Tag Archives: Executive Functioning Skills

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What Is TKidsTime?

TKidsTime

TKidsTime   is an exceptional program guided by the principle that learning occurs best when children are engaged socially, emotionally and intellectually by creating opportunities for learning that are natural, meaningful and purposeful.  

Our program is a program for children under the age of 6, who need support with social interactions, language and communication, sensory processing abilities/managing behaviors  to get ready for a traditional school setting.

TKidsTime   focuses on understanding each child’s unique strengths and needs to design an individualized plan to maximize their participation and learning.

Schedule and Group Size

  • Monday through Thursday
  • Three hours per day
  • Groups size: 3-5 children
  • 1:3 adult-to-child ratio

Informed And Inspired By The following Practice Models:

  • DIR/Floortime
  • HighScope and Reggio  Emilia
  • Play Project
  • Social Thinking

How Can TKidsTime Help Your Child?

TKidsTime   gets children “school ready” by focusing on:

  • Following consistent daily  routines
  • Participation in group activities  and semi-structured tasks
  • Play that offers rich sensory  experiences for learning through the senses
  • Experiences that encourage  curiosity and problem solving
  • Fostering creative play and pre- academic skills
  • Increasing independence with  toileting and self-care
  • Building social skills by targeting  communication of wants and  needs, turn taking, attention to  others
  • Improving attention span,  frustration tolerance and ability  to follow directions
  • Increasing comprehension  and expression in a  variety of contexts

TKidsTime   is run by Occupational  Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists to strengthen developmental skills in the following areas:

  • Executive functioning (self control,  attention to tasks, problem solving,  and more)
  • Interest and attention to play
  • Anticipation and curiosity
  • Improving engagement with adults and peers
  • Communication
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Social interactions
  • Imitation of movements
  • Imitation of actions
  • Symbolic and pretend play
  • Sensory processing
  • Gross Motor – Movement control
  • Fine motor
  • Pre-writing
  • Self-care

 

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Life Skills Outing: Brunch!

Everyone loves sharing a meal with friends! Setting time to eat together with friends and family is therapeutic and good for our well-being. It gives us the opportunity to talk, reflect, joke and share our experiences with each other as we build and strengthen relationships. Whether we share a meal at home or at a restaurant, the experience should always be an enjoyable one full of good interactions and flavors! We know; however, that many times eating out becomes a difficult experience for our families. With this in mind, The TkidsT team took advantage of this past teacher planning day to share a meal with our kiddos, using the occasion to work on important life skills as well as social/pragmatic abilities.

During this session, our 9 to 12-year-olds had the opportunity to practice these skills in a real-life setting. As a group, they planned for the outing: picked a date, searched for restaurants, perused menus, discussed methods of transportation, problem-solved what clothes were appropriate to wear, discussed how much money to take and went over safety and behavior expectations. Needless to say, they were very excited and counting the days for this special event.

The day arrived, and our kids came ready with their wallets and appetite! We met at our facility to prepare. Each of them was responsible for bringing appropriate clothing for the event and many were able to work on specific dressing skills; from simple things like buttoning their shirts and donning them using correct orientation, to more advanced skills like getting ready within an allotted time frame to meet the time constraints. Others needed support with skills such as grooming and brushing their hair. Once they were ready, we walked as a group to a nearby restaurant for a delicious brunch! On our way there, we worked on plenty of safety awareness precautions such as: staying with the group, stopping and checking before crossing a street, staying on the sidewalk and following directions.

Once at the table, the kids had to calculate what was an appropriate menu choice based on their own specific budget. Some of the kids needed support to deal with the frustration of not finding exactly what they were hoping for. Therapists modeled and assisted the children in developing the social skills necessary to interact and communicate with the waiter. After ordering the food, we were able to engage in conversational exchanges. Everyone was attentive and in their best behavior. We talked about the importance of taking turns, maintaining topic of conversation and incorporating others’ ideas. As we ate, we worked on the fine-motor coordination skills necessary to use the utensils appropriately. It was a beautiful and fun experience for these kids, that allowed them to learn new skills and connect with each other as group. After all that’s what TKidsT is all about: supporting child’s development through relationships. 

