Adult humans are known for their problem-solving abilities, but we need to learn more about how this skill develops in young children. In this blog, we will take a look at how adults, especially parents and teachers, can help in the development of analytical thinking in children.
- Offer Opportunities to Play
Create opportunities for children to play. In order to improve critical thinking, it is necessary to conduct informal tests to see how things work. Children learn about cause and effect through games. For example, what happens if I simultaneously roll two marbles down a chute or kick the ball over the net?
You give your child an open-ended opportunity to try something and see what happens. You can offer indoor and outdoor play space, as well as time for pretend play. These practical experiences lay the groundwork for subsequent abstract critical thinking. Moreover, you should ask them to play chess, solve puzzles, or simple arithmetic problems, etc. This will aid in improving their logical reasoning power.
- Pose Open-ended Inquiries
Rather than simply providing solutions to your child’s queries, encourage him or her to think critically. Whether you think the comments are correct or not, you should acknowledge and respect them.
You could also encourage your kid by saying, “The idea seems interesting. Tell me more about it.” This way, you are enabling your kid to address issues or topics so that they can come up with solutions of their own.
- Do Not Show the Way Out Every time
You must not offer a way out for your children every time they seek attention or run into trivial problems. What you can do is have a countdown and ask your kids to come up with a solution. Count to 120 or even longer before stepping in.
Avoid finishing or performing the task for your child. No matter how difficult it may be. Patiently readjusting and manipulating to grip a toy on their own supports continuing problem solving and the development of executive functioning skills in younger children. Ask critical thinking questions and supply just enough information to keep them from becoming irritated, but not so much that you solve the problem for them.
- Read to Them
Read to your child every day if he or she is young. Encourage them to read about anything they’re interested in on a frequent basis. Reading introduces fresh information, concepts, and thoughts to a child’s mind. However, your child must first be able to read and grasp what they are reading. This will help them learn social studies or science, or comprehend the questions on an exam paper.
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Only then will his or her attempts to learn anything new or to solve the problem or questions on the exam paper be successful. Once you read stories from popular children’s books like The Enchanted Wood, ask them about The Land of the Old Saucepan Man, The Land of the Red Goblins. You can try this with any book like the Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown, or Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
- Don’t Reprimand When They Make Mistakes
Trial and error are the key aspects of problem-solving. Who said every idea we devise has to be gold? We gain more from our mistakes. If you chastise your child for making a mistake, he or she will be discouraged from trying again. Allowing children to make errors is essential for them to develop confidence in their problem-solving abilities.
Encourage your child to try new things. Encourage children to consider what they did and what they might do differently next time. You also ask them to plan for a situation and come up with out-of-the-box solutions. This will help them develop creative thinking. For instance, if they get stuck with a math problem, ask them to take different approaches. Only if they can’t solve it, should you assume the role of a math problem solver.
Some Points You Should Take Note of
There are certain pointers that you cannot ignore. These have been given below.
- Encourage Children to Learn New Words
With a daily vocabulary of 10+ words, the median vocabulary at 16 months is 55 words, 225 words at 23 months, and nearly 6000 words by age six. At age two, the developmental range extends from having no vocabulary to having over 500 words. Children who arrive at school with limited language abilities will require a quick assistance.
Thus, it is your duty to ensure that your child is in an environment where everyone loves to have a conversation. And you should encourage your kids to learn new words by allowing them to watch kids’ shows, movies, and read illustrative comic books and story books. Relevant reference: essay writer
- Experience is Important for Critical Thinking
As per the experts, the brain learns from every encounter and episode of life. However, cumulative learning is critical because cognitive representations are dispersed throughout networks of neurons. There is a greater representation of what is similar across learning events, and different representations of experience are available (e.g., motor and visual representations). This demonstrates the importance of multisensory teaching methods.
- Genetic Influences and Differential Exposure Play a Big Factor
Because genes have an impact on development, it’s even more critical to offer optimal early learning environments for all children. This helps in making sure that environmental and genetic disparities don’t have additive effects.
Furthermore, you must keep in mind that various exposure leads to various learning experience. One of the most important factors of reading fluency. For example; is how much text a child reads outside of the classroom.
Conclusion: These are some of the tips and pointers that you should keep in mind if you want your children to develop critical thinking. Also, make sure that they have proper nutrition and mental health check -up. If they are mentally and physically healthy, cognitive functioning and enhancement will occur easily.