6 Activities- Executive Function Skills

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6 Simple School Readiness Activities

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Primrose Schools; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Academic success begins at home – from day 1 of life. With all of the input we parents receive about keeping our children healthy, clean, fed and educated, it can be tough to know which skills to focus on at what age. That’s why I’m proud to have partnered with Primrose Schools to bring you 6 simple activities for preparing your children for school success by focusing on Executive Function Skills at home. There’s also an awesome giveaway worth over $250!

6 Simple School Readiness Activities

What Are Executive Function Skills?

In a nutshell, Executive Function Skills are the mental processes that allow humans to access higher level reasoning and quickly apply what they have learned in past situations to new situations. Executive function skills are wanted by employers seeking highly qualified entry-level employees, and they lead to higher levels of success and earning power. Here’s a video outlining the importance.

I’m super excited to share a really great resource for you from Primrose Schools. On their website, they have outlined each of the Executive Function Skills and included video summaries and activities to bolster those skills for your kids. Definitely bookmark this page for ideas and motivation for when parenting gets hard.

Early Education Executive Function Skills

Activities To Develop Executive Function Skills At Home

Clearly, Executive Function Skills lead to smarter, more successful children- who doesn’t want that? I’m working with my girls here at home to boost Executive Function Skills, and I’ll share a few tips with you below.

Activities to Foster Self Control

Self-Control – Our older daughter, who is 4 years old, is prone to huge, ridiculous outbursts when she doesn’t get what she wants. This looks like yelling, throwing things, lying on the floor and screaming (or crying with actual tears). When she started this, I’m not going to lie – I felt like the world’s worst mom. What I realized is I hadn’t cultivated self-control with her. So now, we spend more time with the following activities:

  • Board games– this forces her to take turns. And lose. Self-control at its finest. (Plus, I think it’s fun too!) Here’s a list of great board games for kids.
  • Freeze Dance– our daughters started dance class recently and they play freeze dance a lot. I was so excited to see that my daughter did not have a complete fit when she lost the first time that I implemented it at home.
  • Telling time– We have been working on telling time on a digital clock, and understanding the difference between minutes and hours. This has helped tremendously both to kick the early morning wake-up habit, and to work with delayed gratification.

Telling Time To Boost Self Control

Working Memory– We are very intentionally and meticulously building a bilingual brain, and age 2 is a great time to really develop working memory. Bilingualism from birth actually hardwires the brain in a distinct way from monolingual brains, but it also requires a killer working memory. For my 2-year-old, we spend a lot of time on the following activities:

  • Active Reading– This is just simply asking my daughter different questions while we read age-appropriate books. For example- “How do you say ______ in (English/Spanish)?” “Do you remember what the cow does next?” “Did you ever do what he is doing in the story?” I’ve found that asking these questions gives me great insight about the types of information my daughter can recall – and the info that we need to spend more time reviewing.
  • Chores– My younger daughter is home with me full time, and that means we do chores together. I have started to give her vocabulary and processes that she can follow as we work together. For example, when we do laundry, we sort the lights and the darks.  I will hold up an item of clothing and ask, “Is this light or dark?” and allow her to put the article of clothing in the correct pile.
  • Puzzles- We have a stack of puzzles that were mine when I was a child, and my daughter LOVES to do them.  We’ve been at it a week and she still gets stumped by them- but it won’t be long before she has them all memorized!
Puzzles To Improve Working Memory

These are 12 piece puzzles from 1980- we LOVE them!

Choosing a school can be tough for any parent- but I’m really impressed with the resources available on the Primrose Schools website. It’s now easier than ever to make sure our kids are getting what they need to be prepared for school and career.

Children's Books To Improve Working Memory

To stay up to date with the latest free educational resources from Primrose Schools, and for a chance to win one of 10 Primrose Prize Packs consisting of a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card and 5 children’s books (hello new home library!) just visit the Executive Function Skills Sweepstakes page and sign up for the Primrose Schools newsletter.  Sweepstakes ends October 23rd.

And don’t forget to tell us in the comments below- what are your favorite activities for building Executive Function Skills at home?

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6 Activities for School Readiness

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