While a 3- or 4-year-old child can't yet sit and pay attention for extend periods of time, developing focus and concentration is vital for later classroom success. As your child grows closer to starting school, focus-building is a must for kindergarten readiness. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Valerie Muter on dysTalk.com, parents can gradually build their child's focus by providing activities that require several minutes of concentration and then add on to that time as he develops his focus skills.
Dot to Dot
According to EducationGamesforKids.com, dot to dot activities build a 3- or 4-year-old child's hand-eye coordination while also teaching her number sequences. A dot to dot exercise helps build focus skills because a child has to pay attention and make sure she connects the dots in numerical order. It also allows her to concentrate on her writing skills so that her lines create the intended image contained within in the dot to dot puzzle. You can also make dot to dot puzzles with alphabetical sequences to help a child focus on learning her alphabet.
Questions is a fun game for 3- and 4-year-olds that helps them focus on one item as they learn about it. To play, an item is placed in front of the child. He is then allowed to look at it briefly. The teacher or parent next asks him a series of questions one right after the other quickly so that he must answer them by organizing his information only on the item he is looking at, according to the Mothers' Guidebook to Child Development. This activity requires him to concentrate on one specific subject or item at a time, a valuable skill once he starts school. This activity can also be modified with tougher questions as a child gets older.
Memory is a classic game of childhood and one that teaches focus to preschool-age children. To play the game, you lay out a number of cards, and the children take turns turning them over in pairs and attempting to find matches. If a player finds two of the same card, she keeps the match. The player with the most matches at the end of the game is the winner. Memory is a good game to develop focus because 3- and 4-year-old children must pay careful attention to where the cards are in the playing area so they can make matches. Scholastic recommends allowing preschoolers to win because it will encourage them to focus on the game.