Keeping focused, staying calm, and making sense of the complicated world can be difficult for young children, but helping your child get an early start on building this skill set is essential for their brain’s development and learning.

These skills – called “executive function” – allow children (and adults) to stay focused, process information from multiple sources, and control impulses and emotions. Children develop executive function skills through everyday experiences and with the help of being in safe, nurturing relationships with their parents and caregivers.

Research shows that when parents help their children learn and practice executive function skills from an early age, they are better prepared for success in school and in life. You don’t need fancy tools to practice these skills and stimulate your baby’s brain. That’s why we’re providing tips for parents on how they can boost young children’s executive function skills as a part of their everyday routines. For example, play peekaboo. Name objects you see as you point them out. Sing a catchy song. There are many simple actions you can take each and every day that will build these skills and make a difference.