From infancy on, play is an important part of a child’s life. Through games and playful interactions, children practice important executive function skills, such as focus, working memory, and self-control, that will help them in kindergarten and throughout their lives.
The following handout series, developed by Harvard Center on the Developing Child with support from the LEGO Foundation, provides suggestions for games and play-based activities based on a child’s age.
The activities for younger children are designed for adults to engage in with children. Activities for later ages allow the adults to step back, enabling children’s independence to blossom as they transition to playing more often with peers.
Activities for Infants
Activities for Toddlers
Activities for Young Children in Pre-K and Beyond