Executive functions

A little theory

Executive functions represent a set of cognitive skills that enable children to plan, organize, solve problems and regulate their behavior. In the context of children's play, these skills are essential to help them navigate effectively through different play situations and challenges.

Developmental psychologist Dr. Adele Diamond emphasizes the importance of executive functions in children's play: "Executive functions play a crucial role in children's academic and social success. They enable them to follow the rules of play, plan their strategies and adapt to changes in the play environment" (Diamond, A. "Executive Functions", Annual Review of Psychology, 2013).

How to develop them

To develop executive functions through play, it's important to offer children activities that encourage them to use these skills in practical, engaging ways. Strategic board games, construction games and role-playing games all offer opportunities for children to practice executive functions in a playful way.

In addition, child psychology researcher Dr. Laura Berk highlights the importance of social interaction in the development of executive functions: "Games that involve social interaction, such as role-playing or team games, offer children the opportunity to practice communication, collaboration and self-control, which strengthens their executive skills" (Berk, L. "Child Development", 2018).

In addition, games that require effective time management, such as board games with time limits or simulation games where children have to manage resources within a given time frame, can help develop their ability to plan and organize their actions effectively.

By encouraging children to engage in a variety of games that emphasize executive functions, you're helping them develop crucial skills that will stay with them throughout their lives. Executive functions, such as planning, working memory and impulse control, are essential for success in many aspects of daily life, from school to work to social interactions. Games offer an ideal training ground for children to develop and strengthen these skills in a natural, playful way.


Diamond, A. "Executive Functions", Annual Review of Psychology, 2013.

Berk, L. "Child Development", 2018.