5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Child’s Focus

By Amanda Morin

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Getting a child with ADHD to concentrate can be a real challenge. Here are some easy and fun strategies to help your child improve his ability to focus.

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Father & child playing ball in the park
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Give directions while playing catch.

Kids with ADHD can be easily distracted or daydreamy. To help your child improve focus, try giving him directions while passing a ball back and forth. Ask him to repeat the directions every time he throws. Later, he may use the visual memory of throwing the ball and having fun to trigger the verbal memory of what you told him.

Young girl with a backpack with her arms wrapped around her waist
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Play “Freeze! Focus!”

One of the best times to help your child improve his focus is when he isn’t supposed to be concentrating on anything. Try playing a round of the game of “Freeze! Focus!” When he’s least expecting it, say, “Freeze! Focus!” and have him freeze in place (start with 10 seconds and build your way up). When time is up, ask him to describe three things he saw while he was frozen. Eventually, you can put up signs around the house that list rules and chores and ask him to focus on them while he’s frozen.

Young boy listening to music and drumming along
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Make memory musical.

For thousands of years, people have used music as a tool to remember and pass down information. You can do this, too—even if you’ve never been the musical type. Try creating a tune to letters while your child is spelling out a word. Clap and chant to a beat to accompany the natural rhythm of your child’s chores. Experiment with your child’s favorite songs for a fun, low-stress way to build concentration.

Daughter and Father lying on the floor working on a jigsaw puzzle
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Do all sorts of puzzles with your child.

There are many types of puzzles that can help boost your child’s concentration while building fine motor skills, too. But keep in mind that puzzles don’t always have to be something you touch. Word games, like logic puzzles, use the power of deduction to help your child discover answers by relying on his mind, not just his eyes and hands.

Young boy sitting on the grass outdoors telling a story to his father and brother
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Make the day into a story.

Many kids love to be the center of attention. Ask your child to describe his day as if he were recalling a favorite book or movie, with him as the main character. This can help your child internalize his daily routine and the people who have leading roles in his life.

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5 ADHD Trouble Spots and How to Avoid Them

ADHD can make many everyday situations difficult, but which ones are the most challenging for your child? Here are some common trouble spots and simple strategies that might make things easier for you and your child.

6 Types of Fun Fidgets for Kids With ADHD

Fidgets can help some kids with ADHD focus better. They’re not “one size fits all,” however. Different types of fidgets can meet different sensory needs. You can see which work best for your child, and then talk to the teacher about using them in class.

Understood does not endorse or receive financial compensation for the sale of any of these products.

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

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Portrait of Bob Cunningham

Bob Cunningham, Ed.M., serves as advisor-in-residence on learning and attention issues for Understood.

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