We’ve made it through the dog days of summer! What are those you might say? I looked it up – and without getting to “sciency”, it is the hottest part of summer due to the tilt of the earth and is named after a bright star. (My passion for science never waivers…) So what is this week’s Executive Function activity? Home-made ice cream!  Although it’s not really a game, the activity itself challenges children to sit still, take turns, and delay gratification – all of which help strengthen their EF skills, especially inhibitory control and working memory.

Back to School

Heading back to school, whether virtual, in person, or a mix of the two is just around the corner and for our youngest learners, it will take a little time to get back in the groove.

working-memoryThis week’s #WhattheEFSummer activity, Coffee Can Ice Cream, stresses the development of working memory – using a recipe and measuring ingredients, as well as inhibitory control – taking turns and waiting for ingredients to freeze. Both EF skills that play an important part in successful learning. Having to follow rules and focus attention during a fun task is a great way to start practicing for that first day back in a classroom.  

Reflection Sciences and Playworks realize that across the country, children of all ages will be returning to school buildings in droves. While this may have been normal in the past, many will need extra practice regulating their emotions and actions, thus the need to practice during play, a safe place to affirm and reinforce appropriate group behaviors. 

Be sure to check out our past blogs for more games and activities to use at home. And later this fall, we’ll be shifting our focus to adult EF and what you can do to support your own brain health. 


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About the Author:

Carrie Fruin is the mother of three sons and grandmother of two. She taught high school science for over 25 years and still is active in STEM education.

She has a strong belief that all children can learn, and it is through the understanding of Executive Function (EF) skills and their relationship to Social-emotional learning (SEL) that will assist educators in reaching all children and providing them a true foundation for success in life.