Teachers College Press
Publication date: April 20, 2018

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This book describes the importance of children’s executive function, motor, and spatial skills for academic achievement in literacy and mathematics, as well as their connections with other areas of school readiness such as physical health, social and emotional development, and approaches to learning.

I emphasize how social relationships and interactions, both in and outside the classroom, encourage or constrain young children’s development in these three skills, which I call foundational cognitive skills. The book concludes with a summary of the growing evidence in favor of guided object play, which teachers introduce to children to exercise and strengthen foundational cognitive skills.

This book is aimed at early childhood professionals–teachers, center directors and principals, researchers, and students–as well as parents. It also contains implications for policy.