Want to Improve Your Child's Problem Solving Skills?
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning game for kids.
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission – the ultimate learning game for kids.
The last time you drove your know-it-all babysitter home, you were not so subtly informed that your child is lacking in problem solving skills. As if he shouldn’t have had that tantrum when she ate the last piece of his birthday cake!
You have to admit, though, that the meltdowns have been a little too frequent lately. Whenever your little one encounters a challenge, she doesn’t have a clue how to deal with it. It’s a rare case of agreeing with your babysitter: your child needs help learning to solve problems.
You’d love to get started on teaching those preschool problem solving skills. The only problem is: you don’t know where to start.
You’re pretty good at solving problems for other people — by now you’ve become an expert at finding your spouse’s lost keys — but how do you teach a four-year-old to solve problems for himself? The answer can be found in the following Parent Primer on Preschool Problem Solving Skills.
Think of it as a short course with guaranteed results. PPPPSS 101, if you will. Pssst: here’s a little secret. There won’t be a T (test) at the end!
Now, don’t get discouraged by the word, “primer.” Maybe you say “pry-mer” and I say “prim-mer.” Either way, please don’t call the whole thing off! (Fans of George Gershwin — or anyone over the age of 75 — will know what I’m talking about.)
A primer is just a brief introduction. This one is designed to get you “primed” to teach problem solving skills to your problem child, and it will make those conversations with your babysitter so much more pleasant.
Why not start at the beginning, with the letter “P”?
Situations that can be problematic for preschoolers include turn taking, sharing, frustration, disappointment, teasing, and waiting. You know, the same things that are problems for us adults.
Before your child can learn to tackle a problem, she will have to come to an understanding of what a problem is. So whenever you see your little one struggling with something, you can help her put the situation into words, and then identify it as a problem.
For example: “You want this cookie but you haven’t had dinner yet. That’s a problem.” (You can relate to this one all too well.)
Or: “You’d love to play in the pool but we’re all out of sunscreen and Daddy’s got the car. That’s a problem.” (Just don’t use “Daddy’s got the car” every time, or you might have a problem with Daddy.)
Young children can learn to problem solve naturally during routine day-to-day activities (with help from Mommy or Daddy). There’s nothing like those “teachable moments” to drive the lesson home.
Let’s say your child’s beach ball just bounced over the fence into Mr. Crabby’s back yard. Turn that into a teachable moment. Label it as a “problem” and then let your ball bouncer know that problems can be solved.
(Something like this happened to you once. Your hat blew off and landed in Mr. Crabby’s rose bushes. You waited until Mr. Crabby wasn’t home to retrieve your hat. Your plan would have been perfect, except for that pesky security alarm.)
Download your free copy of the Atlas Mission and let your child play this award-winning educational game. Your child will become better at problem solving without even realizing it!
In other words, brainstorm with your little idea-monster and come up with several possible solutions. This gives your child time to calm down and get out of frustration mode. It also encourages him to start thinking critically, or outside of the box, when needed.
Your child might say something like: “I could … ring Mr. Crabby’s doorbell and ask him nicely for my ball.” “I could … just go buy another ball. “I could … ask you to climb over the fence and get my ball.” (Don’t worry, as a parent, you do have veto power.)
Try demonstrating smart problem-solving skills in the vicinity of your child. (Or, as they say, actions speak louder than words.)
Remember that your little monkey is likely to imitate what you do, so it’s critical that you model being hopeful and reasonable when faced with a problem of your own. Next time you’re in the throes of frustration, stay calm and verbalize the steps you’re taking to solve the problem.
By the way, shouting “We’re about to go bankrupt!” probably isn’t a good example of using your words to model problem solving. Try looking excited and saying something like, “We’re going to need a stay-cation this summer!” instead.
M can also stand for Materials, such as puzzles, building supplies, and books. The classic book, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, is a cute account of someone trying many solutions until finally (and accidentally) coming up with one that worked.
Expand your preschooler’s emotional vocabulary by using words like “frustrated,” “angry,” “sad,” or “disappointed” to describe what she may be feeling.
