A Focused Attention Activity
“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
―Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
When my daughter, Michelle, was young, reading together was one of my favorite activities to do with her. Children naturally enjoy reading and being read to, and as parents, this is a wonderful opportunity for us to spend some quality, uninterrupted time with our children.
Chances are that many of us without young ones around still know a child or two who would love to join us for reading time. In fact, reading together is a wonderful opportunity to practice Focused Attention! Take a look at the following steps to create an enriching activity you and all children will enjoy:
- Set aside 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to read with a child, planning to give this activity your full attention. (Take turns reading with kids who know how to read.)
- Choose the book(s) you will read together. You can probably read 3–4 picture books or a few chapters from a chapter book in this amount of time.
- Look at the cover together and point out things you like about it, and then dig in! Turn each page slowly and deliberately, and read things like the title page and dedication, too.
- As you or your child reads, really pay attention to the words and pictures, if any. (Yes, even if you have read this particular picture book a hundred times before.)
- When the book is finished, spend a few minutes talking about what you learned and/or which parts you enjoyed best.
Although this may seem like such an ordinary activity to many people with kids, I suggest that there is deep meaning in these moments. As Hans Christian Anderson once said (and I completely agree), “The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.” So, go ahead and enjoy these miraculous moments with the children in your life and read a good book while you’re at it!