critical thinking skills

How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills In Toddlers 

How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills In Toddlers 

Children tend to be curious by nature. Therefore, as a parent, you should take advantage of their curiosity to instill habits that hone their critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is an umbrella term that involves scientific, economic, mathematical, historical, and philosophical thought. Such thinking is a frequent response, and habits must be taught from a tender age.

Every ‘ why ‘ is an opportunity for you to get their little brains racing. Please encourage them to observe their surroundings and analyze, interpret, and evaluate the information they have gathered. When they share an opinion with you, ask them why they believe so. This allows them to compartmentalize their knowledge to give you a relevant answer. Such simple activities are fundamental for developing critical thinking.

Once your child masters these skills, he’ll be capable of making the right decisions as he’ll understand the consequences of his actions. This life skill prepares him for challenges that are far more complicated than the multiple-choice questions in his examination. In the real world, often, there is no direct right or wrong answer. In such a situation, your child will be compelled to employ these essential skills to solve problems and make intelligent decisions. When your child thinks critically, the outcome is productive and constructive. In addition, his enhanced creativity will prove to be a vital asset in the future.

This spark of creativity ignited during his childhood will burn passionately for a lifetime. Critical thinking also gives birth to intuitive problem solvers. Rationalizing, planning, organizing, and evaluating ensure a foolproof solution. Ultimately, acquiring this honourable skill set during his childhood will empower him to reason and think independently while tackling obstacles. Today, critical thinking is promising and desirable.

However, it will be a necessity for tomorrow. As such thinking equips your little one with competence, his career prospects will soar. Well-established research has also emphasized the significance of thinking critically time and again. This type of thinking will bless your child with the powers of efficiency, superior communication, logic, reasoning, problem-solving, leadership, persuasion, and productivity. 

Parents here are the steps on How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills In Toddlers :

• Encourage discourse – 

When your child is allowed to agree or disagree about something, it enables him to think critically. However, disagreeing alone isn’t enough. He should disagree correctly, i.e., and his opinions should be backed by reason and logic. You should always encourage your little one to justify his thinking with examples. 

• Ask ‘ why ‘ – 

 To test whether your child’s knowledge is superficial or not, ask ‘ why.’ For example, Your child tells you that global warming poses a threat to humanity. Instead of automatically agreeing with him, address his opinion with a simple question – Why? 

This way, you understand his reasons, beliefs, and perspective while gaining a more in-depth insight into his thinking process. 

• Be patient – 

After asking your child a question, pause, and allow him to think for a while. When you don’t intervene, he can systematically organize his response and deliver it in a refined manner. This would be better than a haphazard gut reaction. While your toddler is busy framing his answer, you may count upto 60 in your mind. 

• Avoid intervening – 

You should observe your children’s behaviour before swooping in to complete the task for them. Giving them time is of utmost importance. When you ask them a question that requires thinking critically, provide sufficient information so that they aren’t frustrated, but you must also ensure that you aren’t solving the problem for them. 

• Develop hypotheses – 

When you and your children are engaging in extracurricular activities, you can spare a moment to form suitable hypotheses with them. For example: During abacus, you can ask, ” What will happen if I add this bead and subtract the other? Let us think together. ” This is a primary exercise on how to develop critical thinking skills in toddlers

• Encourage unique solutions – 

Critical thinkers are known to be creative problem solvers. As a parent, you can ask your child how a problem could be solved in various ways. Guide and direct him lovingly during the process. You should also motivate him to think outside the box. 

• Co-curricular Activities – 

Extracurricular activities like chess, golf, cooking, debating, coding, and robotics are enjoyable for teaching your children how to think critically. They learn to follow sequential orders, improve their communication skills, develop integrity, and master their strategy skills. In this process, they also become team players. 

Your children can also indulge in brain activities to develop critical thinking skills. Experimenting with riddles, brainteasers, ethical dilemmas, etc. will strengthen their skills as these activities require creative thinking. 

• Talk About Implications – 

Thinking critically requires one to think about things thoroughly. Therefore, children must learn about the consequences. Ask – ” What would happen if you did this? Why? ” 

You should also ask for clarifications, elaborations, and examples. This will sharpen their thinking skills from an early age. 

• Encourage Good Listening – 

An ideal critical thinker not only listens but also attempts to understand the other individual’s worldview while giving them the necessary space to think and talk. 

• Be Their Role Model – 

Children emulate their parents’ behavior. If you think critically, they’ll learn to do the same. When you’re solving a problem, verbalize the process taking place inside your mind. Your toddler will observe you and gradually inherit your phenomenal skills. 

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