24 Aug Practicing Executive Function and Expressive Language Skills
One relatively easy way to have your child practice both executive function and expressive language skills is by asking them to describe things to you. Describing requires the ability to hold an idea about what they’re trying to communicate in their head while also having a plan for how they’re going to describe it to their listener. Flexibility, another executive function skill, is needed if the description doesn’t work – can your child find another way to explain themselves?
Having to find the words to describe something to another person can be challenging (and frustrating!), so finding ways to support your child as they practice is extra important. I recently used the game Kanoodle to practice this skill. Kanoodle is a one person game where the player figures out how to fit different shapes into a rectangular playing area. It comes with a booklet that gives the player different starting levels – easier levels start with most of the shapes already filled in, while harder ones have only a few shapes placed. It also contains solutions at the end of the booklet.
I gave my student a solution and asked him to describe it to me. Knowing he had the answer key gave the student a higher level of confidence as he approached this task.