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Occupational Therapy
Speech Therapy
Social Groups
Parent Coaching

TKidsTime

TKidsTime   is an exceptional program guided by the principle that learning occurs best when children are engaged socially, emotionally and intellectually by creating opportunities for learning that are natural, meaningful and purposeful.  

Our program is a program for children under the age of 6, who need support with social interactions, language and communication, sensory processing abilities/managing behaviors  to get ready for a traditional school setting.

TKidsTime   focuses on understanding each child’s unique strengths and needs to design an individualized plan to maximize their participation and learning.

Schedule and Group Size

  • Monday through Thursday
  • Three hours per day
  • Groups size: 3-5 children
  • 1:3 adult-to-child ratio

Informed And Inspired By The following Practice Models:

  • DIR/Floortime
  • HighScope and Reggio  Emilia
  • Play Project
  • Social Thinking

How Can TKidsTime Help Your Child?

TKidsTime   gets children “school ready” by focusing on:

  • Following consistent daily  routines
  • Participation in group activities  and semi-structured tasks
  • Play that offers rich sensory  experiences for learning through the senses
  • Experiences that encourage  curiosity and problem solving
  • Fostering creative play and pre- academic skills
  • Increasing independence with  toileting and self-care
  • Building social skills by targeting  communication of wants and  needs, turn taking, attention to  others
  • Improving attention span,  frustration tolerance and ability  to follow directions
  • Increasing comprehension  and expression in a  variety of contexts

TKidsTime   is run by Occupational  Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists to strengthen developmental skills in the following areas:

  • Executive functioning (self control,  attention to tasks, problem solving,  and more)
  • Interest and attention to play
  • Anticipation and curiosity
  • Improving engagement with adults and peers
  • Communication
  • Listening and comprehension
  • Social interactions
  • Imitation of movements
  • Imitation of actions
  • Symbolic and pretend play
  • Sensory processing
  • Gross Motor – Movement control
  • Fine motor
  • Pre-writing
  • Self-care

 

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The Power of Play – Play and Executive Functioning Skills

The Power of Play – Exploring the Benefits of Play

Play and Executive Functioning Skills

In this article we continue exploring the benefits of Play.  When a child plays, they are doing more than having fun. They are developing a set of skills, that are the keys of learning, called  Executive Functioning Skills. These skills include: self-control – controlling impulses, flexible thinking, following instructions; planning and organization – set goals, plan, and get things done, creating ideas, problem solving, adjusting to changes, prioritizing; regulating our own emotions – calming down when facing disappointment, when transitioning from one activity to another, and many more important skills. Executive functioning skills are considered to be even more important than cognitive levels. They help us in school and in every-day life, and can be easily developed through play.  Let’s explore what happens during some typical games:

Mother and Child playing Peek-a-boo

Playing Peek-a-boo – playing with your child, this game involves hiding behind something and suddenly reappearing, saying “peekaboo.” Your child has to wait for mommy to reveal herself. Sometime mommy says “peek-a-boo” fast, sometimes mommy takes longer and your child keeps waiting to see mommy again (sustaining attention, self-control).  While the baby might not yet understand that you’re hiding right there the whole time, baby learns that you will reappear, he just has to wait and enjoy (thinking, problem solving).

Hide and seek – hiding an object, child needs to remember which toy he will be looking for (memory); figuring out where to look for to find the toy – under a table, behind the curtain, inside a basket (problem-solving, concepts of space and language such as under, behind, inside). Another option is when your child and dad take turns hiding.  When your child is hiding, he has to figure out where to hide – behind a couch, under the bed (concepts of space, language, problem solving, planning); She has to be quiet, not moving and not making sounds (self-control); and when mom finds him, he will experience emotions – happiness, surprise, disappointment of having been found so fast.

I am now The King!

