Momma Told Me: Tips For Promoting Focus In Young Children

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Tips For Promoting Focus In Young Children

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Tips to promote focus through problem solving and creative thinking, for kids. #sponsored
When I was a young girl I would spend the majority of my holiday school breaks flying with my father to the East Coast to visit with my family in Massachusetts. Because of Momma's previous fight with cancer she wasn't cleared medically for the long flight journey and was left staying home. As a result I spend large chunks of time in my grandparent's tiny living room while he helped with 'honey do-list' chores around the house. It was a very simple, but extremely well lived in room. No more than 14' x14' with a full couch, 2 rockers, a fireplace and (old tube) television, the walls were as full as the floorplan. From curios cabinets chocked full of collectibles to hundreds of frames with family photo collages, old magazines, military decorations, and more.

For a young child of 5 or 6 it was a dreary, boring, place at first glance. But my grandparents had a trick up their sleeves- a small 2" Waldo figurine borrowed from the elaborate 'tiny town' display in the main dining room. Every day I'd wake up in that house Waldo would have moved to a new location- my sole mission for the day being to find him without moving a single object.

It was pretty genius, looking back.

I'd sit on that antique couch with the floral ruffles in the tiny living room that smelled like moth balls, incense, and grandpa's Old Spice after-shave and spend hours just combing the room with my eyes. When I was youngest there would be a reward- a cookie from grandma's cookie jar, or a scoop of ice cream. But, as I grew older, the reward quickly turned into the act of actually finding Waldo. Even better- if I found him with enough time before the adults finished their conversation or tasks I had the authority to hide him again, myself.
While Where's Waldo, and the concept of Find It games holds treasured family memories for me, I'll admit I was quite tickled to see that Waldo is no stranger to today's generation either. When I presented 6 year-old Carter with the new Where's Waldo Find It game I was quite tickled to hear him exclaim "It's Waldo from the books!" after all, the books are where the real Waldo magic began. A more perfect character for a game designed to captivate and mesmerize may never exist.

Much like the I-Spy style books every generation is familiar with Find It games are tangible object exploration experiences that are constantly changing. No item is ever in the same spot, due to the array of colored beads and the constant movement involved in locating items. It's a self contained Find It game designed to travel anywhere and withstand plenty of handling. Much like my grandparent's genius game of hiding a physical Waldo, the Where's Waldo version of Find It has over 40 hidden objects inside one mini bead-ridden universe and is intended to help keep busy minds and hands occupied for extended periods of time.
Object search games are not just useful to occupy children, games such as Find It can be played in a variety of ways to keep the content constantly new, and always growing, along with your child's verbal and processing skills. Each Find It game includes a set of cards with special scavenger hunt descriptions that go beyond just naming or showing an item. For example, a card might read "Find something that you'd see outside" and potential correct items would be a sleeping bag, bunch of flowers, or dog. Another card might read "Find something you would look through" and correct items might be binoculars, a magnifying glass, or eyeglasses.

By giving children verbal search cues that require them to problem solve to first identify possible items, then search them out Find It is promoting focus through vital skills children of any age can benefit from. This also means the game is always changing and less likely to run out of engagement. Most of the cards have multiple answers, too, which is great for playing in the back seat on long car seats with siblings.
Carter, age 6, is quite bright and has a unique way of thinking that typically outsmarts even adults. I especially enjoyed listening to and watching his unconventional solutions to the Find It prompts. A card would read "Find something made of plastic" and he would wave the entire container in the air and exclaim "It's all plastic"- sometimes the answers are 'too simple' I guess- Psh, or the kid is too smart for his own good!

We also got a bit of reading practice out of this game- as the contents of each Find It are printed on the top of the tube. It didn't take long for him to learn to consult the content guide before answering the card prompt and searching for items- though there was a fair amount of distraction when something shiny or new would sift through the colored beads and throw him off the hunt.
For all his problem solving skills the Find It container, itself seemed to pose a problem he couldn't quite solve. A few times he'd want to 'remove' the top (don't worry, it's virtually impossible,) while others he'd turn the tube around and around in circles making no progress.

Enter the problem solving skill of engineering and flow comprehension. Younger children may not immediately grasp how to get the beds to sift and move in new patterns. There's a fair combination of turning, tilting, and twisting involved in revealing new tokens and items inside. This is the game's real challenge and even the adults on hand sometimes struggled with coaxing a hidden piece out of the mountain of beads.
Find It games come in 14 different themed varieties including the new Captain Underpants and Sesame St Jr editions, so your child can showcase their favorite shows and characters in a fun game that will captivate the whole family while promoting focus and problem solving skills. Honestly- even if you don't have kids in the house keeping one of these in the living room or on a coffee table is a genius way for visitors to pass the time while you're in the kitchen or preparing to entertain. Find these great Find It titles, and more fun online at Find It Games. Now, tell me, what sort of activities did you enjoy doing with your grandparents when you were a child?

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