Unfortunately, teaching resources and information to get kids to grips with critical thinking is pretty thin, and it’s often up to teachers to make up their own materials as they go. To understand what you need to teach, you first need to know what it is and why you are teaching it in the first place.
Problem solving and logic falls under critical thinking and it is the process whereby children learn to identify the problem, weigh up the relationship between facts and reason, and then eventually get down the path to the most reasonable solution.
It is one of the most essential skills for children to get a grasp of and will serve them well throughout their lives.
Here are some teaching resources for teaching the children in your class how to learn problem solving and logic from an early age.
Puzzles are one of the best toys to give to children to teach them critical thinking. Puzzles benefit kids in three separate ways: emotional, physical and cognitive. But it is their huge benefits to logic and problem solving that make them a teacher’s favorite.
Puzzles help kids use logic in looking for the right parts to fit a specific gap to to shape and color – pieces that don’t fit are logically swapped out until a suitable piece is found. Solving the puzzle is a rewarding way to end an educational exercise that will have seemed like merely a fun activity.
Mazes and math problems
Another great way for children to learn problem solving is to work out math problems, which will increase in difficulty by age. For example, younger children are taught that 6 + 2 = 8, thus they should be able to work out that 8 – 2 = 6, and so on.
Mazes are also adjustable in complexity for different age groups and make a teaching resource when getting children to learn logic and problem solving. Kids will use their logic and problem solving skills to help the character find their way out of the maze – making wrong choices and correcting them onto the right path as they go along.
Construction and building toys
Construction toys and building blocks are an effective teaching tool when it comes to learning logic and problem solving skills. They also just so happen to be a favorite for children of all ages, which make using them in your classroom that much easier.
Children have to have a plan in order to build something specific and will therefore have to start off using their logic in order to create what they are visualising. In small children this is unlikely to go to plan and they are probably going to make mistakes, this will require them to go back and use their problem solving skills to find a solution.
As a teacher, you are in charge of children for a large part of their day and are their primary teacher when it comes to school subjects, and although logic and problem solving may not be hugely supported with teaching resources – there are tons of cool things that you can do to get your little ones to develop efficiently.
At Miniland, we strive to provide teaching resources and educational toys for teachers all over the world.
If you would like to know more about what tools to use for the fundamental subjects in early childhood, then download our guide Getting the Most Versatility Out of Your Teaching Tools.