Building Critical Thinking Skills for Kids
Learning to reason critically is an essential skill every child should attain. In a rapidly changing world, children need to be critical and logical thinkers who can make inferences, analyze, contrast, and compare intellectually.
Benefits Of Critical Thinking
The curiosity nature of children helps lay a solid foundation for critical thinking. As kids take in new information, they think about fitting the information with what they already know. So, why should you encourage your child(ren) or student(s) to be a critical thinker?
- Pursue their curiosity: As your children learn to ask “why”, they become smart by trying to understand the world. Their curiosity helps them explore, test their theories, question certain elements, and critically think about making things better.
- Information Evaluation: Children get a lot of information from parents, teachers, cartoon videos, and fellow children. When you build critical thinking skills for your child, they will be able to evaluate information and relate to it.
- Promotes better decision-making: As a critical thinker, your child can make a better decision based on the situation. When dealing with conflicts or problems, it’s ideal to understand the problem and offer possible solutions.
- It Builds Confidence: A child with admirable critical thinking skills stands their ground by making firm decisions. As a result, the child will not get swayed or coerced into bad habits.
However, critical thinking doesn’t come naturally, meaning you must build it. Here are helpful tips that encourage your child to become a critical thinker.
Learning & Reflecting
Learning about our history, language, social studies or any other subject that tries to establish a good cause and effect relationship is a healthy start to building a great way to get into critical thinking mode.
Math with equation-based solving helps fire up those things but so do quizzes.
At WazzCards, we have great options for quiz decks that will promote critical thinking. Here is a quick preview of some the decks here:
History Quiz Decks:
Social Studies Quiz Decks:
The important thing to remember is that there are lots of options with our quiz decks to help students and children to really reflect, which build on those critical thinking skills.
You can access the full assortment and options of all our quizzes by logging in and attempting them together here.
Besides testing and reflecting on various subjects – what can a parent or teacher do to help build on those critical thinking skills?
For that, lets read on!
Don’t Be Tempted to Give an Answer
Children are curious in nature, and they tend to ask a lot of questions. Asking questions presents excellent opportunities to make them think harder and smarter. When such chances pop up, let your child analyze before giving them an answer.
Suppose you ask your child why the moon walks with you. You can take 50 meters north and 50 meters south to check if the moon indeed walks with you. And is it the same case with lampposts and streetlights? Is it the same with stars and sun?
Explaining these scenarios can be hazy, but it will give them an insight.
Besides being essential in developing motor skills, play helps develop critical thinking capabilities. Bring real-life challenges like weather climate and pretend to play while asking for a solution. As they offer a solution, it also helps them learn about the environment and how the ecosystem work.
Blocks are excellent at developing logical skills. It enables kids to get creative and explore their imagination. Every time your child repurposes old blocks to create new games, their neurons fire up! More so, you can solve puzzles with children- be it tic-tac-toe, mazes, or jigsaw.
Slow Down the Pace
Raising the hand first to answer a question doesn’t mean the child is right. Haste is not a good component of critical thinking. When you ask a question, wait for about five seconds to allow children to digest the content.
You’d be surprised to note that some slow learners are excellent critical thinkers. However, there are some instances you must wait for a minute if the question is complex. Speed doesn’t translate to intelligence. So, take your time to give your child time to answer correctly.
Don’t “Over Manage” Your Child
As a parent, it’s okay to worry if your child will manage their homework assignments or the thought of them making mistakes. However, hovering over your kid is problematic. Not giving enough space makes your children feel exhausted.
It also kills their confidence because they feel they are not good enough to make decisions. You also discourage creativity. Mental health problems can also increase.
It’s advisable to let your child have freedom. Freedom to make mistakes, solve a problem in multiple ways, and explore their creativity. Let them know you trust their ideas, and if they get stuck, you can always help.
Mistakes are part of life. Don’t become a control freak parent who is infuriated with their child’s mistake.
Failure to accept mistakes make children better at hidden emotions and cannot speak up for themselves. More so, they cannot solve problems because they fear making mistakes.
Mistakes are grand opportunities to make children think critically.
Allow Kids to Take on Responsibilities
Free your child and allow them to explore a different zone. Assign them tasks outside their comfort zone so they can manage to solve problems. For example, let them pack their school breakfast, prepare lunch, and do laundry.
Let them know how to be responsible for their books and pens. It will teach them to experience the dilemma of searching for a school bag 10 minutes before the bus arrives or how to deal with an empty underwear drawer.
Critical thinking training for little does not have a linear pathway. It is a life long skill building journey and the earlier you give your children and students a chance at mastering this skill – the better they will be at reaching their potential.
Creative problem solving is a skill every parent wants for their children. Critical thinking is essential in every aspect of life. It fosters excellent decision making and interaction. That is why you need to equip and help your child develop critical thinking skills.