M2-7 Concentration Games

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Aim: o motivate the children to concentrate for a longer period of time on one task, question, aspect etc. Introduction: It is said that children’s concentration span is declining. Whether or not this is true it is good to focus on building concentration in children. There are techniques we can use to help children learn the skill of concentrating. The more often you play these games the better they should become at them. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack M-2-7


Activity 1 & 2
Two bean bags/soft balls

Activity 3

Activity 4


Activity 1 - Pass The Ball

Aim: To encourage children to listen to instructions whilst concentrating on their task.

• Divide the group into two teams.
• Ask them to line up as if for a relay.
• Explain that you will give the ball to the first person who then has to pass the ball to the second person etc. once it gets to the last person they pass it back to the front.
• The first team to pass the ball back to the first person wins a point
• If the ball is dropped. it has to be returned to the first person and the team must restart that round.
• Explain that you will give instructions as to how you want them to pass the ball. These instructions may change at any point during the game. So it is important that they listen to your instructions whilst they pass the ball. If any team member (whether they have the ball or not) does not follow your instruction, the ball also has to be passed back to the first person and the team needs to re-start the round.

Instructions you might want to use are:
• Pass the ball over their head
• All team members must hop on one leg
• Hold the ball with your right/left hand only
• All team members must touch their nose/rub their tummy/ruffle their hair/snap their fingers/hum a tune until you say otherwise
• Pass the ball under your left leg
• Repeat ‘red lorry, yellow lorry”
• Bounce the ball once before passing it
• Say thank you’ before accepting the ball
• spin around at 360° before passing the ball on
• spin around at 360° after passing the ball on
• any other idea you can come up with.

Activity 2 - Hands Up!

• To be able to maintain concentration
• To be able to observe

• Ask the children to stand in a circle.
• The ball is thrown quickly around and across the circle.
• When a child catches the ball, the children on either side must raise one arm-the arm nearest the child with the ball - and hold tin the air until the ball is passed on to another child.
• If a child fails to catch the ball, or fails to raise the correct arm when their neighbour catches the ball, or is too slow to pass the bail along, they drop out.
• When there are only 5 children left in the circle, they are all declared winners, and the game starts again.

Extension Tasks/Adaptations:
Alternatively, especially for smaller groups, rather than a child being out’ they could ‘miss a go’, and sit down for e.g. 30 secs, before they can re-join the game.

Activity 3 - Keep The Rhythm!

• To be able to maintain concentration for a longer period of time.
• To listen to each other
• To keep a rhythm

• The children sit in a circle and are given a number each, starting with 1.
• They then start a chant by slapping theirthighs twice then clapping their hands twice whilst
saying in time:
Con — cen — tra - tion
(slap slap clap clap)

Are — you — rea — dy?
(slap slap clap clap)

If — so—
(slap slap clap clap)

Let’s — go—
(slap slap clap clap)

• Then player 1 continuing with the rhythm says their own number twice followed by another number. Again this must be done in time. For example:
One — one— four- four
(slap slap clap clap)

• Player 4 then must respond, again by saying their number twice, before choosing another player by saying their number twice,
four — four— seven-seven
(slap slap clap clap)

• Anybody who makes a mistake, does not respond to their number being said or fails to keep the rhythm is.....
there are two options here:
• Eliminated, but remains seated in the circle thus making it more difficult for the remaining players who must remember not to say the eliminate person’s number. When there are only 2-3 players left the game ends
• Moved to the end accepting the number of the previously last player (e.g. number 10 if it is a group often children). This then in turn changes the numbers of many of the remaining players, thus making it more difficult to remember to respond to their number. In this version it is every players aim to make it to number 1.

To start with the leader should be number land therefore starting and maintaining the correct clapping rhythm. As the children become more confident you can try to speed up the rhythm to try and catch them out.

Extension Tasks/Adaptations
Rather than numbers, the children could be given any other name: Animals, colours, weathers etc. to fit in with your topic of the day. This does make it more difficult though, as the players must remember which names are present from the start.

Activity 4 - What Is this

• To be able to think creatively, outside’ the box
• To think about one object for a longer period of time

A variety of common household items, some possible items are:
• Spoon
• Ribbon
• Shoe box
• Egg carton
• Hair brush
• Toy car
• Wallet
• Lipstick
• Pencil
• Spatula
• Cup
• Blanket
• Piece of paper
• Sticky tape
• Book
• Key ring
• Pear
• Paper clip

• The children work in pairs. Each pair has a piece of paper and a pen.
• You hold up one of the items and ask ‘what is this? and what is it normally used for?
• Give the pairs about 1 minute to come up with alternatives, novel uses for this item. Eg. it is a shoe box, I keep my photographs in it. It is a cup, I use it to trap spiders
• You briefly collecvdiscuss answers.
• Have one pair read out their answers whilst everyone else crosses out the answers that are not unique. Then the next pair reads out their remaining unique answers while again the others cross out their duplicates etc.
• Any unique, yet plausible response wins a point.

Extension Tasks/Adaptations:
Alternatively, especially for smaller groups, rather than a child being ‘out’ they could ‘miss a go’. and sit down for e.g. 30 secs, before they can re-join the game.

Programme Links:
Kim’s game M-12 Mind Anchors Programme

For full details see BB Anchors Pro Pack M2-7


  • anchors
  • mind
  • Thinking
  • thinking activities

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