How to Help Kids Focus in the Classroom

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Written by Natalie

How do you help kids focus after a break from school?

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As more and more kids start heading back to the classroom, teachers are having to press reset on a number of classroom routines and procedures. These are unprecedented times, and children are having to cope with many changes to their routines and upheaval to their ‘normal’ learning environment. Their little minds may be preoccupied with other thoughts, so it would be beneficial for teachers to have a few little tricks to help kids focus on school tasks.

Shutterstock.com / Suzanne Tucker


Effective Ways to Help Kids Focus

I’m sure I am preaching to the choir, but it’s important to remember a child’s average attention span when thinking about focus in the classroom.

The table below shows, on average, how long a child may be able to focus on one task. You will notice that the chart has been divided into age categories – this is important! Please remember that this is only a guide, but something to bear in mind when planning learning tasks that require prolonged concentration.

What's the average concentration span by age?

A nice little reminder!

Here are some tried and tested tips from teachers to help kids focus. You might like to try these at the start of a task, or perhaps mid-way through a longer task. They are the perfect addition to your teacher toolkit.


Eye-Tracking Activities

The figure 8 shape is often used for a variety of reasons, including mindfulness breathing and eye-tracking activities. So, it’ s no surprise that it is featured in this blog. Before starting an activity, encourage your students to draw a figure 8 in the air while following their finger with their eyes. This helps kids focus their minds and let go of other thoughts.

Call it a warm-up for their brain.

Litttle girl tracking the figure 8 in the air to help her focus.

Shutterstock.com / nazarovsergey


Printable Mindful Mats

Our printable mindful mats are the perfect activity to have on hand to get your students focused.

Each mindful mat includes an eye-tracking maze, a mindfulness coloring section, and a simple gratitude focus point. You could break the mat into activities and have younger students just do one section at a time.

 


Focus Frame Trick

Tasks that look big and involve sustained concentration can be overwhelming for kids! And, being handed a large worksheet or activity (that seems to go on forever), can be an absolute focus crusher for a small child. One way to manage this is to provide children with a black frame.

This black frame can then be placed on smaller sections of the activity and helps to break the task into smaller, more manageable chunks.

A black frame to section of work on a worksheet is a good idea to help kids focus on smaller more managable tasks.

By having a number of different sizes available you can make the black frame suit the activity.


Focus Boost Button

Such a simple idea that could really help some children in your class. Talk about an imaginary focus button on their arm that they have can press each time they have to focus. No materials needed other than the imagination of your students.

Alternatively, you may like to print out something that the students need to physically tap. Why not print out a superhero word and tell them to press the focus button for a superhero focus boost!

Imaginary focus 'button' in the classroom is a good way to help kids focus.

I downloaded this from our Superhero Classroom Theme pack.


Printable Mindfulness Coloring

We have a huge collection of mindfulness coloring sheets for kids (and adults!). Mindful Coloring, by its very nature, helps even the most active and busy child slow down a little. It helps them reset and get ready to focus. Our cute new additions to our mindfulness coloring sheets are super adorable!

Check them out…

 


Quick Meditation Break

A simple breathing exercise to bring your students into the learning zone is also a quick and easy activity. As students sit at their desks to complete an independent task – why not pop on our mindful breathing activity video for kids? Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for this video and others.

It’s super easy to follow and will leave them feeling relaxed and focused.


Brain Break Activities

We have spoken about the benefits of brain breaks in the classroom before. They are a great way for kids to reset and allow their brain time to focus on their next learning task.

Our brain break activity cards are an extremely popular download on our site, and for good reasons.

Brain Breaks in the Classroom

It’s important to bear in mind that what may work for one child, may not necessarily work for the student sitting next to them. So, by incorporating a number of different activities to help your students to focus is an absolute necessity!

Downloadable mindfulness activities for kids are a great way to help them focus in class.

Share your hints and tricks in the comments section of this blog.

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