Focus and Attention
Focus and attention vary greatly and are dependent on context – especially in early childhood
What You Need to Know
Preschoolers are increasingly able to sustain their focus and attention on a given task, but they still forget expectations in the moment or lose interest quickly. Sometimes they bounce from one activity to the next or struggle to persist through difficult tasks. To help their capacity to focus and sustain their attention, allow them a choice in what they want to do, follow their lead, modify activities to increase their engagement, and encourage them to look or think a little deeper.
What It Looks Like
A quick glance at how you can help preschoolers develop their focus and attention through engaging activities
Children will show increased focus and attention when activities allow for flexibility and individualization and are connected to their interests, lives, and experiences.
Gently push children to get involved, think a little deeper, or focus a little longer on a given task. Ask questions or make comments in order to keep them focused and engaged.
Monitor and Support Engagement
During activities, monitor children’s engagement. Provide extra support, such as moving closer to them, to keep them on task.
Building Focus and Attention Through Books
I Got The Rhythm
I Got The Rhythm, written by Connie Schofield-Morrison and illustrated by Frank Morrison, features a girl who discovers the rhythm throughout her neighborhood. She taps, shakes, and snaps to the rhythms all around her!
The Curious Garden
The Curious Garden, written and illustrated by Peter Brown, is about a little boy who cares for a very unique garden over many years.
Freedom Soup, written by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara, tells the story of a little girl who helps her grandmother make their family’s special soup. As they cook, the grandmother shares the soup’s history in a very vivid and captivating way.
Activity Cards for Preschool Classrooms
Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways you can help children focus their attention and persist
Get Our Resource Guide
Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of our core social-emotional skills