I grew up in the days of danger… rickety swingsets, no bicycle helmets, and climbing trees as high as I could without an adult within a block. This was also a time when games weren’t very sophisticated and household items were never discarded, just added to the toy bin. This week’s activity, Button, Button. Who’s Got the Button? takes me back to those same days where “only unimaginative kids get bored” (as my grandmother would say).
By using a simple box of buttons, we can help strengthen Executive Function skills like cognitive flexibility as well as start to learn about numbers and measurements; a great introduction to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Learning to count, sort, and measure doesn’t have to wait until school starts this fall.
As a former science teacher, it was clear that students with stronger EF skills adapted more quickly to abstract ideas, were better problem solvers, and collaborated with classmates much more comfortably. All of which help when the content in the classroom gets challenging. It’s usually not about what a child knows, but whether or not they have the correct set of tools to learn new information and even new behaviors.
Reflection Sciences and Playworks know that learning loss is real. We also know that EF and SEL skills are the roots for healthy social development in children as well as academic success in school. Why not get your kids ready to go back to school with activities the whole family or neighborhood will enjoy?
Remember, learning doesn’t always have to happen at a desk, let “junk” and nature do the work!
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.