Kids of all ages face a variety of challenges every day. Whether it’s negative peer pressure, tricky math equations, or toy-related conflict, we cannot always be there to solve every problem they encounter.
That means we (parents, guardians, and teachers) have a duty to teach our little ones how to solve problems by themselves. This way, kids learn to be independent, confident, and successful in virtually every aspect of their lives.
But how exactly do you teach problem-solving skills to children? Here are handy tips for you.
Teach your kids how to code
Coding for kids is an opportunity to build your child’s problem-solving skills, logic, creativity and technical competence. It is one reason why kids should learn to code at an early age. Coding introduces your kid to puzzles and how to tackle them into small steps.
To help your child sharpen their problem-solving skills, you can begin teaching basic coding skills during preschool. While at it, bear in mind that kids learn best when having fun.
In other words, you’ll want to introduce coding through fun and interesting hands-on activities and games that make them think and act like computer programmers. Some of these games and apps may include Daisy the Dinosaur, Cargo-Bot, Scratch, Lightbot, Kodable, and Tynker.
Routinely ask your kids open-ended questions.
Asking your kids open-ended questions is another way to boost their problem-solving skills. Because these questions have no definite answer, they help the child think critically, thus helping them become more creative and better problem solvers.
Remember, there’s no limit to what you can ask your child as long as it’s age-appropriate. Whether you ask what they did during the day or ask them to tell you more about something they built or made, you’ll be shocked to see how creative they can be. Asking different kinds of questions for kids will help you understand them better and at the same time help them express themselves with creativity.
Ask your kids for advice
Seeking your child’s advice when they know you are facing a challenge is a great way to show them that it’s normal to have a problem and make mistakes. When you seek their advice, it gives them a chance to practice their problem-solving abilities.
Whatever answer they give, it’s vital that you let them know how much you value their ideas. This will give them the confidence they need to solve the challenges they face.
Problem-solving with storybooks
There are plenty of storybooks that can help your child improve their problem-solving skills. These include Ira Sleeps Over, The Curious George Series, and Ladybug Girl, and Bumblebee Boy.
Whether you read together or let them read by themselves, you can ask questions about the characters and the challenges they face. Not only will doing this give your kid’s problem-solving abilities a boost, but it will also help develop their literacy skills such as comprehension.
Practice problem solving
When your kids face challenges, especially what you think they can handle, it’s always a good idea that you don’t rush to help. Instead, let them walk through the problem-solving process and only offer assistance when you think they need it.
No matter how little their progress towards the solution is, offer lots of praises. However, if they are completely unable to solve it on their own, step in and guide them through the rest of the process. This will motivate them to solve future problems on their own.
Now that you know how to teach your kids to be real problem solvers, it’s time you start nurturing problem-solving instincts. Whatever method you choose, keep in mind that children, regardless of age, learn best when having fun. So, don’t complicate things, and you’ll be surprised to see just how powerful their brains are.
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