The blog post, Four Ways Play Can Boost Your Child’s Success in School, is sponsored by The Goddard School®. All opinions expressed are my own.
Being a parent to a young child is the most exhausting, fun, challenging, and worthwhile job I have ever had. Children grow, learn, and develop new skills every day. An important set of mental skills called executive function develops during early childhood.
What are Executive Function Skills?
Executive function skills include working memory, self-control, paying attention, organizing, planning, and prioritizing. Early development of executive function skills can help children succeed in school.
The good news for parents of young children is that it is possible to develop executive function skills at home. In fact, many activities to help your child develop these skills are things you may already be doing.
Help your child develop executive function skills by adding the following activities to your routine:
- Play Games. Board games are a fun way to spend quality time together, and build essential skills like following rules and self-control. Keep a few age-appropriate board games on hand and play them regularly with your child.
Beginner games like Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and Count Your Chickens are great options for preschoolers.
- Exercise! Encourage your little one to get outdoors and play. Exercise helps burn off extra energy so your child can focus during more sedentary activities like reading and sitting in a classroom.
It’s simple to get physical exercise on the playground, as part of a sports team, at a dance class, or through play dates with friends.
- Make Learning Hands-on. Young children love interactive, hands-on learning. A great way to do this at home is to cook with your child. While you’re cooking, ask them questions like, what do they want to eat, what ingredients do we have, what else do we need.
Cooking keeps kids active and busy while they develop planning and problem-solving skills.
- Storytelling. Kids love to make up stories. Encourage your child to tell stories. Write them down so you can read them to your child. Let your child draw pictures to illustrate their own books. Review the stories and have them elaborate. Storytelling activities helps develop your child’s working memory.
Simple activities like the ones listed above can boost your child’s executive function. These activities aren’t just simple, they are fun. The fun factor is a big deal when it comes to learning. Children learn best through experience, especially when they are having fun.
The Goddard School® For Early Childhood Development
The Goddard School® embraces the philosophy that children learn best through experience. Their play-based curriculum, called F.L.EX.® Learning Program (Fun Learning Experience) is designed so children learn by doing and having fun.
At The Goddard School®, diverse programming balances educational content with free play, life skills, and an introduction to diverse practices, jobs, sports, and hobbies. Enrichment programs offer baby sign language, yoga, music, drama, art, chess, and foreign languages.
The Goddard School® and STEAM
The Goddard School® introduces STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) early on to help children develop an interest in and passion for these subjects, which may encourage them to pursue STEAM-related careers.
Young learners are encouraged to make their own choices, solve problems, and explore their interests independently through fun, hands-on activities. Experiential learning helps children develop perseverance and social-emotional intelligence, making them school-ready, career-ready, and life-ready.
The Goddard School® Programs
All programs are customized to a child’s progress, needs, and age.
- Infants and First Steps: Teachers provide a healthy early learning environment for movement, exploration, and communication. Teacher work with parents to develop the child’s daily schedule, which includes nap times, play times, and feeding times.
- Toddler and Get Set: Teachers focus on helping children develop executive function. The classroom fosters children’s developing independence and valuable skills such as communication and collaboration.
- Preschool: Teachers focus on building fun learning activities so children can be excited about what they are learning and work through difficulties. They help them persevere through learning.
Learn more about The Goddard School® and find a Goddard School location near you at: GoddardSchool.com.