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problem solving questions for 5 year olds

30 Problem Solving Scenarios for Speech Therapy Practice

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Problem solving scenarios.

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problem solving questions for 5 year olds

This list of functional words was professionally selected to be the most useful for a child or adult who has difficulty with problem solving scenarios.

We encourage you to use this list when practicing at home.

Home practice will make progress toward meeting individual language goals much faster.

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) are only able to see students/clients 30-60 mins (or less) per week. This is not enough time or practice for someone to handle Problem solving scenarios.

Every day that your loved one goes without practice it becomes more difficult to help them. 

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We know life is busy , but if you're reading this you're probably someone who cares about helping their loved one as much as you can.

Practice 5-10 minutes whenever you can, but try to do it on a consistent basis (daily).

Please, please, please use this list to practice.

It will be a great benefit to you and your loved one's progress.

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10 Simple Activities to Teach Your Preschooler Problem Solving

By: Author Tanja Mcilroy

Posted on Last updated: 7 Nov 2022

Categories Cognitive Development

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

During the first years of a child’s life, an important set of cognitive skills known as problem-solving abilities are developed. These skills are used throughout childhood and into adulthood.

Find out what problem solving is, why it’s important and how you can develop these skills with 10 problem-solving games and activities.

What is Problem Solving in Early Childhood?

So, what exactly is problem solving? Quite simply, it refers to the process of finding a solution to a problem .

A person uses their own knowledge and experience, as well as the information at hand to try and reach a solution. Problem solving is therefore about the thought processes involved in finding a solution.

This could be as complex as an adult working out how to get out of a financial crisis or as simple as a child working out how two blocks fit together.

Problem Solving Skills for Kids

Problem-solving skills refer to the specific thinking skills a person uses when faced with a challenge. Some problems require the use of many skills, while others are simple and may only require one or two skills.

These are some examples of problem-solving skills for preschoolers , as listed by kent.ac.uk .

The Importance of Developing Problem-Solving Skills in Early Childhood

Problem solving is a skill that would be difficult to suddenly develop as an adult. While you can still improve a skill at any age, the majority of learning occurs during the early years.

Boy thinking about a problem

Preschool is the best time for a child to learn to problem solve in a fun way. The benefits of learning early will last a lifetime and the beauty of learning anything at a young age is that it is effortless .

It is like learning to play an instrument or picking up a new language – it’s just much easier and more natural at an early age.

Of all the many things preschoolers need to learn , what makes problem solving so important?

There aren’t many situations in life, at work or at school that don’t require some level of problem resolution.

Child’s play itself is filled with opportunity upon opportunity to solve all kinds of tricky situations and come up with solutions to challenges.

Problem Solving in Preschool

During the foundational years, children are constantly solving problems as they play .

Here are just a few examples of problem solving in early childhood :

The more creative play opportunities and challenges children are given, the more they get to exercise their problem-solving muscles.

During free play , there are non-stop experiences for this, and parents and teachers can also encourage specific problem-solving skills through guided activities .

Problem Solving for Older Children

During the grades, children experience problems in many forms, some of which may be related to their academic, social and emotional well-being at school. Problems may come in the form of dealing with life issues, such as:

Problems will also form a large part of academic life as teachers will be actively developing this skill through various activities, for example:

Children who have had practice during preschool will be a lot more capable when facing these challenges.

Solving Problems in Mathematics

Mathematics needs to be mentioned separately as although it is part of schooling, it is such a huge part and it depends heavily on a child’s ability to solve problems.

The entire subject of mathematics is based on solving problems. Whether you are adding 2 and 3, working out how many eggs will fit into each basket, or solving an algebraic expression, there is a problem in every question.

Mathematics is just a series of problems that need to be solved.

What we refer to as problem solving in Maths is usually answering word problems .

The reason many children find these so difficult to answer is that the question is presented as a problem through a story, rather than just numbers with symbols telling you what operation to use (addition, division, etc.)

This means a child is forced to think carefully, understand the problem and determine the best way to solve it.

These problems can involve various units (e.g. mass, capacity or currency) as well as fractions, decimals, equations and angles, to name a few. Problems tend to become more and more complex over the years.

My experience in the classroom has shown that many, many children struggle with solving word problems, from the early grades right into the senior years.

They struggle to analyze the question, understand it, determine what information they’ve been given, and what exactly they are required to solve.

The good news is that exposing a child to regular problem-solving activities and games in preschool can greatly help him to solve word problems later on in school.

If you need one good reason to do these kinds of activities, let it be for a smoother experience in mathematics – a subject so many children unnecessarily fear.

