People start working on developing executive function skills from birth, and they don’t have that part of their brain fully developed until well into adulthood.  What does executive functioning help with?  Working memory, mental flexibility, and self-regulation.  These are skills that make a huge difference in being able to get along in the world, succeed in school and work and relationships and life.  And there are things we can do to help kids and teens practice and develop these skills!

First, I highly recommend checking out this short video (click here) from the Harvard Center for the Developing Child.  It gives a great overview of the executive functioning, plus there are some great shots of kids playing.

Second, check out the Harvard Center for the Developing Child’s other resources on executive function (click here), including a 16-page booklet full of ideas for activities to practice and develop these skills for babies through teens.