How to Help Kids Be Very Observant

Teaching a child to watch her surroundings helps keep her safe.
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Kids notice the most obscure objects and events sometimes, but when it comes to being actively observant about what is important, they don't always get it right. Being observant is not always a natural ability for kids, so you must teach them to focus on their surroundings. By creating a child that is more aware of his surroundings, you are giving him basic tools that will keep him safe and more helpful to others.

Play memory card games to improve your child's recollection skills. After she masters the basic game or remembers where matching cards are located, change it up a bit.

Use the memory card game in other ways. Show individual cards to your child for a few seconds and then turn it away. Ask him to describe the picture with as much detail as he can. Or ask him questions such as "Does the person have a mustache?" or "What color is the person's shirt?"

Lay several memory cards out and let your child study them for a minute. Place a thick piece of paper over all of them and have him list everything he can remember, including the order. You can also do this with photos or pictures from a magazine.

Take your child out to public places and tell him that you are going to play the memory game with real people and settings. Allow him to look around for a minute or two. When time is up, tell him to close his eyes and ask him questions. When you go out to play the game, have a start time so he can look around before the questions start.

Go out to a park or public place to play the memory game multiple times. Over time, tell him that he won't know when the game will start, so he must continually pay attention to everything around him. Play the game every time you go out and he will be more observant because he won't know when the game will begin. Over time, making observations will become habit.

  • Remind your child that paying attention to what's around him isn't just about sight, but that he should also use his ears and nose, too.

Tara Shore holds a Bachelor of Science in business finance and has written for online publications since 2007. She has professional experience in banking, accounting, travel and teaching. Shore is also a master gardener and a travel agent.