Read in 2 mins Bible Activities and Sermons » Activity Type » Game Print / Download Article Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email 3 Mind-Boosting Games for Kids to Improve Concentration and Focus Published: April 8, 2022 These three fun and exciting mind-boosting games help challenge the concentration and focus of children in your ministry. In a recent study, researchers at Oregon State University found that preschool-aged children who could sit still and focus were more likely to graduate from college. In an article on Wall Street Journal’s website, Megan McClelland, early childhood research core director at OSU’s Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children and Families and a lead author on the study, talked about the findings: “We know that early academic skills predict later academic skills,” McClelland said. “But the ability to pay attention and focus are foundational skills that help kids persist through difficult tasks when they need to.” McClelland suggested that parents and teachers could help their kids grow stronger in the areas of persistence and self-discipline by playing simple games to challenge concentration and focus. McClelland suggested changing the old playground game of “Red Light, Green Light” to make red mean “go” and green mean “stop.” Any time we can mix play with learning, especially when it can help our kids’ persistence and self-discipline, we’re for it! After reading about McClelland’s new twist on “Red Light, Green Light,” we decided to make some of our own game changers. Here are a few we came up with: Mind-boosting Game #1. Freeze Tag Instead of one against everyone else, call out rules that change who can tag who. For instance, start the game off with taggers being people who wear glasses. As the game progresses, change the rules so taggers become runners, and vice-versa. Kids will have to be ready to listen to instructions while trying to figure out who is a friend and who is a foe. Mind-boosting Game #2. Memory Over the years, there have been a lot of memory games that kids play. Games where you find matches or remember a pattern or a long list of items that keep growing are all classic games. What we like to do is ask kids to look at their surroundings. Give them a minute or two to focus on what’s around them, and then ask them to close their eyes. Ask them questions about who is wearing what or how many chairs are in the room. Then remove or move an item in the room and ask kids what has changed. It’s a simple game that doesn’t require much but gets all the kids thinking and challenges their focus. Mind-boosting Game #3. Don’t Say No A favorite kids’ game to play during spare time is the “No” game. Ask kids questions and they must answer. The catch is they can’t say any form of the word “no.” Then challenge them by adding words to the taboo list. Try answering “How old are you?” when you can’t say any numbers. This game gets kids using their vocabulary skills and makes them stop and think before they answer. After reading about how simple changes can help change the way kids think, you’ll never look at playtime the same way. See if you can make some game changers of your own! Let us know what you come up with in the comment section below! Looking for more ministry games? Check out these ideas! You can find even more in The Encyclopedia of Bible Games for Children’s Ministry. © Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use or duplication permitted. Get our FREE enewsletter! Join thousands of other children’s ministry leaders, getting fresh, helpful ideas delivered weekly to your inbox. Sign Up Please enter valid email address Sign Up Recieve offers and promos from Group? Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group? Yes! No Thanks, you're all set!