Helping Your Children Focus

Focus and attention are interesting aspects of human beings, while an adult will understand sitting still and directing their attention to something to absorb or appreciate the subject of their concentration, a child might find the concept impossible. Of course, every child is different, some will be able to focus their attention with no problem, while others and especially those affected by commonly found attention-deficit disorders, struggle with an ability to concentrate. Luckily, focus and attention can be trained in easy to handle bursts in order to build up concentration and assist your children during learning, playing or even just to watch a movie all the way through.

Why Is Focus Important?

Focus is affected by the subject you are giving your concentration to, something fun or interesting is going to grab your attention and keep you captivated while a boring talk or lecture is going to make you feel bored or even tired. Children are also naturally curious, and their brains function slightly differently to an adult, this contributes to a shorter attention span and the tendency to jump between multiple subjects or exciting topics.

The problem with a lack of focus however, is the inability to learn topics to the best of an individual’s ability which can have an extremely negative effect on acquiring accreditations and will go on to cause further problems when your child is all grown up and working as a professional. If they cannot complete tasks in their job role, they will soon be let go and struggle to find consistent employment, which can directly affect their quality of life. No child deserves to suffer in their adult life due to a lack of importance placed on focus from a young age.

Helping Your Child Build Concentration

From a young age, you are likely to find it impossible to make your child sit still for longer than 10-15 minutes at a time and most children will always want to be on the go. This is completely understandable and can be stressful to a youngster if you try to force them to focus. Instead introduce some focus games and exercises, especially as young children learn extremely well through general play.

Avoid turning to electronic powered gadgets as they have shown to have adverse effect on the attention span of developing children. Instead consider games that require your child to think, especially puzzles, matching games, putting items in order of size or alphabet or even just challenging them to sit still for several minutes at a time.

As your child develops and grows, try to encourage reading to help build attention and concentration, you can even choose books together based on their topics, ask your children if the type of story interests them or if there is a subject or topic they would like to know more about.

Creating an Area for Focus

Providing your child with a dedicated area for focused attention is advantageous for helping them develop their attention span and can be used as a study area as your child grows up and their schooling progresses. The area should be free of electronic gadgets and have resources available to hand, this includes material for research such as books and encyclopaedias and materials to use such as notebooks, pencils and pens.

Ambience is also important, using the school environment as a strong example, consider the difference in the breakout areas where children have access to brightly coloured and fun playground equipment and open areas to run around in. Then the classrooms, which are smaller, contained areas with resources available to hand and relevant material and calming images placed around the room on the walls.

The area you create for your child should be in calming colours, most often pastels and soft shades of blue and green work well, rather than excitable reds and oranges. Make sure lighting is soft but bright enough not to cause eye strain and consider playing gentle instrumental music or white noise, which has been shown to have positive effects on concentration. Most video game music (as long as it is instrumental) is designed around drawing the player in and by extension, increasing attention and can also be used where appropriate.

Helping your child build their attention span can be frustrating for both the child and the parent, so it’s important to show patience and take regular breaks to reduce the risk of frustration turning into anger or resentment from either of you. Instead, make building focus and improving concentration a fun activity that you can both enjoy and take part in, even if you only spend 10 minutes a day on it. You’ll soon notice the difference!

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Olivia | 21 Months

Wow…it has been FAR too long since I last did an update about Olivia. Can you believe she is almost 2? It seems just like yesterday that I was announcing I was pregnant with her!

As said in the title, Olivia is now 21 months and I swear she has hit the Terrible Two’s a little early. Sometimes she can be a really loving and affectionate little girl but if she is not in the mood, boy will she tell you! She can throw the most crazy tantrum and her screeches are deafening!

However, when she is a calm and not being a pain, she is so lovely. She adores her brother – always asking for him when he is at school. Since I last updated you, she has started attending a playgroup once a week which she absolutely adores – she loves meeting up with all of her little friends, playing some games, doing some activities, eating her snacks and singing some songs.

How is she getting on with her milestones? We’ve started potty training her but letting her take the lead. She is now more often than not telling us when she needs to go so we try to get her to the potty before it happens. We’re not too stressed though – she’s still very young.

She’s got plenty of teeth now – she had none for ages and they all seem to have now sprung out of nowhere! She is also saying quite a few words now: Mummy, Daddy, Jack, Nanny, Water, Cake, Peppa, Po (from the Teletubbies), Apple, Baby, Okay, Thank You. She also says Please as Peas and You’re Welcome as You’re Waddle which is hilarious!

She has her loves and she particularly loves Teletubbies at the moment plus Ben and Holly and Peppa (as always!). She has developed an obsession with the film Frozen and has a real liking for a couple of Jack’s friends which is really cute. She is very independent, often stubborn and really knows her own mind.

She is most certainly a whirlwind and I know she’s going to be a right handful as she gets older as she is so strong minded now! She is adorable though and I love spending my days with her, especially when it is just me and her once Steve has gone to work and Jack is at school. I also love our days out as a family as she is really starting to ‘get’ things and enjoy herself more. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring.

