Organizing and planning are a set of cognitive skills that enable us to learn, make decisions, implement tasks, control impulses, and accomplish goals. It impacts the way we process and retain information. By having effective organizing and planning skills, we are able to form and accomplish goals, from basic tasks like brushing our teeth to more complex tasks like planning a school project.
As children mature, so does the prefrontal cortex of the brain – the region that regulates how we analyze, plan, and complete tasks. When the prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped, children may lack proper skills to be successful when analyzing, planning, organizing, and accomplishing tasks. This will negatively impact how they perform in school and how they behave at home. For instance, if a child has a science project due within 2 weeks. The child must plan, research, organize, and execute the project, yet they lack the initiative to take the first steps to completing the task. Without the ability to anticipate the consequences to their actions or lack of, they tend to suffer from extreme bouts of procrastination, impulsiveness, and distractibility.
Parents and teachers can become frustrated with children who deal with these issues, and misconstrue the problem as laziness or apathy. It’s difficult for people with organizing and planning challenges to explain what they’re experiencing, as they are often unaware of the problem. Their behavior tends to be viewed as antisocial and awkward by peers, which sparks anxiety and causes isolation.
Challenges in organizing and planning can and will improve with developmentally appropriate exercises that encourage higher-level thinking skills. At Little Thinkers Center, we employ several powerful methods to improve efficiency in organizing and planning. Logical Thinking games encourage the child to develop planning, strategizing, and decision-making skills. Visual Thinking exercises are used to improve the child’s attention, working memory, and overall ability to formulate and execute specific goals. General and Discriminative Movement Thinking activities are introduced to address motor coordination and planning. These goal-based exercises all help to inhibit impulsive responses, strengthen organization, and increase personal accountability. Through our program, our Little Thinkers improve their abilities to plan and organize, exercise more initiative, decrease emotional meltdowns, and become stronger thinkers.