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  • Writer's picturedrlynnekenney

Cognitivities™ for Better Self-Regulation, Response Inhibition, Memory, & Attention

Teachers, clinicians, and parents are often looking for simple and effective ways to help children practice self-regulation, self-control, attention, and response inhibition; skill sets essential to successful learning and behavior.

Self-regulation is the ability to manage one's thoughts, behaviors, and emotions to achieve goal-directed prosocial behaviors. Children’s ability to self-regulate (exercise control over their dominant impulses; calm themselves when over-energized) predicts outcomes in later childhood, adolescence, and adulthood including academic achievement, quality of social relationships, and resisting risk-taking behaviors.

Since 2018, I have enjoyed singing songs with slow movements with children in PreK-4th grade. For those of you who have been to our executive function workshops, you might remember singing "Spin the Water" with me. Over the past year, the wonderful team at Fit and Fun Playscapes and I have worked to develop the first executive function and self-regulation portable mats that integrate musical composition, beautiful graphics, and purposeful movement to support self-regulation and executive function skills for children ages 4-9. Spin the Water is the second mat, in the above image.

Each Cognitivities™ mat is designed to help children practice their calming skills in a fun way. This formula of music, art, and movement helps children practice focus, sustained attention, self-regulation, and self-control playfully and engagingly.

Cognitivities™ has three versions, all with different lyrics and music. You can purchase one, two, or all three.

  • Playing in the Ocean

  • Spin the Water

  • Riding on the Train

Cognitivities™ are easy-to-use. Roll out the 8" x 2.5" mats, use the QR code to download the custom-created music, set to traditional nursery songs, and move along the mat as you play or sing the song. In 60-120 seconds you and your students will achieve a focused state of calm.

Each song has thoughtful lyrics, I wrote to model play, caring for others, sharing with friends, and including peers. You can sing and move to a Cognitivities™ as an entire class, by hanging the mat on a wall or placing it like a rug in the center of your classroom.

Here is the Riding on the Train Song:


Cognitivities™ are also useful 1:1 or in small groups as you place the mat in the hallway or in your sensory calming or self-regulation room. We know a speech pathologist who has placed the Spin the Water Mat in front of her office door. Students sing the song and move to the images to center themselves before language sessions.

Incorporate any of the three beautiful Cognitivities™ mats into your sensory path areas or use them on their own, in school, at home, in the gym, or on the playground.

Feel free to share with us how you are using Cognitivities™ in your setting @drlynnekenney; @fitandfunplayscapes.

Questions and comments are always welcome as we continue to integrate student, clinician, parent, and teacher feedback into our work.


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