Play Attention improves the cognitive skills that lay the foundation for strong Executive Functioning, but many of our clients would like to know other activities they can do outside of their Play Attention sessions to improve cognitive skills even more. In the coming weeks, we'll be giving specific examples of such activities divided into age category. This week, let's continue with activities for toddlers and preschoolers:
Activity 2 for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Songs/games with incrementally increasing components
Areas developed: Working Memory
Anyone who has ever been to summer camp has probably done an activity like this. There are so many variations, however, that I want to use an example from my own childhood. This could be done with a group of kids, or just Mom or Dad playing with their own child. In my personal example, me and the other camp kids plus counselors sat around a campfire making s'mores and singing a song that constantly increased in complexity. I was going to write out the lyrics, but I actually found a video of it online. Please click here to listen to this two minute example:
Notice what's happening? Every verse of the song adds an additional element, thus prompting the child to remember previous information, and use it to move forward. And the lyrics don't have to be set in stone. In fact, improvisation is part of the fun, where each time a participant has a turn, they make up the addition on the spot. In addition to improving working memory, impulsivity is also curbed, since to be successful, the child must resist the urge to skip ahead in the sequence. Definitely a fun and entertaining way to teach some very functional skills necessary for strong Executive Function.