Trying to Focus: Kids and Attention

Children have short attention spans.

I know this seems super obvious, but it’s something my husband and I are currently working on with our almost 5-year-old. If he’s interested in a topic, he’ll be engaged for hours, like when he’s learning about animals or conducting science experiments. But give that kid a simple instruction and he’ll forget it or become distracted in seconds flat. Yeah, it sounds like every kid at this age, but it made me want to revisit what I currently know (and research more) about attention and how to best help my son improve it.

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The Legit List of Fidgets

Fidgets are designed to allow us to self-regulate during times of stress or boredom, but no one fidget is created equal. Because our sensory needs are unique to us, what may work for you may not work for a friend, co-worker, or kid. So how do you know what works for your child? Rather than strolling down the toy section or browsing the endless lists of fidgets online, we broke it down to help you and your kiddo find that “just-right” fidget.

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Quit Fidgeting: What’s the Deal with Fidget Toys?

What do stress balls, spinners, and Pop-Its have in common? They are fidgets and you can find them anywhere and everywhere.

Fidgets are self-regulation tools designed to help children (and adults) focus and attend to tasks by helping maintain an appropriate arousal level. Their genesis stems from our automatic need to move during times of stress or restlessness, releasing excess energy or soothing our nerves. The idea is to feed our sensory system the movement/touch/deep pressure its seeking when we aren’t able to just get up and move, like when kids are supposed to sit in their seats during class.

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