Fast, Fun, and Focus-Sharpening

The three simple yet creative games below (Clap!, the Sequence Game, and Ping-Pong Pairs) are easy to play anytime, anywhere. They are especially fun and helpful for younger kids, but older ones—and even adults—can benefit, too. The games build focus, memory, and listening skills.

Clap! - This activity promotes good listening and the abilities to classify and follow directions. Feel free to edit the activity to fit your child’s experience and ability.

Say, “Today you will clap your hands when you hear the name of a food, stomp your foot when you hear the name of something that flies, and snap your fingers when you hear a number.” (It is probably best to do only ten of the following associations per day!)

corn – seagull
bee – potato
broccoli – 10
2 – beans
moth – 6
4 – 11
squash – mosquito
airplane – wasp
14 – carrot
kite – zero
lettuce – cucumber
10 – peas
pickle – bluejay
7 – helicopter
jet – cauliflower
onion – 4
parrot – carrot
hummingbird – cabbage
asparagus – rice
ladybug – kite
celery – hornet
5 – butterfly
10 – peas
spinach – sparrow
cardinal – 7
9 – 1
parakeet – canary
bat – beets
squash – 7   

clap – stomp
stomp – clap
clap – snap
snap – clap
stomp – snap
snap – snap
clap – stomp
stomp – stomp
snap – clap
stomp – snap
clap – clap
snap – clap
clap – stomp
snap – stomp
stomp – clap
clap – snap
stomp – clap
stomp – clap
clap – clap
stomp – stomp
clap – stomp
snap – stomp
snap – clap
clap – stomp
stomp – snap
snap – snap
stomp – stomp
stomp – clap
clap – snap


Sequence Game. This activity will increase your child’s ability to recall a sequential pattern. It is probably best to do only a few of the associations per day.

Say, “I am going to do four things in a certain order. You do what I do.”

1. Touch head, back, hips, knees.
2. Turn around, raise arms over head, snap fingers, stomp right foot.
3. Touch elbows together, stomp left foot, snap fingers, clap hands.
4. Pull nose, turn around, lift left foot, put right hand on head.
5. Touch hips, knees, toes, head.
6. Touch nose, eyes, ear, toes.
7. Snap fingers, hold arms up, clap, turn around.
8. Stomp right foot, touch ears, wink, jump.
9. Clap, snap fingers, touch knees, stomp left foot.
10. Turn around, touch floor, snap fingers, touch ears.
11. Kick right foot, yawn, touch eyes, clap.
12. Wink, touch floor, touch ears, turn around.


Ping-Pong Pairs. This activity will increase your child’s ability to listen and recognize synonyms and antonyms, and it develops vocabulary. Edit the activity to reflect your child’s ability.

Say “We’re going to play a game called ‘Ping-Pong.’ I’ll give you a pair of words – if they mean pretty much the same thing you say ‘Ping’; if the words have opposite meanings, say “Pong.’”


huge – large Ping
little – big  Pong
lift – raise Ping
late – early Pong
fasten – close Ping
damp – wet  Ping
clean – dirty Pong
grunt – groan Ping
always – never Pong
heavy – light Pong
loud – soft Pong
still – quiet Ping
gather – collect Ping
maybe – perhaps Ping
ceiling – floor Pong
rough – smooth Pong
shout – yell  Ping
most – least Pong
few – many Pong
whisper – scream Pong
hard – solid Ping
pull – push Pong
rapid – fast  Ping
joyful – happy Ping
listen – talk  Pong
mad – angry  Ping
hop – jump  Ping
quick – slow Pong
even – odd  Pong
flat – smooth Ping
distant – far  Ping
hide – find  Pong
soiled – dirty  Ping
kind – gentle Ping
pull – drag    Ping
gather – spread  Pong
bad – good   Pong
soft – hard    Pong
ill – sick     Ping