Attention one of the keys to learning anything. When children have a very short attention span they may have diifficulty learning to think, play, communicate and talk.

                   Increasing Attention Span

Using a timer

-present an activity (see examples below)

-set timer for 1 minute

-Tell the child will play for 1 minute

-Play for 1 minute

-Clean up/put away toys (may be as simple as putting pieces back in a box.  If it is a puzzle the activity is only complete when all pieces are back in puzzle tray or if it is an interlocking puzzle all pieces are separated and back in the box.

-Tommorrow repeat but aim for 2 minutes.  Each day or each week increase the time by 30 seconds or 1 minute or more if tolerated.

 -The key is to stop before frustration sets in. You can allow a child to get up do jumping jacks or another physical activity and he/she may be able to get back to the structured activity.


Sample Activities:



Simple short book


Looking at pictures (photos of familiar people or objects)

Barn set/animals

Doll House