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3 1/2 yr old attention span

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twin2 twin2 is offline
 
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twin2
 
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3 1/2 yr old attention span
Old 06-28-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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I'm a little bit excited. My daughter has been complaining, saying her 3 1/2 yr old daughter must have ADD or something. She is afraid she will have problems in school. I have never seen that. I just think she is the smartest little girl with so much potential. I believe her mom just hasn't learned to discipline her - she needs to stop treating her like a peer. She spends time with myself, and her great grandmother and neither of us see problems.

Yesterday I introduced her to lacing beads. I showed her how to lace the first one. It was kind of tricky because you have to work the cord through the bead and then pull it through. I expected the cord to be stiffer. I guess they are all like that. Anyway, I showed her the first one, and then she stood at the table and laced several, before she finally took a seat, on her own without suggestion and finished the lacing the cord. I think it took about ten minutes. She stayed focused on the beads, despite the distractions of a family gathering going on around us. I was so impressed with her hand and eye coordination. Then last night I kept thinking about how well she did and as she was doing it her mother telling me she must have ADD. Then the Lord showed me - she sat for 10 minutes, completely focused on this activity. She saw the project through to completion. I finally had my answer and when my daughter called this morning, I told her this.

I have worked with five year olds that could not do this, due to various challenges. If she had ADD, I believe she would have lost focus after the first couple of beads. If there were other issues, I think she would have given up once she discovered it to be a little challenging to work that cord through. I have never worked with typical 3-4 yr olds at school other than occasionally substituting. What do you think? Is grandma on the right track?

She wanted to take the beads home, but I told her we would leave them here for her to play with. I'm afraid if she takes them home, they will become a boring toy. If they are here, she can play with them on occasion and I think enjoy them. Does anyone have any other suggestions for me "playing" with her?


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Originalkat Originalkat is offline
 
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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It sounds like your granddaughter is doing great! I think you are on the right track by providing these types of learning activities instead of them becoming toys thrown in with everything else.
Some other fun age appropriate activities:
Puzzles
Building towers with blocks
Pattern Blocks (Free exploration and matching onto the picture cards)
Reading picture Books
Coloring on blank paper with special markers, colored pencils, crayons
Drawing on a white board
Counting and Sorting Objects by color/shape/size
Playdough
Sensory Tub (platic tub filled with rice, sand, beans etc)

You can encourage your daughter to provide some focused activity times at home whenever her daughter seems interested. It could be that when she sees her actively engaged in meaningful activities for a period of time, she may realize that she is really displaying appropriate 3-year-old behavior. But firm and consistent discipline is key at this age. Maybe your daughter is using ADD as an excuse because she does not feel confident in her ability to discipline effectively? You might be able to give her some suggestions or suggest a book for her to read on the subject.

Hope this helps!
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twin2 twin2 is offline
 
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Thanks for the ideas
Old 06-28-2010, 06:41 PM
 
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I appreciate someone who works with little guys reassuring me. My daughter works with middle school students, with reading intervention. She has nobody to really compare her daughter with.
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Never Fear
Old 07-04-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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All three year olds have short attention spans. 15 minutes is a reasonable time limit for their interest in one thing. They are all over the place, this is one of the most inquisitive years of their lives. They are trying to take in everything. But keeping a consistent set of rules and following through are also key for this age. Keeping them busy is necessary and keeps them out of mischief. I teach 4 years old in the AM and a combines 3-5 age group in the PM. Sounds like this little girl is quite normal and on target for her age.
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