Valid, proven attention exercises for children with writing problems, reading problems and/or arithmetic problems
Occasional inattentiveness can often be seen in children when they are writing, reading or doing arithmetic. In order to find their way back to the specific subject and regain their attention, these children can be helped greatly if they are provided with exercises to focus their attention. It is particularly effective if one explains clearly to the children the reasons for their occasional tendency to lose their attention while writing, reading or doing arithmetic.
By learning to be alert to these lapses in attention, they can catch themselves and even refocus their thoughts by deliberately guiding their thinking process. This deliberate process is particularly well-suited to be used, for example, during class lessons, while doing class work in school or also at home, in order to quickly regain one’s attention.
The following specific exercises can be done during training or at home:
• Exercises with the hands – Sitting quietly in a chair, eyes closed, the child brings both hands together in front of his body, or clasped them firmly behind his back, presses them together and then lets go.
• Imaginary journeys – Eyes closed, the child listens to a story being read aloud and describes the events in the story in terms of pictures. The story can also be accentuated with music.
• Music and art – Spatial images are created using line, color and form, or mandalas are painted, according to the rhythm of the music.
• Muscle tension and relaxation exercises - Different muscle groups are tightened and relaxed, during which time different concepts such as „I pick up an object“ or „I crack a nut,“ etc., can be acted out. • Breathing exercises – While seated, inhaling and exhaling deeply, with eyes closed or with a seesaw motion; or inhaling, holding the breath for a count of three and then exhaling. • Movement exercises – Standing up, the child stretches to make himself very tall, pauses, and then makes himself very small again, walks in place, or simply allows his arms to dangle while he stands quietly. • Rhythmic speech – Recite short rhythmic phrases such as „It rained all day today, it rained all day today,“ or short rhythmic poems.
• Silent exercises – Sitting comfortably, eyes closed, counting from 1 to 20, or reciting the alphabet, without a sound. • Color circle - Sitting comfortably, eyes closed, visualizing a circle in a favorite color which becomes bigger and bigger, then smaller again. • Coordination exercises – Touching the sole of the right foot with the left hand behind the back, and then the left foot with the right hand.