7 Problem-Solving Activities For Kids

December 2nd, 2020

It’s natural as parents and guardians to shower your child with ease and cushion them from any struggle. However, keeping them from feeling challenged will limit their abilities and emotional growth. 

Problem-solving activities for kids are necessary to hone their abilities and prepare them to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Having these introduced by adults, namely their parents and educators, will ensure the tasks are age-appropriate while conducted in a safe environment. 

Problem-Solving Activities For Kids You Can Do Together 

Have you tried one with your children? If not, you’re not alone. Parents tend to shy away from initiating problem-solving activities for kids because they’re unsure of how to go about it. They don’t realize that they’re not only missing out on opportunities to enhance their child’s development but to build a strong bond as well. 

Before you start, it’s important to recognize that necessary milestones and skills often differ by age. Be sure the problems are age-appropriate until you get a better grasp of your child’s learning pace. As they improve, so should the tasks increase in difficulty. 

1. Blocks

Ever wonder why Legos have always remained popular, despite not being as high-tech as many toys are today? It’s because they allow the child to explore their imagination freely. When a child engages in pretend play, you’ll notice there’s always a problem to solve or a goal to reach. It can range from simple ones like playing school or slaying a dragon. 

It’s not immediately obvious but that’s where all skills begin forming. Problem-solving activities for kids always have a good dose of imagination involved. If you’re worried about the accidents with blocks, preschool kids are less likely to ingest any of the small pieces. However, if you’re child still has the tendency, choose blocks in sizes too big for them to eat. 

2. Interactive Story Time

As you tell a story, encourage a child to process information, such as observing details, analyzing characters, and guessing the next part. While some storybooks come with built-in features that allow for more involvement, like in pop-ups and create-your-own-endings, engaging them can quickly be done by asking questions. 

Simple ones, like “What color was the item?” or “Where do you think is the ball hidden?” are great but “why” and “how” questions allow them to explore deeper. Remember not to make the child feel bad about getting an answer wrong with objective questions but encourage them to try again in the next question or story. Keep them to a minimum if you’re reading a story to bed so their minds can wind down, and they can fall asleep. 

Books with special features made for interaction can be highly educational for children. Choose between themes such as dinosaurs, and farm animals for an enriching and fascinating storytime. 

3. Scavenger Hunt

It’s one of those problem-solving activities for kids that parents can join in! Preschoolers would need assistance in finding the right items, and staying focused on finishing the hunt. Don’t worry if they don’t seem to understand the game very well at first. Get other kids involved, too, so they can observe how they do it. 

Think it’s too difficult for the age group? It’s good to challenge them once in a while with a task that’s a little more complex than what they’re used to. You never know what your kid would learn along the way. It’s also a fun game for the whole family that even the adults would enjoy. 

Let them find little treats or simple works of art that will make them smile like painted rocks! Create them in different ways, like with stickers, metallic paints, and even glitter for a magical kind of hunt. 

4. Situational Questions

The great thing about young kids is they find enjoyment in just about anything. Even simple questions that require them to use their imagination can be almost counted as pretend play. Try asking them ones that start with “What would you do if…” It allows them to practice a myriad of skills, like empathy, analysis, and problem-solving. 

Feel free to use props like dolls and other toys to better picture out the situation you want to create. It also aids therelate more to thcharacters in a storywhile still making the child feel a part of it. Pretend itheir first experience where thebegin to understand thaactions and decisions affect the world around themAlso try asking kids for advice and you’ll be surprised awhat they come up with. 

Pretend play covers all sorts of topics, from doing tasks such as fixing a table, to acting in complete roles, like doctor or handyman. 

5. Puzzles

A classic problem-solving game for preschoolers and up, it also enhances teamwork, visual perception, memory, hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills, and thinking out of the box. Best of all, there are so many choices! You’re sure to find one that your child will like. 

Choose one with a theme that you know would get them interested in the puzzle, like a jungle if they like animals. While it’s fun to challenge them, it’s important not to overwhelm them. Start with puzzles meant for the child’s age group. Wait for them to complete it a few times, at least before moving on to more difficult ones. 

6. Lava and Alligators

Remember how as a kid you tried to escape the pretend lava, by finding your way around the living room without touching the floor? How about avoiding the alligator-filled moat that surrounded the castle? These not only create precious memories, but are excellent problem-solving activities for kids.

They’ll be taught to deal with change and come up with solutions to unforeseen challenges. It teaches resourcefulness as children will have to use what’s available to reach their goal. It could be the couch pillows, unused boxes, any toys they already have on hand, and the list goes on. Just keep fragilitems safely out of the way and stored in a secured container. 

Want an even more roaring time with your kids? Swap out gators for giant prehistoric creatures! 

7. Maze

This activity demands not just the child’s use of skills but also requires yours. Choose a big and open space as the designated play area and create a maze. Avoid buying anything and use only items you find around the house or the environment in the location you chose, like twigs and leaves in a park. Encourage them to use their imagination. 

Surprise your kid with the maze! Watch as your child tries to figure out how to pass through the maze. Invite a few of their friends over and they can take turns trying to get to the other side. They’ll enjoy fighting “enemies,” and avoiding the “traps” you placed. 

Problem-Solving is Fun and Educational 

As with any skill, a child will eventually improve it but probably not make use of their full potential without their parents’ love and guidanceThat’s why it’s crucial that you present them with problem-solving activities for kids, and at times, join in as well. 

Parents are their first role models and teachers. Getting the right encouragement from them will provide your children with valuable and memorable learnings they’ll carry through to adulthood. Wouldn’t you love it if your kids could look back at fond memories of playing lava and alligators with their parents? The most enriching things are often those that appear the most simple.