18 Tricks to Get Kids Focused


1. Use a clapping pattern; Clap or tap in a pattern, for example, clap slowly twice and then clap fast three times. The students are to stop what they are doing and repeat the pattern. If necessary, do it again until all children have responded and are quiet. If your classroom or program used this method, there are many ideas that can be combined with this).

2. Lights switched on/off:  Children look at the caregiver and listen when the lights are flicked off and on.

3. Whistles are harsh and can be annoying, however can be effective when outside or for an emergency.

4. The word “freeze!” For an emergency or when attention is immediately desired, the word, “freeze,” works well. When the children hear the word,” they KNOW something is serious and important! Every program/classroom should have a ‘Freeze’ option in place!


5. When you say, „Voices,” teach the children to respond with a quiet, „Shhh…” Use this if the children are too loud. If you want their attention, say, „Voices” again and they respond with a quieter, „Shhh…” Say it a third time very quietly, „Voices.” All children should be quiet and ready to listen.

6. Shout „AND A HUSH FELL OVER THE CROWD!” and the kids reply with a drawn out „HUSH!”

7. Hold up your hand and say, „Give me five.” The children put their hands in the air and shout „five!” As they count down to one, they get progressively quieter until „one” is said in a whisper. Or, after saying, „Give me five,” everyone puts their hand in the air and counts loudly using their fingers from 1 to 5.

8. Every school has a mascot.  Shout your school name and have the children respond with the name of the school mascot. Example: Caregiver/teacher shouts, „Baldwin” and the children respond with, „Lions.”After they shout the mascot name they are to be silent.


9. Just clapping is another way… and you’ll get applause!

10. Do you need a moment of peace?

Tell your students that they will often be playing, „The Still Waters Game”; they will know the game has begun when you say, „1, 2, 3, – 3, 2, 1… still waters has begun.”

Ask them to freeze like an ice cube and remain silent when they hear that sentence. Time the children to see how long they can remain still. The goal is to beat their best time. Hold your fist in the air and each time you see someone move or talk, put a finger up. Once you have all five fingers up, check your watch and tell the group how long they were able to remain still.

11. One favorite attention getter is a teacher/leader saying, “Bump-da-da-Bump-Bump”and the children reply in unison, “Bump-Bump!” This is said to the tune of ‘Shave and a Hair Cut–Two Bits’.

12. Use, „Teacher Says,” like „Simon Says.” For example, „Teacher says, touch your nose,” “Teacher says, Clap once,” then „Teacher says, look at me.” This can also be used to line up! Teacher says, „Line Up!”


13. For getting attention, you can:
Shake a shaker, touch a wind chime, ring a bell, use a rain stick, play music or use any kind of sound maker as a signal for students to be attentive.

14. Laughing Handkerchief
When the group sees a handkerchief thrown into the air, they laugh as loud as possible. When the handkerchief hits the ground, they go silent.

15. Say, in a normal tone of voice, „Clap once if you can hear me.” Those listening will quiet down and clap one time. Then say, „Clap twice if you can hear me.” More children respond with two claps. Finally say, „Clap three times if you can hear me.” By this time you should have the attention of your group. (Personally I never cared for this one-it can take longer than other methods-but it is popular in many areas. Barb)


16. For Pre-K to Grade 1– sing the following words to the Frere Jacques tune:
„Are you listening? Are you listening? Everyone! Everyone! If you are listening, if you are listening, look at me, look at me.” Other ways to end the song are: „Snap your fingers” or „Pat your head.”

17. Let the children know when they need to do something; give them the reason why it is necessary.

  • Get into the habit of saying, ‘We’re going to…because…”
  • When children understand the ‘whys’, they are more apt to cooperate.

18. Let the children know when they need to do something; give them the reason why it is necessary.

  • Get into the habit of saying, ‘We’re going to…because…”
  • When children understand the ‘whys’, they are more apt to cooperate.



1. To get children’s attention, use one method consistently. If you are committed to a method it will usually work; if you don’t commit 100%, it won’t work.

  • Meet with the children at the beginning of the school year and discuss what method or methods you will use.
  • Present a few ideas to them—and have kids decide which to use! Do this each year.
  • You can add fun by keeping tally and charting their opinions.

2. Students will welcome any attempt you make to add transition activities into your daily routines, especially if they involve a little movement or a challenge. You will be surprised at how these activities change your group environment. If you periodically change the activities, you will keep their interest piqued as they wonder what you will do next.

3. Be sure all children know what is expected when these systems are used
. Individual guidance may be necessary for children who have difficulty with transitions or are new to your program. With consistency, your group will easily follow the routine when they hear the selected music or signal!

Sursa: www.kidactivities.net


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