The term “critical thinking” is often used, but what exactly does it mean? Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly, objectively, and rationally about what to do or believe in solving a problem or making a decision. It requires logic, reasoning, and creativity to conclude and generally understand things better. This is a conscious process that can be applied to many aspects of our lives and may be an essential skill that children need in the future.
In life, we often face situations and problems that are far more complex than a choice test and for which there is no one correct answer. Children need to understand the ever-changing world and develop skills to deal with real-life situations. They also need to make connections, make decisions, and appreciate different points of view. These are skills that are very much needed in today’s society, and critical thinking can help with these. But how can you help your child think critically? Here are some tips!
1) Encourage Children to Ask Questions
Children are usually free of prejudice, and they always want to know what is happening around them. It’s essential to make them understand things in an environment where they can ask questions freely without fear or interference.
2) Ask Open-Ended Questions
If you want your child to learn to think critically, ask open-ended questions. When you are trying to develop your child into a critical thinker, asking objective questions can be helpful, but often they are not.
Open-ended questions have a wider playing field and are more open to interpretation and ideas, helping children build critical thinking skills.
Open discussion is vital to the development of critical thinking and is a wonderful way of improving children’s critical thinking skills.
3) Playing With Children
The best way to help children develop critical thinking skills is through play.
Play-based presentation of problems for children to solve and draw conclusions from, crosswords, and outdoor interactions are all key elements of critical thinking.
4) Do Not Intervene Every Time
Children are bound to have problems and obstacles. As parents, it is instinctive to be the rescuer.
Sometimes, however, you must get your child to face the situation, let them take responsibility, and stand up for themselves.
5) Don’t Expect the Child to Follow Blindly
Do not expect them to blindly follow your traditions, values, knowledge, or teachings at this stage. They will often stray to find their own way and sometimes it is better to allow them to do so. This will help in learning things and eventually determine what is right or wrong.
6) Encourage Them to Think in New and Different Ways
We often expect the same from our children because we are stuck in our own patterns of thinking. But the more divergent and open we are, the more our children can learn from new and different ways to excel in similar situations.
7) Have Them Communicate in Groups
Children love to work in groups. It builds confidence and broadens their horizons. Group discussions and projects are another great way to improve children’s critical thinking skills. Cooperative learning helps them explore the thought processes of their peers. It also develops critical thinking skills and teaches that there is more than one right way to solve a problem.
Critical Thinking Activities For Kids
In a nutshell, it is the practice of reading, social interaction, finding solutions and problems, and curiosity.
Games that improve a child’s critical thinking can help build their confidence and develop critical thinkers.
It is important to help them understand what it takes to be a critical thinker, including diversity, divergence, and out-of-the-box thinking.
Do you have any other tips? Share it with us in the comments below!