Pretend Play – Games where children get the opportunity to act  and dress up like people they know, and to use tools that allow them to play roles – dolls, dress-up clothes, household furniture, utensils, blocks, vehicles, construction tools, and musical instruments.

Doctor Pretend Play – Child and/or mommy are sick and need to see a doctor. You can be the doctor first (taking turns), and your child is sick and has to stay still because he needs a shot (self-control, controlling emotions to know it is not really going to hurt). Now it is dad’s turn to be sick. Your child is the doctor now. He has to give dad a check-up – asking you to open your big mouth and stick your tongue out, saying “where does it hurt?”, taking your temperature, giving you a shot (practicing/learning language skills, imitating movements and actions, planning, attention). You can also be your child’s baby. “Daddy” is taking you to the doctor.  He might be worried because his baby is not feeling good (emotions). When taking baby home, “mommy” has to walk slowly because her baby is not feeling well (self-control).

Restaurant Game – Dad and/or child can take turns being the waiter taking the orders. The “chef” cooks and a lovely meal is ready! Order needs to be served – Your child will get the carrots, chicken nuggets and milk you requested (listen to your wants and needs, memory, following instructions, planning).  If the restaurant does not have milk, he might have to let you know there is no milk, and ask you what you want instead (problem solving, reasoning, language, flexibility).  When it is your child’s turn to order, he will have to come up with his own order (thinking, making choices, planning, flexibility, frustration tolerance, making choices, adapting to new situations while remaining calm).

Going to Grocery/Toy Store –  Having to make a list of what you will buy at the store. Figuring out how they will get to the store, how much they will have to pay, bringing bags home (organization and planning, memory, thinking, attention).

Board Games – Playing board games is an easy and excellent way to spend free,  enjoyable time together. Board games help develop many skills while having FUN! Board games require following rules (self-control, working memory), establishing who goes first (problem solving), waiting for one’s turn (self-control, flexibility, frustration tolerance), accepting losing, and enjoying winning without saying or doing things that might hurt others’ feelings, adjusting to the unexpected (emotional control). Having to think before acting during his turn – e.i, where to move the next piece (planning / thinking).

Jenga –  Game requires to have to put it together  before removing pieces (impulse / self-control). Removing pieces require players to think before acting, as well as being aware of and controlling one’s actions and movements (self-control). When things do not go well – pulling out a piece and destroying the whole structure, being disappointed is a typical feeling, however, child can be ready to play again (frustration tolerance, self-calming / self-control).

The more children develop skills that allow them to participate in the games for longer periods of time, their attention span increases.

Play occupies a central role in children’s lives by developing Executive Functioning Skills  that will benefit from later in life.   Children who build  and develop their executive functioning skills will  have an easier time paying attention, following directions,  doing and turning in homework at school ,  playing with peers,  learning new information,  being flexible, and many other  things.   Play helps grow healthy and creative people. It is clear, play is quite more than just having FUN.  Support your child when he needs help.  Allow your child to think. Enjoy spending such beautiful time with them.

Join us next week to continue exploring The Power of Play !
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The Power of Play

At Thinkering Kids Therapy, we use engaging, motivating, safe and fun activities – Play – to capture children’s interest to actively participate in therapy.  By playing,  therapists and parents engage children through activities each child enjoys by following the child’s motivation. Play is a powerful tool that makes a great impact in children and parents.

What is play? Play is any activity where our children engage in for enjoyment and recreation, rather than a serious purpose. Play is the universal language, and the truly work of childhood.  Play is motivating and fun. It helps support all areas of children’s development including learning how things work, physical skills, the art of thinking, communication, reasoning, problem-solving, attention span, flexibility, social skills and many other skills that are crucial for success in school and in life.  Besides, play generates so many opportunities for you to enjoy playing with your child, and for your child to enjoy time playing with you! Just by playing with your child at least 20 minutes a day, as part of your daily routine, you will start seeing positive changes.

Join us next week to continue exploring The Power of Play!

Next:   Exploring the Benefits of Play

… for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. Mr. Rogers