What is Executive Function?

Executive Function are mental processes that provide functional skills such as planning and meeting goals, self-control, following multi step directions, and being able to stay focused.

Why are These Skills Important?

A great example of when a child uses these skills is getting ready for school. It sounds easy, but in reality, there are several steps that have to be identified, prioritized and followed to get out the door. Should they brush their teeth, eat breakfast or get dressed first? What should be for breakfast? What should be worn to school? What if the shirt a child wants to wear is in the laundry and cannot be worn? A child who has not developed executive function skills might not know what to do first, they might get distracted by toys, they might throw a tantrum over a shirt that cannot be worn that day, they might struggle with making choices and so on. 

Children build these skills slowly, starting at infancy, through social interactions and situations that require self-regulation and a working memory. Some children will require more assistance than others in developing these skills. Check out some fun ideas below of activities to incorporate into your day at each stage of development.

For more ideas for activities that help to develop a child’s Executive Function Skills, visit rayzkidz.com/category/activities