listen attentively before acting.  

With these 3 tips in mind, remember that it takes time for children to get used to focusing on a single task. When children understand what they are good at doing, and what helps them in getting better, they build confidence and stay motivated.   

Here at The Eton Academy, we work together with you to provide the best learning experience for your child. Experience a class first-hand to find out more!

Hardy, J. L., Nelson, R. A., Thomason, M. E., Sternberg, D. A., Katovich, K., Farzin, F., & Scanlon, M. (2015).  Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active- Controlled Trial. PLOS ONE, 10(9), e0134467.

Washington, G. (2020, April 22). How to Increase Attention Span | George Washington University. George Washington University.