Today I wanted to spend a few moments and talk about “Focus”. Not only is this one of the skills that kids practice in our martial arts classes but it is also a skill that they are still learning to cultivate. Focus is an important skill to master in order to do well in school and excel in life. Some simple benefits of improving one’s focus include:
· Increased attention to detail
· Improved listening and retention
· Increased ability to be still and focus
In class we typically will work on practicing focus in 3 different ways: Focus with our eyes, ears, and body. Here are 3 simple games/challenges you can work with your child to help improve their focus at home!
Focus with your eyes:
First start with a clean and organized room. Show them where some of their favorite toys belong and explain that they must have good focus with their eyes so that they remember correctly. You can use a few individual toys or group them by category. To keep things simple start with 3 categories. Next move some things around to create a “messy room” (but not too messy). Challenge them to see how quickly you can work together to put things back properly, and then see how fast they can do it by themselves.
Focus with your ears:
Explain that we will be working on focusing with their ears to see if they can have “ninja ears”. The challenge is that for the next 30min you will randomly ask them to do some simple tasks like brushing their teeth or putting something away. Unfortunately, it won’t be so simple because you will change one of the words to make the sentence “funny”. They must catch you when you say it, and then figure out what you meant to say at least 3 times! I.e. Johnny, please go brush your “Pizza” and don’t forget to floss. In which case, Johnny would have to figure out that you actually meant to ask him to brush his teeth.
Focus with your body:
Explain that we will be working on focusing with your body and that if they can be super still it will help them pay attention in school and in turn, become smarter! Play a simple game of Hide and Seek around the house with the challenge being that they have to stay super still when they hide or else we will be able to find them easier.
As with any challenge, be sure to reward them appropriately if they can rise to the challenge! Some easy rewards could be staying up an extra 30min or a tasty treat after dinner, find out what motivates your ninja most! We hope these games come in handy! Feel free to post your results on our families’ page.