Problem Solving in the Workplace

Lady at work doing problem solving

Adults in the workplace seldom thrive without problem-solving skills. They are required to regularly solve problems .

As adults, employees are expected to independently deal with the frequent challenges, setbacks and problems that are a big part of every working environment.

Those who can face and solve their own problems will go further and cope better than those who seek constant help from others or cannot show initiative.

Some  career websites even refer to problem solving as a universal job skill. They also mention that many employees are not good at it. 

Again, although it may seem far removed, learning this skill at a young age will help a child cope right into adulthood and in the working world.

Pinterest image - 10 simple activities to teach problem solving.

How to Teach Children Problem-Solving Skills

If early childhood is the best time to grow these skills in your young children, then how does one go about teaching them to toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners?

Mom and child constructing

Problem solving can be taught in such a way that you expose your child to various opportunities where they will be faced with challenges.

You would not necessarily sit your 3-year-old down and tell or “teach” him all about fixing problems. Instead, you want to create opportunities for your child to grow this skill .

Using the brain to think and find solutions is a bit like working a muscle over time. Eventually, your muscle gets stronger and can handle more “ weight. ” Your child will learn to problem solve in two ways:

If you make a point of encouraging thinking through games and activities, your child will develop stronger skills than if you let it all happen incidentally.

Problem-Solving Strategies and Steps

If we take a look at the steps involved in solving a problem, we can see that there are many layers involved and different types of skills. Here are the problem-solving steps according to the University of Ken. 

Step 1: Identify the problem

Step 2: Define the problem

Step 3: Examine the options

Step 4: Act on a plan

Step 5: Look at the consequences

Therefore, activities at a preschool level need not present complicated high-level problems.

The most basic of activities can work on all these skills and make children competent solution finders.

How to Teach Problem Solving with Questions

The language you use around your child and your questioning technique will also greatly affect their understanding of a problem or challenge as merely something waiting for a solution to be found .

While your child is playing or when she comes to you with a problem, ask open-ended questions that will guide her in finding a potential answer independently. Use the steps listed above to formulate your questions.

Here are some examples of questions:

Resist the temptation to fix every one of your child’s problems, including conflict with friends or siblings. These are important opportunities for children to learn how to resolve things by negotiating, thinking and reasoning.

With time, your child will get used to seeing a problem, understanding it, weighing up the options, taking action and evaluating the consequences.

Problems will be seen as challenges to be faced logically and not “problems.”

This post contains affiliate links for educational products that I personally recommend. If you purchase through one of them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read the terms and conditions for more details.

10 Problem-Solving Activities for Preschoolers

Here are 10 simple, easy games and problem solving activities for kids at home or at school. Many of them are the kinds of activities children should have daily exposure to.

Puzzles are one of the best thinking activities out there. Each puzzle is basically one big set of muddled-up things to be sorted out and put back together again. Find out why puzzles are important for development .

Children should have regular exposure to puzzles. They are great for developing thinking skills.

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

2. Memory games

Memory games will develop your child’s memory and attention to detail.

Get your own memory game cards by downloading the FREE set of printables at the end of the post.

Use pairs of matching pictures and turn them all face down, shuffled, on a table. Take turns choosing any two cards and turning them face up on the table. If you turn over a matching pair you keep the cards and if the pair doesn’t match, turn the cards back over until it is your turn to try again.

Encourage your child to concentrate and pay attention to where the pictures are and try to find a matching pair on each turn. 

3. Building with Construction Toys

Construction toys such as engineering blocks , a proper set of wooden blocks or Legos should be a daily staple in your home.

Everything your child builds is a challenge because it requires thinking about what to build and how to put the pieces together to get a design that works and is functional.

Leave your child to construct freely and occasionally set a challenge and ask him to build a specific structure, with conditions. For example:

Then watch your child wracking his brain until he finds a way to make his structure work.

4.  Activity Books

These activity books are really fun and develop a child’s ability to identify problems and search for information.

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

5. Following Patterns

This simple activity can be played with a set of coloured blocks , shapes or counters.

Simply make a pattern with the blocks and ask your child to continue it. Vary the pattern by changing the colours, shapes or sizes.

This activity will train your child to analyse the given information, make sense of it, recognise the pattern and re-create it.

6. Story Time Questions

Get into the habit of asking questions during your daily story time that develop higher-order thinking skills . Instead of just reading and your child passively listening, ask questions throughout, concentrating on solving problems.

Here are some examples:

7. Board Games

Board games are an excellent way to develop problem-solving skills.

Start off with simple games like Ludo and Snakes and Ladders to teach the skill of following rules and moving in a logical sequence.

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

Card games like Go Fish are also great for teaching young children to think ahead and solve problems.

