Adaptability might seem like a skill that is too advanced for a toddler, but it’s actually important to nurture it early in life. For children, adaptability means learning how to react to new information and how to “shift gears” between tasks easily (without throwing a tantrum!).
This important executive function skill provides children with a foundation that leads to other skills like teamwork and problem solving. Try some of the activities below to foster adaptability at home:
- Playdates: Between ages 2 and 3, children first learn to play cooperatively. In order to successfully play together, they must adapt to the actions of their friends.
- Interactive play: As children engage in pretend play, they take ideas from their own lives and use them as a guide. When this pretend play happens in a group setting, children must take into account the reactions of others in order to keep the scenario going.
- Imaginative play: Help and encourage children to create props out of household items, like using a paper towel roll as a rolling pin or telescope. Repurposing everyday items for props during play strengthens your child’s ability to invent, create and think outside the box
Adaptability also plays a large role in children’s future success in the workplace. According to a recent national survey, executive function skills like adaptability, self-control and working memory are more highly valued in entry-level candidates than technical abilities, academic background and other factors.
By encouraging your child to use her imagination today, you’re helping prepare her for the world of tomorrow! Learn more about nurturing all six executive function skills.