Focus games for children are helpful in building concentration skills and teaching children to pay attention. These games and activities are fun, and kids love doing them. They don't take up much class time, and the time that is spent is well worth the investment.
Many focus problems are the result of insufficient sleep and glucose amounts. Others may be due to dehydration. Once these factors are addressed with parents, classroom teachers can include a variety of activities for improving the ability to focus.
One of the easiest activities to help kids learn to focus are mazes. Kids love them, and they are an effective focus game for teaching them to sustain focus.
Mazes cannot be done immediately. Solving them takes time, careful planning, and a measure of concentration. When I was looking for an activity which would help bring students to focus after coming back from PE, this was the activity I chose. And it worked!
A variety of mazes online and many can be printed free for use in the classroom. My favorite by far is KrazyDad's Printable Mazes.
At KrazyDad mazes are organized by difficulty level, and it is a simple matter to print them out and make booklets for students.
This vintage game is still a favorite with kids, and it builds focus and concentration while the kids are having fun. If you have ever played it, you will remember that if you look away for even a second, you will miss it!
I generally have my kids start by aiming and bouncing the ball toward the floor first. Then as their skill increases, they may try bouncing it upward.
Students from second grade through middle school enjoy paddle ball, and they may be purchased for very little money at dollar stores or the ever popular Oriental Trading.
An electronic hand-held game from Hasbro, this gadget delivers fast-paced fun and the ability to focus for under $20. Second graders, sixth graders, eight graders - they all love playing Bop It!
And now there is a new Bop It XT for two players as well as a key-chain version.
Hasbro knocks it out of the park with this electronic game, too, for under $50. It is the clear favorite among my sixth graders who never seem to grow tired of it.
LET THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
One focus activity which is cost effective and a lot of fun for kids uses a simple ball.
Dr. Fritz Mengert in his work with teachers suggests several ways to use tennis balls to help kids learn to focus. (See below) Since I use Angry Birds to teach the distributive property, I decided to try one of these games with a larger Angry Birds ball.
Since I had never used the technique with an entire classroom before, I was a little hesitant at first. I am SO glad I decided to try it because my students absolutely LOVE doing it and want to play it every day.
Ask everyone to clear desks/tables of all books, papers, and pencils. I have students put everything on the floor under their chairs and stand behind them.
I begin play by bouncing the ball to a student using only one bounce. That student must pass the ball along to another student in the same manner until everyone has been in possession of the ball, at which time it is returned to me.
The ball may be bounced on the table or on the floor, using just one bounce. Once a student has bounced the ball and it has been received, he/she sits down so that everyone knows who has not yet had a turn.
Students may not call the name of the person to whom they are going to bounce the ball so everyone must stay alert in case the ball comes to them.
If a student misses, we rewind and try it again.
The object of the game is for everyone to have a turn without having to rewind.
Tennis balls are perfect for the focus game described above. They are suitable for other games as well, generally played in a circle as suggested by Dr. Fritz Mengert of Neuro Cognitive Application Protocols.
Depending on the age of the students, a second ball may be introduced to raise the level of concentration.
Use a rubber band ball as a way to distribute rubber bands before using geoboards! Students each remove one rubber band when the ball is bounced to them, and when you're done they can replace it.
This prevents rubber bands from escaping into other classrooms and wreaking havoc, and the kids love it!