Developing Critical Thinking Skills in Kids: How Children Learn to Problem Solve Through Play by Teacher Karen
Critical thinking skills are needed all the time – particularly when problem solving. When kids play they're given lots of opportunity to problem solve. How do puzzle pieces fit together? How's a stack of blocks balance? And when multiple kiddos are playing together, opportunities multiply.
Play is ideal when it’s child-led. That’s not to say there’s not a place for adults! Because play can turn into a stomping ground – literally – as children are learning to problem solve. Parents can help their children by giving them these basic steps for problem-solving situations.
- Name the problem: Help your child to understand what they're feeling; naming emotions can go a long way in the problem-solving process.
- Brainstorm ideas: Encourage your child to use their imagination for a solution.
- Ask: “What would happen if…” The concept of fairness will come up if several kiddos are playing, giving you the chance to ask, "How would you feel?"
- Test: When a “solution” is decided, let your kid try it out.
- Reflect: Did it go as planned? If not, what could be done differently? If so, acknowledge it!
Parents help your children learn to solve their problems now and in the future!
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