Occupational Therapy Sensory Integration

The Importance of Movement in Order to Improve Attention

Paying attention is something that children often struggle with, but if you give them a task that appears hard or challenging to them, they’re often more likely to give up without even trying. Fidgeting may also be a sign that your child isn’t getting enough movement in their day.

There are some movement activities that you can give to a child who regularly loses focus to help increase their attention span and improve their performance on tasks.

Different Types of Movement Activities

Children who have disabilities, even though they tend to move differently than normally developing children, are more similar to them than you might think. You can help them by incorporating various movement activities into their day.

Particularly for those with disabilities or attention-deficit disorders, movement has been to help children to improve their attention span, retain what they are taught, and get them to engage more.

Different movement activities, some of which can be conducted in a classroom, include:

  • Bouncing an exercise ball
  • Jumping jacks or stretching exercises
  • Running in place
  • Playing red light, green light
  • Dancing, twisting, bending
  • Imaginative activities (animal walks like bear walking)
  • Cooperative games (beach ball balance)
  • Playing Simon Says
  • Follow the leader

Children are made to sit upright most of their day. You hardly see them climbing trees, spinning around in circles or rolling down hills just for fun. Educational demands have shortened recess and children hardly get a chance to play outside anymore because of liability issues, parental fears and hectic schedules of society today.

Developing a gross motor program that incorporates movement activities throughout the children’s’ day is essential, especially in children with disabilities or attention deficit issues. It encourages them to try, involves them in the decision making process and reinforces to them to strive for success in what they want to do. These activities should be broken down into segments that are manageable for them,

With a little thought and attention to adding movement activities to your child’s life, you can help your child improve his focus and attention span.

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