It’s not that children have short attention spans. It’s that, to a child, the world around them has a short interesting span – with only a surface level of knowledge on most things, they don’t know how to engage with their interests in ways that will hold their attention for much longer than a few seconds (or perhaps a minute or two). For parents or guardians cruising towards hour four or five of little hands opening cupboard doors and ransacking the place in search of literally anything new to do, a few pointers on how to keep children entertained at home may be welcome. Let’s take a look.
Art and Technology
Colouring with crayons or pencils or felt tipped pens is a staple part of trying to keep any child as far from boredom (and the close cousins of boredom – tears and tantrums) as possible. The only problem is that it doesn’t always grab their attention for long. See https://www.printerinks.com/2p-n-002/inkjet-cartridges/ for ink to keep your printer printing out things to draw or colour in. Children love to search Google for images of animals and cars and their favourite kids’ TV show characters. So, let them search. Hit print. The mixture of technology and art is sure to add valuable bonus minutes to their focus for extended periods of arts and crafts throughout the day.
Storytime from trusted online sources
Many people are unaware of this, but a huge number of popular and classic children’s stories are available online – all narrated and some featuring accompanying cartoons. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to plug in a pair of headphones and let your child learn some of the most well-known stories out there. For example, check out this YouTube channel, filled with stories that your child will love to come back to, time and time again. And once they have found a few favourite stories …
Dress up time
Making costumes and playing dress up is one of the most fun things a child can do with their time. All you need is some material off-cuts, some cardboard, a few paints, and maybe some string and tape. Your child will love to recreate their favourite characters in costume form, teaching them not only to get creative with arts and craft in new and interesting ways, but also to think about the stories they have listened to and picture the characters in their mind, further developing their understanding of the stories.
Keeping children entertained comes with a ratio of about 10 to 1, where you will spend 10x as much time thinking of something compared to how long the child is actually entertained by it. But the time spent together is more than worth the effort.