Problem solving skills for children

Problem solving is a life skill we all need. We encounter problems every day, both big and small. Working to solve these problems is something that needs to be developed from childhood.

Whether your children are school age or preschool, you can help them to develop important problem solving skills through everyday activities.

The development of problem solving skills in children breeds confident, independent children. Children who will say “I can do it myself”, “I don’t need your help”. By guiding them through a range of problem solving skills, from shape sorters for babies and toddlers to complex puzzles for older children, you can help them to become great problem solvers.

As usual, it doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Many everyday activities can pose ‘problems’ that require ‘solving’ – you can get older children to try and pack their own suitcase for a holiday for example or if they really want a challenge the old Rubik’s Cube should keep them busy for a while. If you have a few children, setting them a challenge like getting from one side of the garden to the other with just a few materials can be both lots of fun and a good problem-solving exercise.

Jigsaws are a great problem-solving activity for children of all ages, as you can get them aimed at a range of ages. Ravensburger make some great jigsaws like this Minions one – if you tap into whatever the children are interested in at the time then they tend to be more focussed. They are not normally very expensive and can provide hours of fun. This one has been released ahead of The Minion Invasion movie.


How do you help your children to develop their problem-solving skills?

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