Attention is an essential tool for basic learning. Weak attention negatively affects the quality of learning in the classroom. Parents can use various visual and auditory activities, as well as games and table-top tasks to improve their child’s attention.

There are different types of attention. These include:

  • Joint Attention (ability to share attention with another towards the same object or event)
  • Sustained Attention (ability to remain on task)
  • Selective Attention (ability to remain on task with distractions)
  • Alternating Attention (ability to shift focus of attention between different tasks)
  • Divided Attention (ability to respond simultaneously to multiple tasks)


Below are examples of activities you can play with your child at home to improve their attention:

  1. Read out a list of items (e.g. colours) to your child, when they hear a pre-determined colour (e.g. red), ask your child to make a mark on the answer sheet. You can make the activity more challenging by asking your child to listen out for more than one colour.
  2. Ask your child to look at pictures of two to three objects in sequence (e.g. orange, apple and melon) for five seconds. Then ask your child to recall the pictures seen in correct sequence after the visual stimulation (i.e. pictures) are taken away. To make the activity more challenging, you can add distractions (e.g. ask your child to do 10 jumping jacks before recalling the pictures in correct sequence).
  3. Play games such as Uno, memory card games and Jenga.
  4. Play the ‘Music Actions’ game: Have your child dance and moves while playing their favourite music. When the music stops, they do a pre-chosen action. For example, sit down on a chair; stay still for three seconds or more; copy adult’s pose (e.g. kneeling, standing on one-leg, four-point kneeling, etc.). You may gradually increase the difficulty by asking your child to complete a sequence of actions as their attention strengthen.