Did you know you can help boost your child’s executive function through exercise? Executive functions are the ability to plan, manage, and recall details. They are mental abilities or brain functions that help regulate emotions, communicate better, and solve problems, making a person smart. Interestingly, one can boost the brain’s executive functions through easy exercise and become more intelligent over time.
Help your kids become smarter and more self-sufficient by trying these exercises and help them learn through fun and games. However, before we discuss the activities, remember that children will not show improvement overnight, and you must ensure they practice them frequently.
1. Elevator Breathing
Deep breathing or elevator breathing helps improve memory and boosts emotional control. The best thing about it is that it’s easy to practice and can be done often without much hassle.
Ask your child to sit in a cross-legged position or make them lie down and practice breathing normally. After normal breathing exercises, ask them to take deep breaths, hold them for a couple of seconds and exhale. This will calm their mind and relax their body.
2. The brain or body coordination workout
Both brain and body need exercise to remain healthy and fit. Exercising the brain and body simultaneously allows them to work more collaboratively and remain in sync. Notably, motor coordination is a function of both body and brain. By trying these exercises, your child can seamlessly integrate their brain and body functions.
⦿ Use less dominant hand: If your child is a lefty, ask them to use their right hand more for activities, they usually use their left hand to accomplish. Conversely, if they are right-handed, ask them to use their left hand more.
⦿ Do the windmill: Stretching and moving around is also beneficial for boosting executive functions. So including the windmill into your child’s daily routine is bound to help. Ask your kid to stand with feet spread wide apart and direct them to touch their left foot with their right hand and then right foot with the left hand 5-6 times.
Besides these taking a piano lesson is also beneficial for improving brain and body coordination.
3. Play the concentration game
Memory games where you list several objects and have children repeat them in order or backward are a good way to jog the brain. You can also line up your kids’ favourite toys, let them take in the visual for 15 seconds, and then mix them up only for them to tell their original positions. You can also challenge kids to recite numbers or backward.
4. Family game night
Host regular family game nights complete with games like chess and checker. You may also include cards for fun family nights and play games such as UNO, Go Fish and Hearts. Notably, these games are great at teaching skills such as cooperation, problem-solving, and planning. They also prove helpful in dealing with frustration.
Bonus: Play board games or online games
Playing board games is not only a fun activity but also helps to bond with your child. Additionally, research shows playing online games is good for boosting academic skills. However, as a parent, you must ensure screen time so that children don’t spend all their free time playing games.
These are some proven ways to help kids become smarter. Interestingly, these exercises also work well on adults and help their executive skills.