How many times did it ring in your ears as a child? “Sit still!” It holds true through the generations. Wiggles and giggles accompany childhood. Seemingly bitten by the energy bug and filled with natural curiosity, kids bounce from one thought to another and one activity to the next. The whirlwind has the potential to make many adults dizzy. Other than wearing out parents witnessing all this wiggling, what is all the fuss about and focus on, well, on focus? Consider how focus and concentration come with building indoor forts for kids.
The development of focus extends into adulthood. Staving off distractions in school, at work and even at home proves important to learning and goal achievement. After all, even children need to focus on a task and stick with it long enough to see it accomplished. Furthermore, the skills of learning include listening and understanding, both of which require focus even beyond the traditional model of education in a classroom setting. Possessing the ability to block out distractions is essential for kids to learn in any setting. Youngsters who master this skill can take focus into later years as they go to college, earn a degree, learn a trade and work.
Today, development of these skills is vital. Here is where the fun of forts comes into play. Fort Magic kits encourage kids to engage with a passion and get moving, both of which increase focus and concentration. Have you seen a child involved with something that grabs his or her attention? Have you ever noticed your youngster working diligently to complete a task or enraptured by a video game? The skill of focus, or tuning out distractions, is at work. Forts offer opportunities to engage kids in their passion and increase focus:
— Fort building alone proves a strong draw to a child’s attention span.
— The process of planning a fort design develops focus.
— Following fort plans keeps projects and kids’ concentration on track.
— Working together in constructing helps children learn to work amid distractions.
— Fort building lends itself to be broken into smaller chunks as needed to hold attention.
— Pursuing a much-enjoyed building project helps kids set goals and follow through on them.
— Passion engages kids, even to the level of problem-solving, which requires focusing skills.
Let your kids choose the fort design that fits their passion or whim of the day to keep them engaged and developing focusing skills. After all, don’t we all focus and concentrate better when the matter at hand interests us? These skills flow into other learning areas as well. Using the excess energy that keeps kids wiggling proves beneficial to focus. It turns out that children need to move in all directions–inside, outside and upside down–on a daily basis for hours at a time to properly develop their sensory systems. Movement is the innate mechanism for engaging the brain. In fact, restricted movement hinders this development. Fidgeting is a reaction to a lack of movement. In other words, without adequate movement or fidgeting, kids have no brain alertness. Additionally, movement supports higher-level attention and learning across all environments.
While slight changes in daily movement patterns help, activity in all directions for an extended period of time is what reaps the most benefits. Try one of these ideas:
— An Olympic-themed fort with plenty of active competition.
— Castle forts with knights, battles, and jousting.
— Hunting and fishing in an igloo- or tepee-themed fort.
— Boat forts complete with pirate adventures on the high seas.
— Underwater diving expeditions accompanying submarine forts.
— Spaceships creating moonwalk expeditions and exploring the unknown.
— Any inspired fort ideas dreamed up by a kid’s active imagination.
All of this indoor fun may breed a lot of noise, but keep in mind the benefits of focus and concentration being developed during these activities, even though it sounds far from it. Plus, this play develops our skills, as parents, as we try to block out distractions ourselves. To further enhance focus and concentration when fort building, consider these hints:
— Limit distractions. For instance, shut off the television and let the radio lie silent.
— Incorporate games. I Spy, word guessing or list memory games encourage concentration with fun.
— Read, read, read. What’s more fun than reading in a fort?
— Take cues from your child. For example, when does he or she require a break? What methods calm him or her when overwhelmed?
— Use encouragement. Positive language and “I” messages sustain focus.
Engaging children in the passion of fort building around their interests sets the mood for focus and concentration development. The active nature of building and playing in this way creates even greater benefits. Try a daily dose of fort building, and you will be surprised where else you see your child’s focus showing up. You just might find yourself saying “sit still” a little less often. How do you encourage your child to focus and concentrate? Everyone is sure to appreciate your suggestions below!
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The Artful Parent Blog: One of our absolute favorite creative blogs for children and families. The Artful Parent blog is filled with simple ideas to fill your family’s life with art and creativity. A must see blog for sure.
Uncommon Designs Blog: Uncommon Designs is a blog dedicated to creating a beautiful life. From special touches in your home to making handmade gifts, this fun blog shares projects and ideas that are both “on trend” and classic. If you enjoy creating, then Uncommon Designs is the perfect place for you.
TinkerLab Blog: One of our favorite engineering blogs for children is TinkerLab. Have you ever visited the site? If not, you’ll definitely want to browse sometime soon. You will find loads of fun and inventive ideas for encouraging all things hands-on and engineering for kids. TinkerLab has fantastic Tinker Lab YouTube videos too!
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Facebook: Visit our Fort Magic Facebook page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.
Fort Magic Customer Photos via Instagram: Visit our Fort Magic Instagram page to see our customer creativity shine with fun pics and videos of families enjoying their Fort Magic kit during playtime.