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Problem solving with your child

Helping your child to think about how to get past everyday challenges will build their problem-solving skills.

child problem solving

Next time you or your child come across a simple problem, try talking to them about it.

For example, if you’re out for a walk and the path is blocked:

  • First, describe what the problem is. “Oh no, the path is blocked. We can’t go our usual way.”
  • Then talk through what you’re going to do to overcome the problem. “We’ll have to cross the road and go a different way.”

It may sound simple, but you’re showing your child how to react calmly when things don’t go to plan. Then you’re showing them how to think of a new way. This is an important skill to have as they get older.

As they get more confident with this idea, you can start to ask them for a solution the next time there’s an obstacle. This will let them put their problem-solving skills into practice.

You can practice these skills while they're playing too, for example if they're trying to build something and it won't balance, or even when a jigsaw piece won't fit. Or maybe when you're reading... when a story character has a problem, try pausing and asking your child what they think the character should do.

Good to know

This helps your child to see that problems can be a fun challenge! This will give them the confidence to have a go themselves, and persevere with tricky tasks.