Out of all the situations you encounter in parenthood, you probably know this one all too well. You’re sitting with your child while he does some activity you’ve carefully sourced from Pinterest or a fellow parent, and get a phone call or remember a chore to be completed, so you get up, telling him you’ll be back in two minutes.
Two minutes may seem like a short time, but it’s all your child needs to get distracted and move on to something else or start running about. And to add it to, we’re now under indefinite lockdown, which means if you haven’t thought of a solution to keep that little tot of yours occupied, you’ve got some research to do. Thankfully, we’ve gone and done the hard work for you.
Enter FirstCry Intellitots The teachers and curriculum experts have taken up the responsibility of setting a schedule and lesson plan to ensure that kids learn from afar while having fun. But getting kids to sit through the session and complete activities requires parental involvement. So, how do you get your toddler to sit through an online class?
Why Do Kids Find it Hard to Sit Still?
To tackle the problem, you must first understand it. Many times, a toddler can’t help but get distracted, and shouting at them or forcing them to sit still is never the right solution. Here is why kids often find it hard to sit for a long time.
1. Short Attention Span
This is one of the biggest reasons why toddlers can’t sit still. As a child grows, his attention span becomes longer. Hence, doing the same thing for a long time will only make kids get up and run about or just organically shift to the next activity that catches their attention.
2. Too Many Distractions
Having too many visual stimulations around, such as the TV, toys, games, etc. will constantly make toddlers get distracted, as they want to play with everything around them. The most interesting thing around should be the class itself, and not the surroundings.
3. Being Forced to Concentrate
Toddlers don’t understand the concept of studying, and neither does their school curriculum have it. They only learn something if it seems fun and new and manages to hold their interest for a long time. If parents yell at them and force them to do something, all the fun is sucked out of it, so naturally they look at it as something they HAVE to do, rather than want to do. Then comes the looking around and running about. And God forbid, the screaming!
Tips to Make a Toddler Sit Still During the Online Class
Now that you’ve understood the reason for your child being easily distracted, it becomes simple to introduce tactics to help him sit still during the online session. These tips will help you get started, and you can build on or adjust them as per your little one’s unique traits.
1. Take Short Breaks
Observe your child to see what his attention span is like, and schedule short breaks in between the session. You can do the same if you see your little one starting to get fidgety. Short breaks will also help increase productivity, so even though it may not seem like your child is spending as much time learning, he is definitely learning better. The class schedules at FirstCry Intellitots are specially designed to include short breaks, which will already help you keep your toddler attentive. However, if he still requires more breaks, the teachers are always available for guidance.
2. Include Physical Activity Throughout the Day
Include physical activity during breaks, such as running around, doing jumping jacks, etc. Though you may already have an assigned hour for physical activity in your kid’s daily routine, this is additional. Think of kids as little bundles of constantly increasing energy. When all of this energy builds up without any release, it can cause restlessness. Taking short breaks for 5-10 minutes of skipping or any physical activity dispels some of that excess energy and allows kids to sit still for a while after that. The schedule at the FirstCry Intellitots remote learning program includes physical and interactive activities to keep kids energised and happy throughout the day.
3. Assign a Space for Learning
Being at home 24 x 7 can seem like one long vacation, so toddlers are content with just playing about and doing their own thing. Usually, schools are outside of the home environment and create a sense of routine for kids. So the moment they walk through the doors, they know its time to learn something. The key is to replicate this at home in whatever way you can. Find a quiet spot in the house where your child can learn remotely every day, and make sure to remain consistent. Stick to the same spot and try and keep the decor and everything else around the same. This way, your child will eventually get attuned to learning in this area and put up less of a fight.
4. Make Learning Fun
Just like in regular schools, remote learning includes activities or homework to do once the class ends, which parents should supervise. But toddlers simply won’t sit still if the task bores them, and you’re sure to hear a few protests. Instead, make learning time fun with physical elements, some jokes, or anything that will hold your little one’s attention. At FirstCry Intellitots, making classes fun is handled by teachers as they take into consideration a toddler’s attention span. Each session is packed with fun activities that involve movement, storytelling sessions, and other interactive elements. This ensures not a single moment of boredom for kids!
5. Minimise Distractions
We often underestimate how distracting our own homes tend to be, and especially so when toddlers are concerned. Absolutely anything can distract them. A bird chirping outside, someone knocking on the door, etc. The space you assign for online classes should have distractive elements to a minimum, especially where toys, TV’s or mobile phones are concerned. Even family members talking or constantly coming up to the child will shift his attention, so instruct everyone to be as quiet as possible and not disturb your child during this time. Even small things like putting your phone on silent can help your toddler concentrate better. At FirstCry Intellitots, parents are expected to sit with their kids during the online sessions, but only to help them with activities during and after the class.
6. Feed Nourishing Foods
Diet can also play a huge role in energy levels and attention span. Junk food is full of trans fats and carbs, which makes kids lethargic and decreases attention span. A balance of carbohydrates, fibre and proteins will help your toddler pay better attention. This is the best time to introduce healthy foods in your little one’s diet, since good immunity is essential now more than ever.
7. Use Screen Time as a Reward
Remote learning is a great way to spend quality screen time, but your child may still ask for 15-30 minutes of screen time every now and then. Instead, if you find that your toddler has trouble concentrating, a little incentive never hurt anyone. Ask your child to sit through the class and complete all his activities, and in turn, he will be rewarded with 15 minutes of screen time. You’ll see your little one buckle up and focus in no time!
8. Stick to a Routine
Create a routine based on the remote learning schedule. This should map out your child’s entire day, right from waking up to going to bed. Include family movie night, game hours, physical activity hour, etc., and anything else you can think of to make your little one’s day interesting, and remain consistent with the routine. This way, your child will know its time to learn something and interact with his teachers and friends for the next couple of hours. The schedule of classes at FirstCry Intellitors is designed and shared with parents in advance, so they can map out what their child’s day will look like. Kids are known to be more productive with routines, so this will definitely help your little one concentrate better.
It’s okay if your toddler is fidgety and cannot concentrate for a longer time. This is normal and can be worked around with tact. Use these tips to make your child’s day more productive and fun, and expend more energy so that he can focus on his online class.
At FirstCry Intellitots, remote learning is made fun and easy! Check out the website for details on admissions and more.