How to Improve Short Attention Span: Tests, Games, Exercises

Attention span is the key element in the learning process, especially for children. This is because the average attention span they have determines how efficiently children can listen and understand the tasks their teachers assign them.

Attention Development

The average attention span of a human is unstable. If you are not in a good mood or just have something else in mind, you will be easily distracted and low, which will directly affect many processes, from completing a task to your overall productivity.

What is Attention Span?

Attention span definition: Attention span is defined as the periods of time someone can focus on, concentrate or pay attention to a specific task or idea.

There are many stimuli such as digital tools and social media that distract us today. So, issues such as the average human attention span, the average attention span by age, and how to increase the attention span have become some of the main topics of improvement.

According to a study done by Microsoft back in 2013, the average human attention span was just 8 seconds. This is even shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. Although in the 2000s this number increased to 12 seconds, today scientists say it again shortens back to 8.25 seconds.

Attention span of a goldfish

The low attention span affects our memory and learning power. Today, 25% of teenagers forget major details related to close friends and relatives. As mentioned at the beginning of the article, this situation is especially dangerous for children of learning age.

With MentalUP Attention Exercises Application, it is possible to increase your attention span with 15-minute daily exercises. Click to start the attention exercises now with fun exercises prepared by academicians and professional game designers: Try MentalUP Attention Exercises Application Now!

What’s Short Attention Span

People with short attention spans can easily break up and have trouble focusing on tasks for a certain length of time. There may be a large number of psychological and physical reasons for a person's short attention span. The following can be listed as examples of some of the possible causes of short attention span;

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Severe head injury
  • Learning disabilities like dyslexia
  • Autism

Games to Boost Attention in Kids

Games are some of the most powerful tools to improve concentration, and they also develop children’s various mental skills. Therefore, special emphasis is placed on games in this article. Surely, there are several other techniques to improve concentration, and they are not only limited to games.

visual attention exercise

Dwarf Giant

This attention game improves reaction control, focusing and divided attention skills.

sustainable attention exercise

Track the Ball

This attention game improves visual attention, sustained attention, and focusing skills.

divided attention exercise

Spot the Difference

This attention game improves visual attention, scanning, and comparison skills.

There is no other fun way to improve attention span without games! MentalUP has 100s of attention games which you can start playing right now: Attention Games

How to Improve Attention Span

Attention-based learning disability is one of the most common disabilities in children. This is why elective classes such as Intelligence Games are added to the curriculum in many schools by the National Education Centers (for the primary education students). For instance, many private schools use MentalUP Educational Games in order to support the improvement of the attention span of students. (See: Treatment for Lack of Attention)

1- Play Games

As we mentioned above, the most important attention-enhancing tool is games because children like to focus on things that bring them fun. Therefore, special emphasis is placed on games in this article. Surely, there are several other techniques to improve concentration and they are not only limited to the games.

How to improve attention span 1

2- Chew Gum

According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s study, chewing gum has a significant effect on performance and attention. It also lowers stress and improves alertness. It can be a quick and instant booster for your attention span.

How to improve attention span 2

3- Try Therapy

Behavioral therapy would work especially well on expanding attention span. It helps to realize and change self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors, so kids build self-motivation and self-trust, which leads to having a clear mind and being able to focus better.

How to improve attention span 3

4- Say No to Multitasking

Doing more than one task divides your attention between tasks and also causes you to receive a cognitive "punishment" to manage the transition between tasks. Trying to do more than one job simultaneously causes more errors and makes each task last much longer than when you do them separately.

How to improve attention span 4

5- Try MentalUP

MentalUP Attention Exercises App is designed especially to boost children’s cognitive abilities with daily exercises. With just 15-minutes fun exercises, kids can easily strengthen their focus and increase their attention span through play.

In addition to that, MentalUP offers performance tracking for parental control. So parents can easily follow their kids' improvement. It’s all scientific, but also fun! Try MentalUP Now!

6- Stay Hydrated

Drinking water improves the ability of thinking and all other cognitive functions. Being dehydrated more than two hours can affect your attention span in a really negative way. If you are looking for an accurate way on how to increase your attention span, you can start with drinking more water.

How to improve attention span 5

7- Use The Power of Meditation

While meditating you try to learn how to control your thoughts by focusing your attention. This is also very helpful to teach kids how to pay attention in class.

It is proven by Springer’s study that regular meditation has serious positive effects on concentration, focus and sustained attention.

How to improve attention span 6

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the average attention span in adults?

The average British American adult average attention span is between 10 and 20 minutes.

What animal has an attention span most similar to humans?

The animal with a similar attention span to humans is goldfish. Its average attention span is 9, while humans’ is 8.25 seconds.

What medications are used for improving attention span in children?

Using medications in children is a serious decision and should be considered by medical doctors. It can cause problems, and side effects can harm kids so medication should be used only by a doctor if advised by a doctor.

Attention Span Tests

As attention is affected by many variables, it is not actually an easy task to measure the attention span of a person. Attention can be divided into four categories: Selective Attention, Sustained Attention, Divided Attention and Alternating Attention.

Measuring each type of attention has always been extremely useful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the brain and focusing ability. These tests also help identify methods for dealing with any existing attention problems.

Some of the tests are listed below:

  • Attentional Capacity Test (ACT)
  • MentalUP Concentration Test
  • Tests of Variable Attention (TOVA)
  • Continuous Performance Tests (CPTs)
  • Connors Kiddie CPT V.5
  • Connors CPT II Continuous Performance Test II
  • Trail-Making Test A&B
  • Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA)

If you think that you or your child are having focusing and attention problems, you can obtain further information from MentalUP’s blog articles. Keep in mind that attention and concentration are crucial to both you and your child's success and happiness today as well as in the future.

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