The attention is a specific process of mental activity consisting in selective concentration on any object. Simply put, to be attentive means to be able to concentrate on the necessary object.
The attention can be both voluntary and involuntary. The latter type is the most primitive form, inherent in all sentient beings. An example of such attention is the automatic reaction of evasion in response to a sudden movement.
There is no need to develop involuntary attention. Even an infant easily concentrates on an object which evokes an emotional response. Another thing is to teach a child to concentrate on what he or she is not at all interested in. This form is called voluntary and is a high degree of attention.
There are various ways to develop attention, but all of them, in one way or another, are playful in nature due to the peculiarities of child psychology. By playing, children learn about the world, those around them, and themselves.
That is why games for the development of attention are so important, forming the child’s skills of transition from involuntary attention to its voluntary form. Gradually these types of play activities not only develop children’s attention, but also help to develop the observation skills that are so necessary later in life.
Children 2-3 years old can play for a long time, but when necessary, they switch to something else. A 4-5 year old child, with proper development, can easily focus on two or three not too interesting phenomena.
The development of attention in children of preschool age is especially important for a child of 5-6 years, because he will have to simultaneously listen to the teacher, write things down in a notebook, controlling its location and, with all that, to hold their own posture. And it’s not as easy as it seems at first.
All children are different: some need to repeat something a few times, getting an answer, others have trouble with visualization. Therefore, the selection of games that develop attention is based on the individual characteristics of the child.
The games for the development of attention are divided into several types:
- motor games,
depending on which organs are more involved.
Here are some examples of each category of games that develop motor attention:
At the beginning of the game, the child is told about a movement that should not be repeated. Then the child copies all of the movements of the adult. Except for a forbidden one. And when the adult shows him or her, the child must have time to react.
The adult makes a construction out of different objects. The child should not only copy it, but also mimic the movements of the adult.
Here are examples of visual games to develop attention:
“Circle the picture”
The child draws a picture by consecutively connecting the dots marked with numbers.
The child has to remember the location of several objects, and then turn away. The adult rearranges or removes one of them. When the child turns around, he or she should point out the changes.
Examples of games for the development of auditory attention:
The adult pronounces phrases and concepts, chaotically alternating right and wrong (snow is yellow, sugar is sweet, trees drop their leaves, etc.). A child responds to a correct statement by clapping, and to an incorrect one by stomping.
“On the table, under the table and knock”
The adult gives the command “under the table” and hides his or her own hands underneath. If the phrase “On the table” sounds, he puts them out. If the phrase “Knock” sounds, he/she slams them on the table. The child repeats, getting used to it. Then the adult confuses the commands (for example, he says “knock” and hides his hands). The child should respond to words, not actions.
These and similar games for the development of attention teach a child not only to quickly switch from one activity to another (which is very important in our fast-paced lives), but also train his memory and stimulate cognitive activity.