Thinking skills help us to learn and solve the problems we face every day. Also known as ‘executive functions’, they are crucial for school readiness, resilience, and behaviour control. In fact, the benefits are lifelong, as they have been proven to positively impact health and well-being, employment and career, financial security, and even life expectancy!*
*A huge body of research covers executive functions and their impact on life outcomes. An example of a brief and easy-to-read overview is ‘The Best Gift You Can Give’ in Welcome to Your Child’s Brain by Dr Sandra Aamodt and Dr Sam Wang (2011).
The importance of developing thinking skills is recognised in the EYFS Framework (2021). All three Early Learning Goals in the PSED prime area cite the outcomes that Little Thinkers has been designed to help reach.
- ELG: Self-Regulation
- ELG: Managing Self
- ELG: Building Relationships
Skylark’s Little Thinkers focuses on four executive functions:
- working memory: holding key information in mind and doing things with it
- self-control: thinking before acting and curbing impulsivity
- mental flexibility: shifting attention and changing mental perspective
- planning: imagining the future, setting goals and making plans.
Skylark’s Little Thinkers is an integrated multisensory resource with a wealth of bright and versatile play materials, connected tools and games ideas. Everything centres around the lives and adventures of four young jungle animals, who are in the process of developing the thinking skills themselves!
Through the beautiful Little Thinkers books, children will help Ella the elephant, Lars the lion, Colin the crocodile and Mia the monkey to remember a shopping list, look at something in a different way, control an impulse, and plan a party. They will also explore the jungle and savannah, build towers, solve puzzles and, most importantly, come up with dozens of their own games using Little Thinkers amazingly versatile toys. All while developing vital executive function skills