Jun 21, 2021

How to Hold Children's Attention for One Hour When You Are Teaching

Do you have a difficult time trying to hold kid's attention when you are teaching them?

Holding the attention of today's kids can be challenging for sure.

Today's kids have a very, very, very short attention span.  

They are exposed to hundreds of messages each day.  Each one vying for their attention. 

This is causing kids to quickly scan the information coming at them and instantly deciding where they will direct their attention.

This can be challenging when you are trying to get God's Word into kids' long-term memory.  In order to effectively teach them, you must be able to catch and keep their attention.

Here's the biggest mistake I see children's ministry leaders make when it comes to capturing and keeping kids' attention.

They look at their lesson as a 30 to 60 minute lesson. And due to this, they have a very hard time keeping kids engaged.  

Here's the secret to holding kids attention.  Instead of looking at the lesson as 30 minutes (we'll use 30 minutes as an example), look at your lesson as 6 five-minute segments.  This means that nothing lasts more than five minutes.  

Here is an example of a lesson flow. 

  • Talking by teacher for no more than 5 minutes.
  • Worship song (4 minutes).
  • Talking by teacher for no more than 5 minutes. 
  • Break up in groups and talk about questions from the lesson for 5 minutes).
  • Review Game (5 minutes)
  • Craft (5 minutes).

If you will break everything up like this, you will begin to see more kids engaging with the lesson time.  

I am putting this into practice this week as I am teaching kids at a summer camp.  Last night, we covered what it means to follow Jesus.  Here is the flow I used.

  • Worship song (5 minutes) 
  • Teaching up front (5 minutes)
  • Discussion time in groups (5 minutes)
  • Teaching up front (5 minutes)
  • Discussion time in groups (5 minutes).
  • Prayer Time (5 minutes).

Doing this resets kids' internal clocks every 3 to 5 minutes.  This allows you to keep their attention.

When you break up your lesson/class into short segments you will find your discipline problems lessen and you will see kids engaging with what you are teaching.  

Looking for a curriculum that uses this teaching style?  Check out Connect 12.  It is guaranteed to keep kids' engaged with you.  

Your turn. 

How do you hold kids' attention during your service / class?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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