As a parent, you want your child to thrive in school and in life. Critical thinking uses a process of exploration and asking questions to increase understanding and invent solutions. Children need to learn how to think critically to master academic skills and apply those skills to their lives.
Allow Children To Discover
Childhood brain development depends on how children play, move, and interact with their world. Children learn by exploring their environment and interacting with others. As they grow, they learn that there may be many ways to solve a problem and different perspectives to consider. This process can allow them to develop creativity and inspire them to create their own unique solutions to problems.
Making mistakes is another way children learn how to solve problems. Protecting your children from making mistakes by doing things for them may hinder their mental and emotional growth. Let children tackle challenges even if they seem too tough or they do it differently than you expect.
Model Critical Thinking Processes
You can help your children learn how to ask questions and find the answers. Ask them how they solved a problem and what are other ways they could solve it. What made them choose one solution over another? Can they list the steps they took to solve the problem?
If a child gets an answer wrong, show them how to approach the problem again to find a different solution. Are there ways they can gather more information? Ask different questions? What might happen if they chose one solution over another? How can they test their hypotheses through experimentation?
There is evidence that children learn through play. Play can help children use their imagination to translate ideas into experiences. Playing with other children can help them learn how to collaborate on problems and solutions while practicing basic communication skills.
Many educational toys connect playing with critical thinking, such as puzzles, interactive board games, and even video games. Hands-on learning through activities, projects, and science experiments can extend the learning process where they can ask questions and develop solutions.
Learning critical thinking can be a lifelong process, but you can help your children learn how to ask questions and solve problems so they can use those skills on their own. As your children grow, they can apply those skills to their school experience and real-life situations so they can feel confident and successful.