|Following the cognitive developmental milestones proposed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, here are some practical ideas to help your daughter’s developing attention skills:
• Make the activity fun. Since playing is intrinsically motivating to children, try and incorporate your child’s interest of favorite toys into the task. That way, you can use play activities to foster your child’s attention skills, like recalling a story that features you kid’s favorite characters.
• Don’t expect attention beyond your child’s developmental stage. Kids around 3 and 4 years old have an average of 10-12 minutes attention spans.
• Make sure your daughter has plenty of time to wander and relax doing unstructured activities.
• Decrease background distractions when trying to have your child focus on a task. Even small stimuli like having the TV playing on the background can be very distracting to a young kid.
• Give praise for your child’s efforts and progress.
• Tackle internal distractions like hunger or tiredness. If we find it almost impossible to power-trough a meeting when having hunger pangs, kids are even more sensitive to hunger and sleep cues.
• Avoid overstimulating her.
• Try working together in building with blocks.
• Make it interesting and new. You can encourage your little one to be interested in her surroundings by playing fun games of “I Spy”.
• Have your child help you with simple tasks when cooking or baking.
• Set musical or visual reminders of routines.
• Give her your full attention.