When we can put our feelings into words, we’re more likely to relax, take a step back, and come up with rational solutions instead of acting out physically to release those difficult feelings.
Don’t I know it! Saying the words, “I’m so disappointed” after seeing the price of groceries has saved me countless times from having a tantrum in the supermarket. It’s even more effective while ripping my losing lottery tickets to shreds.
Make sure your preschooler tries out one or more solutions that he thought up during the “I could …” step above. Talk about what happened afterward. If the results weren’t satisfactory, help him to see the benefit of trying other solutions.
Learning the process of problem solving is just as important as getting a wanted result – even more important, because the process can be applied to a multitude of situations in your child’s future.
And remember not to hover over your child, coming to her rescue for every little thing. Once you have helped her learn to identify problems and have exposed her to the problem solving primer, give her time to feel her feelings, express them, and brainstorm solutions on her own.
So there you have it, a preschool problem solving skills primer, from P to R. Problem solved!
P.S. Did you know that the Atlas Mission is the only educational game that teaches your child ALL the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century?
It covers both core skills like reading, writing & STEM, as well as 21st century skills like creativity, critical thinking, problem solving & coding.
Use the button below to download your free copy:
Atlas Mission – the new educational game for 3-7 year old children that increases their awareness of other countries and cultures.
Lori Bonati creates educational content for the Atlas Mission. She is a mother, grandmother, and retired school psychologist who enjoys writing (books, poetry, articles, and songs), photography, and playing the guitar. She lives in Arizona.
Important: Watch the quick video below for some important information on how the Atlas Mission helps with your child's education. Make sure your sound is turned on :-)
The Atlas Mission improves preschool and kindergarten coding skills with the help of a fantastic game involving kangaroos in the great Australian outback. The game teaches kids how to:
And obviously, all this is done in a fun, kid-friendly, and age-appropriate way meant for preschoolers and kindergarteners!
Coding is not just about learning how to create software or apps - at its very core, it involves learning to think like an engineer.
That's why we also have a large number of other fun games designed to help your child learn some of the key skills that engineers have - logical thinking, problem solving, learning through trial and error, etc.
So with the Atlas Mission, instead of boring curriculum focused lesson plans and worksheets, your little explorer gets to both learn the core principles of coding and develop the mindset of an engineer with the help of games and activities that are amazingly fun and engaging!
Press the button below to download the Atlas Mission for free.
Retired teacher Luci Bultman from the U.S. loves how the Atlas Mission helps kids learn complex educational concepts while having fun and enjoying the adventure.
Dr. Melissa Fry from Australia loves how each game in the Atlas Mission helps her daughter learn by building upon the knowledge obtained from the previous games.
Helen Secrette from the U.K. loves Atlas Mission's parent-controlled timeout feature and how kids don't realize that the timeout is actually controlled by their parents!
Dr. Liz Aumand Wilson from the U.S. loves how engaging the Atlas Mission is and how her daughter has been able to connect with the game.
Simon Avril from France loves how the Atlas Mission improves kids' reading skills and how it gradually becomes more challenging as the child gets better at reading.
The Atlas Mission includes a unique Eye Robot feature that periodically asks your child to stop playing the game and instead perform a number of fun eye exercises that he or she will love!
This helps to significantly reduce the possibility that children are going to cause excessive strain on their eyes while using a digital device.
The Atlas Mission is the ONLY educational game meant for children that is designed to minimize strain on their eyes in this manner.
Many of the stories present inside the Atlas Mission ask children to apply what they have just read in the offline world.
For instance, if they encounter a story on English afternoon tea, they will be given a recipe for making homemade English scones with jam and cream and encouraged to bake their own English scones (with your help of course)!
Studies show that giving real-life context to what children are reading helps to significantly improve their reading skills.
Atlas Mission is an extremely engrossing game that your child will absolutely fall in love with.
However, kids should spend an equal amount of time in the offline world – playing with their friends, getting their hands dirty with paint, and generally just being kids!
Atlas Mission has an anti-addiction timeout built into it. Once your child has crossed the time limit that you’ve set, the game gets locked and can only be accessed again the next day.
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