The Merits Of Having A Bouncy Castle At Your Party

With Jack’s seventh birthday rapidly approaching, you can bet we are thinking of party options. We’ve done the big class party, we’ve done the little party with just a selection of his classmates and we’ve done the even smaller party with just three of his closest friends and he honestly couldn’t tell you which was his favourite.

Trying to find something to do this year that is both affordable and fun for the kids is key. We still haven’t worked out what we are doing for his birthday – will we be opting for the whole class being invited like two years ago or will we be choosing just a selection for something fun? Either way, we need to come to a decision soon.

Something I’ve seen a lot more recently at his friend’s parties is bouncy castles. Whether in the height of summer and outside or in the middle of winter in a sports hall, they seem to be growing in popularity – and Jack and his friends find them incredibly fun! There are companies out there that hire them out for such events such as Bounce Back Castles with so many different varieties of castle available to book – I didn’t realise there were so many to choose from!

But what exactly are the benefits of having a bouncy castle at your party?

They’re fun

It cannot be denied that kids absolutely adore bouncy castles. Jack would never get off them if given the chance. Him and his friends are always bouncing around on them and hate having to get off. Whether they are the main attraction at your party or an added extra to other activities, a bouncy castle is sure to be a very popular choice with party guests.

Amy Shamblen

They’re an affordable piece of entertainment

With so many varieties of castles available for hire, you’re bound to find the right one for your needs at the right kind of price. We all have set budgets for our childrens parties – and we don’t want to go over it! If you want something affordable that will definitely be in constant use, why wouldn’t you opt for a bouncy castle?

The entertainment factor is long term

As I mentioned, Jack would never get off if we didn’t make him! Castles will be in constant use throughout the party if you allow the children to do so – so the entertainment factor really is long term. One of our local pubs has a bouncy castle out in the summer – especially on the last day of term where we have a sort of picnic party on the local common, across from the pub. The castle is in constant use from everyone getting there around 1pm – and I’ve seen children still using it past 7pm – can you think of other party entertainment that has the fun factor for that long?

Think of the exercise

You may not think about it but all that jumping has got to be having a positive effect on your child’s health! They’re constantly jumping, running and trying to keep their balance. Some inflatables are suitable for adults as well as children so you can have a bounce too!

It eases the stress

Even if you have other activities going on alongside the bouncy castle, it is a relatively stress free piece of entertainment for the kids. Of course, an adult or two need to be around to monitor the children but you don’t have to worry about kids getting bored or causing mayhem – they’re more than likely too busy having fun bouncing around!

A bouncy castle is definitely something we are considering for Jack’s next birthday – we need to get it all sorted very soon. Have you ever had a bouncy castle at your child’s birthday party?

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Back To School with Moj Moj

We were sent this to help us in getting back to school. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

We were recently sent a fantastic back to school bundle to help us get ready to get back to school and to also talk about our dreams and aspirations for the year ahead. Jack has one dream for the year ahead – and it is something that we have already seen in practice in his classroom – he wants to learn more to do with history.

My child is a proper little history buff and has spent the summer watching Horrible Histories on Netflix and reading his Horrible Histories books. He’s decided his ‘superpower’ in class is History as it is something he loves learning about and he already knows a lot.

Jack got sent a lovely variety of options -some aren’t really his thing such as the bow which he is passing on to his sister but it was such a lovely selection to get him ready for back to school.

Now if you don’t know about Moj Moj, they retail at £3.99 at Smyths. They are super squishy characters who are a lot of fun. They have fun, collectible themes and seeing as Jack loves squishy toys, were the perfect gift for him as he geared up to get back to school.

We received a lovely rucksack, a gorgeous water bottle, a ruler, some erasers, an alarm clock, a bow and of course, some delicious sweets – as well as a few Moj Moj packets for us to open. As we opened, we discussed his hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

History was his main one but he also wishes to continue being good at sports, he wants to still have fun and play with his friends and get to make more friends. All really good hopes and dreams, right?

Moj Moj have over 95 different characters to collect and we were so happy to start our collection with these six fabulous characters – we had three packets and you get two characters in a pack. As you would expect from collectibles such as this, there are rare and ultra characters to collect – will you get them in your pack?

Jack is now settling down into Year 2 quite well and is soon to be starting his after school clubs back up. He would like to say thank you to Moj Moj for his back to school package, he really appreciated it.

Now You Are Going Into Year Two…

Jack,

It doesn’t seem possible you’re now in year two. That you are in the final year of infants school. It seems like just yesterday you were starting nursery at this school yet here you are four years later.

I’ve tried explaining to you that year 2 is going to be a little more structured than previous years – less learning through play – but I don’t think you quite believe me yet. You’ve relished your first piece of home learning – just as you have done every year as you already knew what it would be – decorate your home learning book!

You’ve been enjoying school  lunches – as always, and especially on a Friday – and are still getting used to having your Daddy now working at the school. It must be very strange.

You’ve taken to year 2 since you started a few days ago like a duck to water and can’t wait to learn, it seems. You’ve moved up to level 18 in your reading and when asked what you thought your subject strengths were, said History – I can’t wait to see how you get on with your learning this year. It will be interesting to see what your favourite subject is by the end of it.

I hope year 2 is everything you want it to be – this time next year, you’ll be starting at the junior school!

Love Mummy xx