Educational Games to Enhance Executive Functioning in Children

February 10, 2020 / Parent Resources

Has your kid ever forgotten to take his lunch for school, does your kid have trouble with social cues and conversation, and does your kid take it badly when they lose? If yes, your child may be missing executive functioning skills. Those are the skills required to set up goals, create a plan, and get a task done and educational games for kids might just fill this skill gap.

Executive functioning includes three main attributes, working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. Working memory is the ability to recall and process information to execute a task, such as following a recipe while making a dish. Flexible thinking refers to thinking in different dimensions, such as using substitute ingredients while retaining the taste in a recipe. Self-control refers to emotional regulation and ability to prioritize tasks knowing what to prepare first in cooking and dealing with it if the cooking goes badly.

Enhancing executive functioning through games

As a parent you can use games to nurture executive functioning in children. Games that encourage thinking in different perspectives, encourage empathy and build organizational thinking are good to enhance executive functioning. 

Games that promote hands-on play and creative problem solving are good ones to cultivate out-of-the-box thinking and problem solving in children. Osmo learning systems are STEM kids learning games that include hands-on learning along with digital elements. Osmo Genius Tangram and Osmo Coding Family are educational games that include collaborative play and creative reasoning. Osmo Pizza Co. is another unique game that fosters entrepreneurship and enhances non-verbal communication. All of these skill sets are essential components of executive functioning. 

Games to foster executive function in kids

These games will provide a low risk high reward environment for children to gain and use their executive function skill sets:

  • Osmo Genius Tangram is a reinvention of an ancient game to challenge children who are digital natives. Children can pick up visual-spatial abilities reasoning along with fine motor skills. All these skills add to the set of executive functioning required by children.
  • Osmo Pizza Co. let children run their own pizza shop, learning how to grow a business. Apart from real life math skills, children will learn to read facial expressions and build their non-verbal communication. Whenever you get a customer’s order right, they will react with joyful expressions and be equally disappointed when the order is bungled! 
  • Osmo Coding Family includes Coding Awbie, Coding Jam and Coding Duo. With Coding Awbie, you will have fun finding strawberries for Awbie to gobble up. Coding Jam gives children the chance to be creative with music and learning coding in the process. Coding Duo sees Awbie and Mo go on adventures together, enabling children to code in tandem with their friends. Collaborative play is a feature of Duo and it helps to enhance executive functioning. Coding in the form of educational game for kids provides the opportunity for them to learn decomposition skills. Kids can use decomposition to break down large tasks into smaller actionable tasks. This will go a long way in learning executive functioning skills. 

With the right educational games to stimulate children’s minds, you can rest assured that your kids will pick up executive functioning skills.

Here are some activities you can play with your child at home:

Spot the phrases related to executive functioning

Match the faces with what they’re feeling?