Problem Solving Skills: Education is a whole learning process. Teaching is an art to facilitate learning at all levels. Learning is a continuous procedure involving many stages for the children. From these learning stages, the first stage is recognition of learning content.
The second stage is the application of learned things in real life. From the application of knowledge emerges the third stage of problem solving. In applying the learning tips, a child comes across many problems.
From here children start their use of knowledge. They observe a problem, think over it, and apply their knowledge to reach a solution. It all refers as problem solving. This article describes the top 10 problem solving activities for Kids. Parents and teachers can teach these activities to improve problem solving skills
Top Problem Solving Skills
1.Parallel Thinking: Thinking on different options of a problem at the same time
2. Creativity: Posing some new techniques to discover the things on their vision
3. Analytical Thinking: Analyzing the existing parts of a problem
4. Decision Making: Making suitable decision at a proper time
5. Taking an Initiative: Launching the most modern solution of a problem
6. Logical Reasoning: Connecting the natural steps of a problem solution
7. Effective Communication: Right use of words and hints to clarify a problem
8. Useful Negotiation: Commenting on the solution criteria in an acceptable way
What are Problem Solving Skills?
It is said that “problem-solving is creating options for an effective response to dealing with a problematic situation and choosing one of these options that are considered to be the most effective one” (D’Zurilla and Goldfrieg (1971). The problem-solving skills help the children to select the best options within some other options
Top 10 Activities to Improve Problem Soloing skills
There are many activities for kids to improve their problem-solving skills. Many parents/ teachers don’t know how to improve problem solving skills. So the following are the most effective 10 activities to improve them:
Puzzles are the best thinking material in learning problem solving techniques for children. Each puzzle contains some set of things. The solution of the puzzle requires sorting and joining the components. The result of the puzzle serves as a solution to the presented problem.
Exemplary Activity: Take a doll house. Split the house parts and spread them on a table. Ask the child to construct the house with his acquired knowledge. Child works up to build the house. Guide the child on errors. This will strengthen his problem solving skill.
3. Memory Games
A memory game aims at the spread of memory of a child. Memory game focuses on the repetition of an already learned task. Memory games help the children in using their learned knowledge for problem solving issues.
Exemplary Activity: Take up pictures of a family with two or three children and their parents. Place the pictures on a table in an order. Call out the name of each family member to the child. Now take off the pictures and put them in a disorder. Then ask the child to place each picture in the first order and tell you the name of each picture.
3. Constructing Toys
Children like toys and they know much about various educational toys from an early age. Toy construction is really a problem solving activity. Children learn toy construction with interest. From this, they find various learning tips in life. These are shapes, colors, and sizes of the toys.
Exemplary Activity: Spread necessary wooden blocks, nails, and bottle caps on a table. Now ask your child to construct a toy vehicle from it. The child visualizes the vehicle in mind. Then the child uses the given material to build a toy car, truck, bus, or jeep.
4. Activity Charts
For the learning of problem solving skills, activity charts serve the best task. On activity charts, an activity has many incomplete portions. The child observes and reads through the chart to reach the solution of the activity. Thus the child learns problem solving on his/her own efforts and understanding.
Exemplary Activity: Take an activity chart with various procedures of a cooking recipe. Child reads the material and preparation steps of the recipe. The child thinks over it and fills up the missing things or steps. Thus the child solves the problem of real-life cooking skills.
5. Following the Patterns
Patterns contain various lines or dots of buildings, birds, flowers or other such things. Each pattern has a short sketch. The child uses his/her knowledge and ideas to turn the pattern into a picture or drawing. This is the advanced learning activity on problem solving for the children.
Exemplary Activity: Choose a sheet with a sketch of the school building. Give this pattern to the child for making a finished drawing. The child will use memory and knowledge to complete the school drawing. It may comprise colors and captions on the walls and the doors of the drawing.
6. Story Sequences
Stories are interesting to learn and easy to follow. Story sequences serve the best in teaching problem solving techniques to the children. Children arrange different story parts and provide the missing sentences. This increases their thinking abilities.
Exemplary Activity: Take the famous story of “Thirsty Crow”. Provide outlines of the story to the child on a page. Now give him/her the task of story completion. The child thinks over it and writes the missing material. Thus the child learns of making stories from gross outlines.
7. Group Activities
Children perform more efficiently in a group than individual tasks. Group activities bring a solution to the problems with joint efforts. These efforts prepare them for future challenges in teamwork. Different children carry out different tasks in a group activity.
Exemplary Activity: Plan a short stage drama for a group activity of four to five children. Tell each participant child of his/her role. The children will perform the assigned tasks on their turns. Thus they display problem solving skills in group work.
8. Word Crosses
Word crosses are popular problem solving activities in schools. Teacher designs a word cross for the students. Mostly this cross contains words from book lessons. Children make up the words on placing correct letters in the blank places.
Exemplary Activity: Make a ten by ten squares cross with simple words. Then remove certain letters from each word. Now ask the child to complete the cross. The child will make up words horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. This is the best exercise of a child’s memory.
9. Magic Squares
Magic squares are simply the number crosses. Here children fill up the letters in blank squares to give a same sum number for each column and row of the cross. The teacher mentions the numbers for filling the empty blocks. It is an interesting problem solving activity for the children.
Exemplary Activity: Write numbers 1 to 16 on a page. Now trace a four by four square containing sixteen blank small squares in it. Now give the task to the child for filling up the squares. You may guide the child to get a sum of 34 on each row and column in this case. This is a good activity on addition.
10. Board Games
Board games play an important role in building the problem solving skills among the children. These board games are simple indoor activities like Lido, snakes and ladders etc. these games teach problem solving techniques in a play mode.
Exemplary Activity: Take a Lido board with dots and dice. Now ask the children to play the game to win it. Ultimately a child wins the game. This winning task is really a real life problem solving technique. The losers also learn the ways to win in the next game. Educational games also help to improve it.
In conclusion: Here you find the top 10 problem solving techniques for children. These techniques help the parents and teachers in their teaching and guidance. Teaching requires processes of supervising and focusing on the students. When a child faces a problem in learning there emerges the role of guidance. Thus problem-solving is a real learning mechanism.
This mechanism broadens the thinking abilities of the students. They find chances of creativity and innovation. Here are the top 10 activities with the help of the children on problem-solving patterns. These different activities focus on various capacities of the children. They can learn at ease in an entertainment mode through these activities.