Problem Solving for Kids – Strategies and Games
Problem-solving skills are important for a child’s overall development and can sharpen a child’s brain. In fact, the earlier parents start engaging their kids in activities that develop their problem-solving skills, the better. Children may have to deal with a difficult situation at one point or the other, and it could appear in any form. It could be a math problem or fixing a bicycle. For that, they need problem-solving skills.
Video : 10 Best Tips to Develop Problem Solving Skills in Your Children
Therefore, it is important to teach your children how to deal with their issues by teaching them some problem-solving tactics. In this article, we shall acquaint you with some tried and tested problem-solving strategies for kids. We will also discuss some fun ways of teaching the same to your child.
Why Kids Need Problem Solving Skills
We all need to deal with one or the other problem in life, be it big or small. Children have their own set of problems, too. A child’s problem could be related to academics, sports, or peer pressure. To adults, these problems may not appear big, but you need to teach your child to find solutions on his own. In case your child needs help, you can always help him, but as parents, it’s important that you teach him how to manage his problems so that he does not take impulsive decisions, which may lead to problems later in life.
Tips to Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Children
Children are always eager to learn something new, but any kind of undue stress or pressure may give birth to feelings of hopelessness or despair. Young children may feel extremely overwhelmed when they may be required to deal with their problems on their own. Here’s what you can do to teach problem-solving strategies to your child. It may help in educating your child about the problems and also how to deal with them effectively:
1. Know the Problem
If you have a teenager who seems troubled, is not behaving the way he usually does, or has started keeping to himself, it could be due to some problem that he is unable to share. As a parent, what you can do is talk to your child about the issue that could be bothering him. Try and ask him about the problem. If he is unwilling to share, do not force him to speak to you. Let him know that whatever it is, he could share it with you. Tell your child that he can share his problems with you whenever he is ready. Gain your child’s trust, and he will come to you. Your child may be afraid because of some kids who might be bullying him in school, or he could be afraid because of low grades. Talk it out with your child; sharing the problem with you will help your child, and we’re sure you will also have a solution to his problem.
2. Help Your Kid Find the Solution
Once your child has shared his concerns with you, ask him how he would deal with that problem. Don’t ignore your child’s problem by calling it trivial or unimportant. If you do so, your child may not come to you again whenever he is in trouble. Also, don’t make fun of your child if he comes up with irrelevant solutions. Appreciate his efforts and then work out solutions that may help him in dealing with his problem.
3. Do Not Be Too Intrusive
It is important to be a part of your child’s life, but sometimes it is okay to let your child deal with his problems on his own. Give your child some freedom so that he thinks on his own and tries to find a solution to a problem on his own if something is bothering him. Do not think for your child; teach him to think on his own, and come to you only when he is not able to find answers to a problem. Your child shouldn’t come rushing to you for small issues.
4. Help Your Child Understand the Pros and Cons of a Solution
If you are helping your child with a problem, you should teach him to weigh the pros and cons of the solutions before he makes a decision. This way, you teach your child to be responsible for his decisions.
5. Help Him Make the Right Decision
Once your child weighs the pros and cons of the solutions, encourage him to make an informed decision and take complete responsibility for his decisions.
6. Try Various Solutions
There will be times when your child will think that there’s only one solution for a problem, but it may not work. In such situations, you need to encourage him to try to approach the problem from a different point of view so that he can find other solutions to it.
7. Lead By Example
Young children are impressionable. Whatever they see their parents doing, they are likely to imbibe and imitate. As parents, it becomes your responsibility to teach your child the best things. If your child sees you having a positive approach to your problems, then he may deal with his problem in a positive and less stressful way. If you wish, you can create a family-problem-solving-culture at home, where anyone can come and discuss their problems with the rest of the family.
8. Try Creative Play
Certain fun activities may lay the foundations of problem-solving in children from a young age itself. You may include games like stacking blocks, building blocks, etc., where your child may be required to put his problem-solving skills into practice. Before you know it, your child will have honed his problem-solving skills, all by means of fun!
9. Teach Them Basic Steps
You may teach some basic steps that may be applicable in most situations. You may ask your child to identify the problem and break it is smaller parts. Once the problem is identified and further broken into parts, it may make it easier for your child to deal with it.
10. Teach them About Failure
As parents, you must teach your children that it is okay to fail and make mistakes. Inability to accept failure may hamper your child’s ability to perceive his problems and work towards finding its solutions in a better way.
You may make use of the above-mentioned problem-solving strategies for preschoolers and kids and help them in dealing with their problems. Along with these, problem-solving games can also help you teach your children these strategies.
Problem Solving Games for Kids
Anything taught in a fun and exciting way will always grab your child’s attention. If you are sceptical about how to teach your child various problem-solving skills through games, we have some interesting problem-solving exercises for kids that you may try:
1. Find the Treasure
This is a great activity to teach the various problem-solving attributes to your child. This game may also help in understanding the concept of teamwork and working together in a group. Identify a few locations in the house and leave a clue at each location. Make sure one clue leads to another, and there are goodies in the end.
Assembling the jumbled pieces of puzzles is a great way of teaching problem solving to your child. You may either procure problem-solving puzzles for kids from the market or let your child draw one by using crayons and then cutting it into various shapes.
3. Don’t Touch the Ground
This is an interesting game that can be played in confined places. The rules are simple; the child has to reach place A to place B without stepping on the ground. He needs to use various other objects like chairs, stools, trampoline etc., to navigate his way without his feet touching the ground and reach till the end.
4. Fastest Plane
Most kids master the technique of making paper planes at school. Ask the kids to make planes that can fly the farthest. The children need to put on their thinking hats and use various techniques of making the plane that would fly the longest distance.
5. Join the Dots
This game requires you to draw dots vertically and horizontally at equal distance on a sheet of paper. The aim is to join the dots and make vertical or horizontal lines to make squares. The player, who makes the square, may write his initials in it. The player with a maximum number of squares will be the winner.
6. Building a Maze
You may build a maze using various articles like cardboard boxes, books, blocks, etc., and can ask your child to find his way through it. This is a fun and exciting way of helping your kid learn various problem-solving skills.
7. Building a Skyscraper
You can ask your child to do it by himself or conduct a contest among your kid’s friends to make the tallest skyscraper. All you need is a box of blocks. If you wish to use any other material for the construction of the building, you may do so; however, ensure that the building stands independently. This activity requires kids to make strategies in order to construct the biggest skyscraper with the blocks.
8. Fit It Right
Your kitchen can provide stuff, such as containers, bottles, storage boxes, etc., for this activity. Take out their tops and place them in a box and ask your child to screw the correct lid to the correct container. This activity will help improve your child’s problem-solving skills and spatial awareness.
You may also try maths problem-solving activities for kids apart from the above-mentioned activities. All these activities may help your kid learn problem-solving skills and think independently.
Unleash the genius in your child by helping him master his problem-solving skills. We hope that you will make use of some of our strategies in achieving the same.
Also Read: Tips and Activities To Help Children Develop Decision-Making Skills