This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Primrose Schools; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Every first in a child’s life is memorable. Some of these firsts are more traditional, like the first smile to the first bike ride or reading their first book. These are easily photographed and celebrated. We have albums and memory cards full. With plenty of firsts soon to follow, with the addition of our newest little Jax.
Then, there are the other milestones. Like when they learn to share, build their first tower of blocks, and finally figure out the pieces to their first puzzle. It’s best to get the littles started early with small, easy puzzles like our Repurposed CD Moving Picture Puzzles, because there’s more to it than just finding pieces that fit. These are all parts of growing up. They’re also crucial executive function skills that are a focus in the early-education curriculum at Primrose Schools, but can also be taught through everyday activities at home.
Primrose Schools has shared a list of 6 executive function skills that can be taught at an early age. These skills focus on Adaptability, Teamwork, Problem solving, Critical thinking, Self-control, and Memory. These are the skills that will be most useful as the child turns into an adult. In fact, they are more highly valued in entry-level job candidates than technical abilities, academic background and other factors.
Teamwork – It comes into play in many everyday situations, like during a playdate with a friend or when helping parents or siblings with chores. It’s also essential in how a child builds relationships with others. To nurture this skill at home, make tasks into a game, schedule a group playdate, or play a game like I-Spy.
Adaptability – For children, adaptability means learning how to react to new information and how to shift between tasks easily. Some activities to foster adaptability at home include imaginative play, interactive play, or through general play with their friends.
Critical Thinking – Critical thinking is the ability to take in new information and determine how best to use it. This is used extensively in the lives of young children. Nurturing critical thinking at home can be as simple as playing with other children. It can be encouraged even further by asking your child open-ended questions and participating in role-playing games.
Problem Solving – Problem solving in young children is more important than simply finding the right solution or answer. This can be as simple as playing games. You could also plan a scavenger hunt, play with blocks, or practice with puzzles like our Moving Picture Puzzles.
Self-Control – Self-control is the ability to control the emotions and desires that affect our behavior. Learning how to control themselves at an early age has a long-lasting impact on a child’s future. This skill can be worked on at home by making a meal together, playing board games, building an obstacle course, or freeze dance.
Working Memory – Your child’s working memory not only remembers information, it also gives the ability to put that information to use. Good for following directions or rules and completing multi-step tasks, this can be taught through reading, board games, or simply helping with household chores.
You can find more about these executive function skills on the Primrose Schools website.
- old CDs
- images from books, magazines, old cards, etc.
- brass fasteners
- ¼” hole & 1” hole punches
First, use the CD as a circle template on an image you’d like to use. Place the CD on a part of the image that you want as your puzzle and trace the outside circle. Cut out. Do the same on a sheet of cardstock. Glue the image onto the cardstock. Let dry then cut into 4ths. You could also laminate the pieces if you have a laminator at home.
You will also need to punch 2 1” holes in the cardstock. Punch a small hole in the center of both 1” holes and glue on the hole in the CD. Punch ¼” holes towards the point of the puzzle pieces, making sure there’s enough room so the hole doesn’t rip through. You can also apply a piece of clear tape to secure.
Slip a brass fastener through all the holes of the puzzle pieces and through the holes of the cardstock on the CD. And your puzzle is ready!
These CD Moving Picture Puzzles are perfect to keep little hands busy while on the go, while also working on the executive function skills of working memory and problem solving. Our Old CD Countdown Clocks Craft would be another great teaching tool, too!