Early Years Podcast

Developing Key Skills Through Play

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Episode 16: Executive functioning in the Early Years with Mariana Carazo

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Mariana Carazo, a play-based learning advocate, joins Alice Sharp for one final time. In this episode, Mariana and Alice discuss the role of executive functions, what they are and what strategies can be used to support children’s executive functioning in the early years. 
Executive functions EXPLODE through the different types of open-ended play Mariana discusses in previous podcast episodes. When children engage into high-level play experiences, children develop critical skills such as the ability to self-regulate, be organised, problem-solve or adapt to change, plus so much more!

What are executive functions? 

Executive functions are a set of cognitive skills that are required to enable self-control, working memory and management of behaviours and emotions. Encouraging the development and understanding of these skills is so important from the early years onwards and is a lifelong process. 
In this episode, Mariana suggests how play-based learning, games and collaborative activities all help towards the development of executive functions in the early years.

Collaborate with parents

To conclude the discussion, Mariana encourages listeners to engage parents in the importance of play and how play-based learning will support the crucial development of executive functions. This type of learning and skills development goes further than the educational setting and by supporting, informing and collaborating with parents/carers, children’s learning and development will be enhanced not only in the classroom but at home too.

Watch on YouTube

(The views expressed throughout this podcast are the speakers’ own, and TTS does not take responsibility for the views and guidance highlighted as part of this recording).

(Please note: When referencing the speaker’s views, theory and work for the development of your own materials, please ensure the academic reference of the speaker is cited).

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