“This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Primrose Schools; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”
It’s 6:30 in the morning. From down the hall, I can hear tiny footsteps making their way to my bedroom. Gradually, the door opens and all I can make out is a tiny figure with lioness manes standing in the doorway with her favorite blanky in hand. She scans the room, then climbs onto my chest and with the biggest smile on her face, exclaims “Hiiii Mama! Up! Play time! Superhero!!” And so it begins.
Playing. That’s all we do around here. From the moment she opens her sweet brown eyes until it’s time to tuck her in for the night, all we do is play. Not gonna lie. It’s pretty magical. To watch her focus as she tries to stack blocks to the pride she exudes from accomplishing small tasks is truly priceless.
I love her curiosity and excitement for new things, which quite honestly, is pretty much everything at this age. Who knew a kiddo could get so excited about using a paper towel roll as a wand or find enjoyment in blowing air through a straw? To them, it’s just about having fun, but to us, playtime is a wonderful opportunity to practice what they are learning.
I often think about my girls’ futures and wonder what they’ll grow up to be. Marli is pretty adamant on being a super hero ballet teacher at the moment, but I’m thinking Matea might be leaning towards the architectural field with a minor in dancing. Way to dream big girls! Truth is, none of us knows what the future holds. However, what I can give them right now are the essential tools to prepare them for a successful future no matter what they end up doing and it starts with executive function skills.
I learned about these skills when I looked into Primrose Schools for Matea and the information provided was really eye opening. Did you know that executive function skills are more highly valued than other factors like technical abilities or a good academic background? It’s no wonder this accredited private preschool system centers their curriculum around six skills that make up the executive function skills – critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, self-control, adaptability and memory.
Because 90% of your child’s brain development occurs in the first 5 years, putting these skills into practice early on can yield lifelong benefits down the road. Chances are your child is already learning these skills through playtime and everyday activities, but if not, here’s a glimpse of how I incorporate some of these skills with Matea.
One of Matea’s favorite things to do is play with blocks. Whether it’s building a tall castle, a road track for her cars and trains, or helping me create a domino chain, I love using these toys to develop her problem solving skills. I can practically see her mind at work when she’s trying to figure out how to stack the blocks without making them topple over.
At this age, she also LOVES helping out so I put a big emphasis on her teamwork skills whenever I can. By stacking blocks together, she learns about following directions, taking turns, and pitching in. In addition to playtime, I also try to make it a team effort with household chores like folding laundry, putting away groceries, and emptying our dishwasher.
Story time is another favorite activity of ours. Lately, she’s been addicted to this Sophie book with shapes and colors. To build her working memory executive function skill, I read her the book and ask her to point to certain objects to see if she can remember them. I think she’s graduated from this one because she’s been pointing and naming the objects before I can even ask her. Such a smarty pants!