How to Teach Kids to Be Problem Solvers

September 1, 2021 / Parent Resources

With these 10 simple tips, you could help develop your child’s problem-solving skills.

Encourage creative play

Kids learn effectively through play. Maybe you could gather some materials and have your child build a fort using them, or something similar.

Osmo’s interactive games for kids are a great way to boost creativity and problem-solving skills.

Facilitate decision making

Don’t make decisions for your little one. Allow them to make tough choices. Even if they make mistakes, they’ll learn to take responsibility and eventually figure out the best way to solve a problem.

Give space

Although you have the best intentions, your child won’t like it if they feel like they’re constantly being supervised. Give them the space they need to carry out their own tasks independently.

Build a few roadblocks

When things are made a little difficult for your child, they’re more likely to come up with multiple ways to solve the problem. Building a few roadblocks for your child can be a good thing.

Read problem-solving stories together

For example, in the novel Hatchet, the protagonist survives in the wilderness by effectively solving problems as they come along. Read stories like this to inspire your child.

Allow failure

Sometimes, your child might not want to come up with solutions to problems because they think they’ll fail. Let them know that failure is important to succeed.

Ask your kids for help

When you let your child know that you value their opinions, they’ll feel more confident to tackle problems on their own when they arise.

Teach basic problem-solving steps

If the problem, for example, is that your child always misses the school bus, have them break the problem into small parts. Maybe the reason they’re always getting delayed is that they wake up late, don’t brush their teeth on time, or don’t prepare their backpacks in advance. Once each of these tasks is addressed, solving the problem as a whole can be easier.

Solve problems every day

Make problem-solving a routine at your home. Incorporate challenges into your child’s day-to-day activities and check whether they can overcome them on their own.

Try DIY projects together

There are several creative DIY things you can try with your child. Maybe you could make your own treasure hunt, or make sidewalk chalk letters, or maybe even do some fun science experiments for kids. The possibilities are endless!