Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let's Call This Focus...

Who doesn't have a little bit of 'ant in the pants' syndrome from time to time? Kiddos most certainly do about 100% of the time and little reminders to slow down and focus are always welcomed by parents!
This activity is also great for practicing coping skills for kiddos who frustrate easily.

Materials:

*Blocks, Domino's, anything you can build with

*Something to block views (the top and bottom of a board game work well--and you can hook them into a corner which allows for easy open and shut--this will make more sense in a second I promise). 

Have the kiddo sit facing you (at a table or somewhere with a hard surface). Give them a pile of blocks and give the same amount to you. Now put the blocker between you too so as you cant see whats in front of them and neither can they to you. 

Inform them you will be making a structure that they will have to copy--the catch? (cause you know there is one) they will only see little peeks for only a handful of seconds at a time. 
Build your structure, then prompt them to take a deep breath, take it slow and to focus on what they see.

Lift the barrier and give them a 10 second view (and remind them NO TOUCHING THE BLOCKS! You can only build when the barrier is back in place--trickery trickery)...close it back up! let a minute go by and give them another peek, this time for 6 seconds. Do this until you are down to 2 seconds, then they finish the rest from memory--give them all the time they need. You can also up the ante by playing music (loud) when they are viewing the structure--or hum loudly-bring out some candy even--try to distract them.

***(got a kiddo getting overwhelmed? Model calm behaviors--take slow breaths and prompt them to the do the same, have them close their eyes and try and picture the image in their head, etc).****

Super fun extra part! Let them make a structure YOU have to try and re-build! (they really enjoy trying to 'trick' us and this is in fun way!)

When you are done--review with the skills they used to recall, identify what was hard (not see it? having you make noise around them?) How did they focus when being distracted? Brainstorm focus skills (or coping skills) practice then attempt the activity again! (use the skills!!)

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