Problem Solving Skills Activities

Young children can benefit from playing with solid wooden jigsaws with handles, placing the shapes in the correct moulds.And older children can benefit from playing with larger jigsaws up to 100 pieces (or more if they’re feeling adventurous).Encourage them to describe its shape, texture and size.They can then start to guess what the object might be.And whatever they decide to do with the medium-sized cars is up to them – wherever they place them, they’ll still have solved the problem in their own way.You can develop these activities further by sorting objects by shape, texture and colour.This activity is particularly good for younger children as it’s based on everyday situations.The idea of the game is to create a situation where there isn’t enough of something to go around.

You can make the activity more challenging by choosing more unusual objects, or by placing several objects in the bag at once.

It’s this process of exploring and ‘not giving up’ that helps them achieve their goal.

Alistair Bryce-Clegg is an Early Years educational consultant and owner of , he says: ‘‘Children are natural problem solvers, they are born curious and that that is how they learn. The Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning'.

As your child works out which shape fits in which hole, and learns how to turn the shapes to make them fit, they’ll begin to learn the process involved in finding the solution.

You can also use everyday objects to create your own sorting activities. can all be used to develop your child’s problem-solving.

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