Elmo Says: Tips to Teach Focus and Control During Reading Time

We have previously noted the simple elegance of the child game Simon Says and other games that require children to pay attention, remember the rules, and follow directions.

We reported that Michael Posner of the University of Oregon and colleagues ran experiments where they “gave four-year-olds and six-year-olds five days of training in attention skills on the computer and compared them to comparable groups of children with no training. They found that by improving children’s ability to pay attention, children’s self control, reasoning and thinking skills also improved.“

Another way to work on these skills with children is to read the book Elmo Says by Sarah Albee.

Mind in the Making writes: “The classic game ‘Simon Says’ meets Sesame Street in this lively board book. Favorite characters instruct children to imitate their actions—but only when they hear the words ‘Elmo says!’”

For Elmo Says, MITM relies on research to recommend tips that promote Focus and Self Control: “Children need this skill in order to achieve their goals, especially in a world that is filled with distractions and information overload. It involves paying attention, remembering the rules, thinking flexibly and exercising self control.”

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