5 Activities for Your Child That Teach Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is one of the most crucial life skills to have. It not only builds a strong character, but also creates a wise person that is humble, and successful. However, most schools are not able to nurture critical thinking abilities due to a standardized syllabus. Yet, as a parent, you can nurture your children to think critically with some activities that you can do at home.
Here are some examples of activities that you and your children can start on right away!
1. Creating art.
Encouraging your child to express their thoughts through artistic outlets is an incredible way to nurture critical thinking skills. As children draw pictures or compose music to express things they might not know how to do in words, this requires a degree of critical thinking skills.
Practicing artistic skills and nurturing creativity is an indispensable activity for children to build their critical thinking skills. It is by no means a simple task. This is one of the many factors as to why art has been highly valued throughout history.
2. Solve puzzles together.
Puzzles are proven to be a great activity for children to build their neurons up. Whether it is Monopoly, tic tac toe, connect 4, jigsaw puzzles, snakes and ladder, and many others, your child will actively be building their critical thinking skills by playing these games.
Through puzzles and brain teasers, your child slowly learns how to formulate strategies, understand the fundamentals of game theory, and gradually build up these skills until it is second nature.
When it comes to puzzles, your presence is also incredibly important. These puzzles might seem daunting and unenjoyable if you let your child play alone, but it can become a fun and wonderful bonding experience when you are playing together.
3. Teach them how to create a hypothesis.
You can actively teach your child how to come up with their own ideas and theories when you are spending time with them. For example, if you are reading them a story, you could stop halfway through and start to question them about things such as what do they think about the characters, what do they think will happen later and why do they think so. Ask them how they feel the story would finish.
Impromptu and open-ended questions such as these give your child the chance to think logically, and outside the box. Sometimes, their creative answers might even surprise you! Encourage them, ask them open-ended questions, and give them ample time to come up with a great answer.
You could even use real-life situations to ask questions like these. For example, if you are having dinner together, you could ask them how they think these noodles were made, and what was the process involved. Or if you are stuck in traffic, you could ask them if they have any input on how they would fix congestion problems if they were the prime minister.
4. Play with building blocks.
Building blocks and LEGOs are great toys to build critical thinking. The endless possibilities allow your child to let their imaginations loose. By building various things with them, you are also encouraging them to utilize more of their brainpower to bring their ideas to life. From dinosaurs and buildings to space ships and model homes, as your child builds their imaginations into reality, they are actively firing up those neurons throughout the whole process.
You can also achieve great results by playing Minecraft with them. Essentially a virtual world made out of building blocks, you and your child have a great bonding experience that is both fun and educational. If Minecraft isn't your thing - programs like Engineering For Kids encourage creativity and critical thinking in their STEM camps, classes, and events.
5. Real problems, pretend play.
Bring up a real-world problem such as world hunger or global warming to pretend play and ask them to think of solutions. For example, if they were the president of the United States of America, how would they solve these issues? Such games allow children to learn about their surroundings and be aware of their environment, while also critically thinking about the issues and how to work around them.
These games also allow your children to understand the real challenges that are faced by people in the world. Through your encouragement, you can even motivate them to not only think heavily about these problems but also actively think of solutions, which might have an incredibly beneficial impact on their future careers and ideologies.
Critical thinking is the key to success
Critical thinking abilities are crucial in order to achieve success in life. It allows an individual to live their life to the fullest and to always think ahead of their actions and the consequences that will come. By nurturing critical thinking skills in your children, they will undoubtedly have a bright future ahead.