Problem-solving toys build reasoning, logic and creative thinking. Speaking about them from the perspective of me and my children’s experience, I would like to share the importance of these toys and some educational toys my children found most interesting.
Why are problem-solving skills important?
When it comes to children, problem-solving skills are not reflected in critical thinking in school only. During their childhood, children are exposed to day-to-day issues such as not getting along with some children on the playground, the inability to organize their studying at home and many others little “problems” which may not be regarded as problems to adults at all.
By encouraging your child to solve any problem they encounter, your child gains confidence in themselves and your child will be sure they can resolve any issue. Some children may not deal with the problem at all and children may attribute the failure of the unresolved problems to the causes which have nothing to do with the real issue. The inability to solve any problem may lead children to the opinion that they do not have any choices in resolving problems.
Two types of Problem Solving Skills:
- Creative Thinking – Creative thinking enables children to come up with many different solutions to a problem.
- Critical Thinking – Critical thinking enables children to analyse a problem and compare different solutions.
Both of these are highly important both for everyday life and academic success.
Problem Solving Educational Toy Types
According to research, playing with construction toys at early age positively correlates with mathematical success later in school. Playing with construction toys makes children think in what ways they can put blocks together. So, we can say that this toy improves children’s creative thinking.
By playing with a set of doctor kits, your child develops imagination and creative thinking. Children have all these objects to play with, but they also need to know how to use them. They need to come up with different solutions of “treating their patients”. Vet kits are a great option for this type of play. Children can play doctor to their various stuff animals and toys.
Not only do science kits promote scientific understanding, they are also designed to promote problem-solving skills as well. These kits include experiments children do. In order to be able to do the experiment, a child is encouraged to use his/her critical thinking so that he/she can compare and contrasts various ways of doing the particular experiment.
Puzzles & Color Coded Brainteasers
The aim of these kinds of toy is arranging pieces of puzzle. However, with puzzles there is only one correct solution when playing. With color coded brainteasers the aim is to pick a pattern and then try to recreate it. While recreating a pattern, children need to pay attention to colours, shapes and orders of puzzle pieces. All abovementioned toys promote creative thinking, this one promotes convergent thinking which has only one solution. The convergent thinking is also called logical thinking.
These educational toys are highly popular in my family, my children can spend hours and hours immersed in these games. While children are playing, we, adults can have a little rest.
We organized a problem-solving party for my nephew’s birthday last year. Children were in groups and each group had a problem-solving task. In addition, we hired a photobooth (check how cool it looks) so that children can have photos of their solved tasks. All in all, I warmly recommend all these educational toys.
Gabriella Diesendorf is blogger and a devoted mother from Australia. She loves badgering about beauty, green lifestyle choices and parenting techniques at Highstylife. If you mention attachment parenting or natural makeup she will bore you to death.