Problem-solving is an important skill for toddlers to learn, as it helps them develop critical thinking and decision-making skills. It also leads to fewer tantrums because when your kids hit a setback they will be able to problem-solve it, rather than get upset. As a parent, you can play a key role in helping your child develop these skills. Here are a few tips for building problem-solving skills in toddlers:
- Encourage your child to explore and discover: Toddlers are naturally curious and love to explore and discover new things. Encourage this curiosity by providing a safe and stimulating environment for your child to explore. You can take our Setting Up your Playspace and Building Independent Play Skills workshop on the Earlybird app if you want help picking toys and materials and setting up your space in a way that sparks curiosity.
- Offer choices whenever possible: Giving your child choices can help them learn how to make decisions and solve problems. For example, you can offer a choice of two different lunch options or allow your child to choose which toy to play with first. This trick also tends to reduce tantrums too. Kids tend to melt down less when they have been part of the process and are actively involved.
- Encourage your child to ask questions: Encourage your child to ask questions and seek answers to their problems. This can help them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Check out our multiple question-oriented games and activities on the Earlybird app for playful ways to do this!
- Encourage persistence and resilience: It's natural for toddlers to encounter challenges and obstacles, and it's important to encourage your child to persevere and not give up when facing a problem. The Earlybird app has some growth mindset coloring pages and activities that can help your child build their persistence and resilience.
- Provide opportunities for problem-solving: Look for opportunities to incorporate problem-solving into your child's play and activities. For example, you can give your child a puzzle to solve or encourage them to find a way to stack blocks to build a tower. Any of the STEM activities on the Earlybird app will provide your child with ample, fun opportunities for this.
- Offer guidance and support: When your child is facing a problem, offer guidance and support as needed, but try to allow your child to figure things out on their own as much as possible. This can help them develop their own problem-solving skills.
Overall, building problem-solving skills in toddlers requires encouraging exploration and discovery, offering choices, encouraging questions, encouraging persistence, providing opportunities for problem solving, and offering guidance and support. By teaching your child these skills, you can help them develop critical thinking and decision-making skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.