How to foster critical thinking skills in children

Being proactive, globally aware, and open-minded in decision-making is must for children in this rapidly modernizing world. To conquer several obstacles such as analyzing and contrasting for making inferences and generating higher order thinking skills.

Learning critical thinking skills are important skills for children. To foster these skills, you as a parent need to step in.

 Here are the 5 simple tips to foster critical thinking skills in children

  1. ‘Pause’ and ‘wait’

Attempt a task, then ‘pause’ while letting your child think. Try counting silently for 60 seconds while your child is thinking, before intervening or telling the answer. When they respond, ‘wait’ and give them some more seconds to rethink over it. This gives your child a chance to ponder about their response and perhaps refine it as well.

  1. Allow them to play differently

Playing is the best way to explore ‘cause & effect’. Providing both indoor and outdoor space for playing assists the child for open-ended opportunities to try and see the results. You can also, hand-over Legos and analyze if they can create or recreate any masterpiece. 

  1. Ask open-ended questions

Instead of being your child’s Pantomath, help your child think critically by cross-questioning the same: “What’s your take in this?” “What are your suggestions for this?” Even, respect his/her responses whether you perceive them as correct or incorrect. You could say, “That is interesting. Now, tell me why you think that.” Use phrases such as “I am interested to know your perception about this.”

  1. Inculcate hypotheses building

Taking a moment to form hypotheses during play is a critical thinking exercise that aids in developing skills. Try using ‘if’ in your questions, such as, “If we do this, what would be the consequences?” or “Let’s predict what will happen next.”

  1. Encourage thinking in a new and unique way.

Give a room for thinking by allowing children to open their pandora box of peculiarity. This will hone their creative problem-solving skills. You can also ask questions such as, “What other ideas could we try?” or encourage your child to generate options by saying, “Let’s think of all the possible solutions.”

To be good at critical thinking, children must believe that thinking is fun and great. Exercising on the daily-basis would lead to change, so try and practice the aforementioned tips daily or weekly and then, notice the difference in your child’s responses to various situations.

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