View Full Version : Best ways to help encourage an attention span?

miss mopple
06-07-2009, 07:35 PM
You may have read my exasperated post over the weekend about my whirlwind 16mth old mindee. Honestly, the child just doesnt stop! He has very little attention span at all- the only thing he focuses on for any length of time is running around like a loony :laughing:

Was talking to his mum today and I get the feeling she is a little concerned about this and worried he wont calm down at all and be content to sit and focus his attention on something. Im sure its just a case of 'have legs will travel' as he's still discovering that the world is an exciting place to be explored to the max (at speed :laughing: ), and I actually think his his spiritedness is fun, but I want to see if we can work together to try to find some ways of helping him settle into something from time to time.

Any suggestions? Obviously we sit and read books etc, which he does focus on for a while, but its not long before hes off and running again!

We are literally spending our entire day chasing after him at the minute so to encourage him to sit awhile and play would take the pressure off me and his mum!

06-07-2009, 07:59 PM
Sorry, I don't have any advice, but would be pleased to hear suggestions. I mind a 23 month old who sounds similar. He won't concentrate on anything. I had to take him with me whilst I saw the head of my DDs school, I told her it was not convenient but she insisted.

During the time we were there he had "investigated" (my polite word for pulling and almost breaking) her PC, laptop, pot plant and a cold cup of coffee.
The other child there sat and looked at books and played with toys quietly on the floor.
So Miss Mopple, I sympathise and wait for any ideas with you.

06-07-2009, 08:09 PM
I really do think its just an age thing and giving them the opportunity to run wild in a safe environment. I try and change the scenery in my garden for when the 14mth old comes, I've hung CD's from the playhouse that sort of thing to capture his attention.

07-07-2009, 05:59 AM
how about taking him for a walk or to the park or somthing simmilar to get some of the energy and movement 'out of him' then comming back and having some 'calm' playing time ie books, puzzles or things like cars and garage play.
if you let him have his movemnt 1st he may be more inclined to sit, then lots of praise even if its only for 2minutes at first the gradualy build it up.

07-07-2009, 07:45 AM
Lots of outdoor play to wear him out!!

Then maybe try and get him to sit at an activity for a while or read a book with you.

I sympathise :thumbsup:

07-07-2009, 08:29 AM
How about doing dancing with him. Put some nursery rhymes on & do the actions together. He may still be moving but it might help him to engage & interact with you & learn to concentrate on something.

Whats his diet like? His energy is probably age related but diet could be a factor aswell.

07-07-2009, 09:58 AM
My 22 month old mindee is just the same!

I've found with him that it's now a case of thinking really hard about what HE is actually interested in. I worked out (with help from Sarah!) that he is interested in "connection" activities and things that fit/click inside each other at the moment. So whilst he won't sit still long enough to read a story or play with cars or blocks.....he does like to play with my Connect 4 game and loves trying to put lids on play-dough pots!

Do some observations and really think outside the box.....I remember trying to involve my little mindee in a glueing activity and whilst he had no interest in glueing he amazed me by occupying himself for a full 5-10 mins, scrunching up the tissue paper and carrying it off round the house stuffing it in any pots or toys or nooks and crannies that he could find! If I'd have stopped him he would have gone back to running about with no purpose, but letting him do as he saw fit (even if it was a bit un-conventional!) occupied him for much longer than any activity I could have dreamed up for him!

The Juggler
07-07-2009, 01:38 PM
I had this with a mindee from walking (15 months). he is still the same but at 2 1/2 does concentrate for long periods on what he chooses.

He is interested, in movement. You watch him, if he's like mine he;ll run up and down in straight lines then round and round in circles. Mine falls over all the time. He is always pushing something - lawnmower, trolley, hoover.

Try him with things like trucks, trains my lo lies down on floor and follows the movement with his eyes, concentrating really hard, this has led to filling tipper truck with blocks, then building with them or making train tracks.

Once your lo is enjoying using pens/crayons, he will probably love mark making making big up and down and round and round lines.

My best advice be outdoors alot where there's less to bump into!

good luck. they are a little crazy but lovely.

ps look closely I bet when he runs and stops he also watches closely what the other children are doing