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How Freeze Games Build Executive Function

Executive function skills are the brain functions we use to manage our attention, emotions, and behavior. They are the building blocks for many skills you will use throughout your whole life.

Without executive function, it would be difficult to do things like solving problems, focusing attention, and controlling emotions. Because these skills are essential for everyday life, it’s important that children start practicing executive function skills during early childhood.

So how do children practice executive function skills? One great way to develop these important skills is through the freeze game!

How to Play the Freeze Game

All you will need to play the freeze game is music and your dancing feet! Begin by simply playing music and dancing around the room. Then, pause the music at random times. When the music stops, everyone must stop what they are doing and FREEZE.

Everyone should stay as still as possible and hold whatever position they were in when the music stopped. When the music starts again, everyone can resume dancing and moving around the room.

You can create your own freeze game by simply starting and stopping music on your own. Or you can search YouTube or any streaming music app for “Freeze Dance” to find a game that will start and stop music for you!

How are Executive Function Skills Practiced Through Freeze Games?

Children will practice many executive function skills while playing the freeze game. When the music randomly stops, children will practice their inhibitory control, as they resist the impulse to continue moving.

When the music starts, children will use their working memory to remember what dance moves they were doing before so they can continue dancing. Children will also practice mental flexibility as they adjust to what the children around them are doing.

Through inhibitory control, working memory, and mental flexibility, the freeze game is a great way to practice some executive function skills and incorporate fun into learning.

Learn more about the importance of executive function skills and how you can incorporate them at home here.

At Kinderberry Hill, we believe children have the right to observe, investigate, and explore the world around them through play. Our schools offer unique advantages such as Reggio Emilia-inspired curriculum, outdoor classrooms, an on-site nurse, and more.

Learn more and schedule a tour at one of our seven Twin Cities childcare centers today!

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