Category: Resources for Parents

Play Bear & Dragon at Home

Flex those cognitive flexibility skills in a game with real characters! Bear and Dragon stop by to engage your child in a new take on “Follow the Leader”. They must choose to follow or not follow Bear and Dragon’s requests based on the rules presented. Activity: Flex those cognitive flexibility skills in a game with real…

EF and Math Success

Understanding How Executive Function Training Impacts Mathematics Skills in Preschool Children: A Conversation With Developmental Psychologist Dr. Jasmine Ernst Evidence suggests there is a positive correlation between strong executive function (EF) skills and academic growth over time. Programs that integrate EF practice into early childhood curriculum may see significant improvements in learning and social development. Why…

Fathers Matter: The Role of Father Autonomy Support and Control in Executive Function Development

This article is part of our weekly series Executive Function Tips for Families. Fathering Futures: The Impact of Dad’s Guidance on Child Executive Function    About the Study: This article discusses a study that investigated an often-overlooked aspect of child development—the influence of fathers on their children’s executive function (EF) skills. While extensive research has…

Provision Choice and Executive Function Development

Provision of Choice is Key to Executive Function Development in Toddlers It is clear that early executive function (EF) skills are important for many outcomes including social competence, emotion regulation, academic achievement, and school readiness (Allan et al., 2014, McClelland et al., 2013; Willoughby et al., 2017). We have seen remarkable growth in the number…

Distanced but still Social: Youth and Digital Media during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, child and adolescent use of digital media increased at unprecedented rates. In addition to attending classes through webcams, youth relied on digital media to socialize with peers, engage in social activism, play games, learn new skills, and interact with health care providers. This increased use has many parents wondering: Are my…

How long can you concentrate?

I knew the day would eventually come – my grandson beat me at Memory. Usually, I let him win, but as the game progressed, I felt myself actually trying and missing one pair after another. We all know it’s inevitable, a child’s working memory surpassing that of a rusty adult brain. Not that I’m admitting defeat;…

Ready? Set? Roll!!

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…

Button, Button. Who’s Got the Button?

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…

Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

Can you find five differences in the image above? This task requires concentration and focus, behaviors that rely heavily on the Executive Function (EF) skill of working memory. Working memory is  the skill to keep information active in your mind for a short period of time (seconds) and keeping it available for further processing. This…

Quit Bugging Me!

I’m sure we’ve heard that often enough over the last year and a half! Big sisters heckling little brothers, little cousins annoying overly cool teenagers, and yes, your youngest child hanging on your sleeve. Covid has definitely tested one’s patience. It’s time to get outdoors, stretch your legs, and explore the micro world of insects.…