Suggested Activities for kids: fun and learning at home
By Keesa Renee DuPre
Kids have trouble concentrating. It's a fact of life. More and
more children these days are being labeled ADD or ADHD, when in
fact, they're just being normal kids. Drugs may lull them into
compliant stupor, but why drug your child when there's another
Before you diagnose your child with an attention disorder, why
not try these fun games with them? They can be played anywhere,
from the living room to the kitchen to the car, and they're
great for long car trips. Plus, they help children learn to
concentrate and focus. They may also help your child "become"
smarter. Children who can concentrate better, can learn
This game is great for any child who can count. You count from
one to ten (or one to twenty, depending on the age of the
child), leaving out numbers every so often. When you leave out a
number, the child should call out the number you left out. For
example, you might go "One, two, three, five," and by the time
you're saying "six", your child should have called out "four".
(Don't stress if your child is consistently missing numbers. If,
after you've said "six", the child hasn't called "four",
playfully point out that they missed one, and start the game
over. Leave out different numbers each time, of course.)
A tricky variation on this game for older children involves
counting by multiples (for example, three, six, nine, twelve,
etc) and occasionally leaving out one of the multiples. Don't be
surprised if this game is almost as difficult for you as for the
child. Both of you will probably mess up many times over; that's
all part of the fun. Laugh over it together, no matter which one
of you messes up, and start over.
This game is great for preschool kids. You call out a word (hot,
light, soft, etc.) and the child gives you the opposite. With
young children especially, be sure to pick concepts they know.
And remember that some words will have more than one opposite.
If you say "happy", for example, the child may say "sad", or
they may say "angry". Both choices would be right. They
shouldn't say "excited", however.
No article on games to improve concentration would be complete
without those beloved tongue twisters we all remember from our
childhood. These include perennial favorites such as
She sells sea shells by the sea shore
Rubber baby buggy bumpers
Betty bought a bit of bitter butter
And, for children who have a lisp or have trouble with their r's
and w's, try this one:
All of these games should be fun for you as well as for the
child. Remember, keep them fun. You know that the child is
learning concentration and developing important skills that will
last them the rest of their life, but the child doesn't know
that, nor should they. As far as you're concerned, this is
playtime. Make the most of it.