8.  Tic-Tac-Toe

This is a perfect game to teach decision-making skills , thinking before acting and weighing up the possible consequences.

Tic-tac-toe game

Use a Tic Tac Toe Board or d raw a simple table like the one above on paper or a chalkboard. Take turns to add a nought or a cross to the table and see who can make a row of three first.

Your child will probably catch on in no time and start thinking carefully before placing their symbol. This game can also be played with coloured counters or different objects.

9. Classifying and Grouping Activities

This activity can be done with a tin of buttons or beads or even by unpacking the dishwasher. The idea is to teach the skill of classifying and categorizing information by learning with physical objects. Here are some other ideas for categorizing:

Here are more button activities for kids .

10. Building a Maze

This activity is lots of fun and suitable for any age. It is also going to be way more fun than doing a maze in an activity book, especially for younger children.

Draw a big maze on the paving with sidewalk chalk . Make passages, including one or two that end in a dead-end. Teach your child to find her way out .

As your child gets better at figuring out a route and finding the way out, make the maze more complex and add more dead-end passages.

Get FREE access to Printable Puzzles, Stories, Activity Packs and more!

Join Empowered Parents + and you’ll receive a downloadable set of printable puzzles, games and short stories , as well as the Learning Through Play Activity Pack which includes an entire year of activities for 3 to 6-year-olds. Access is free forever.

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Friday 3rd of June 2022

hi maam , This Is Uma from India,Can i get this in pdf format or a book. Thank You

Tanja Mcilroy

Monday 6th of June 2022

Hi Uma, thanks for your message. These articles are not available in PDF, but you are welcome to copy and paste them from the website, as long as you add the reference: https://empoweredparents.co/problem-solving-activities-preschoolers/ Thanks for reading!

Wednesday 20th of May 2020

Very very useful content. Good work. Thank you.

Friday 22nd of May 2020

Thanks Ann.

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Would like to download the free activity pack please.

Hi Kelly, Please download the activity pack on this page: www.empoweredparents.co

Speech Therapy Store

71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Scenarios

Do you have kiddos who struggle with their social problem-solving skills? Teach your students the simple process of how to solve a problem along with having them review how well their solution worked or didn’t work.

Learning to problem solve is an essential skill that is used not only throughout childhood but also into adulthood. Social problem solving is the ability to change or adapt to undesirable situations that arise throughout our day. On a daily basis, a child will encounter social problems that they will need to solve. Anything from arguing with another student, to hurting a friend’s feelings, to having a difficult conversation, or working with others.

Start with Small Problems

Many of the “problems” children encounter are often small problems which the child may be over-reacting to, such as wanting a different coloring crayon or wanting to be first in line, however, these small problems are still very real to the child. Practicing problem-solving with these small problems can be a great learning opportunity. Children can practice problem-solving with a small problem which can help them learn how to handle bigger problems in the future.

Problem Solving Importance

Social problem-solving skills are critical to a child’s social interactions, personal and professional relationships. A child’s ability to handle change, cope with stress, and handle challenges improves with a child’s ability to successfully solve social problems.

The ultimate goal is that the child will be able to solve social problems all on their own, but until they can independently solve a problem they will need to learn how to communicate and self-advocate to positively solve their problems.  

Students with Autism Problem Solving

Students with autism and other social challenges need to learn to problem solve as well. These social problem-solving skills will help them throughout their childhood and into their adulthood. Children can be taught how to problem solve through a guided process of breaking down the problem and using simple steps to solve the problem. Learning specific steps to problem-solving can allow children to remember how to solve a problem when they become overwhelmed or stressed. Although learning to solve a problem independently can take some time and practice it is well worth the investment to have a child who can eventually solve most social situations in a positive manner on their own.

Make Problem Solving Easier with this Freebie!

Download yours today to get started.

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

Problem Solving Form

Teach your students the 4 steps to becoming a social problem-solver.

Problem Solving Graphic Organizer

What we learnt about solving problems is don't freak out, if one thing doesn't work , try something else out. And work together as a team. #melthammathsweek #MELTHAMPUPILVOICE @problemsolveit pic.twitter.com/iVm1Im4Aue — yr6melthamce (@yr6melthamce) February 4, 2019

Problem Solving Review Form

After your students go through the social problem-solver have them use the social problem-solving review form.


71+ Social Problem Scenarios + 6 Blank Scenarios

Use the 71 social problem-solving scenarios to have your students get great experience practicing how to solve a social problem. Also, included are 6 blank scenarios. Then laminate them so you can use them over and over again. Therefore, create social problems that the student experiences and needs help solving.

Problem Solving Scenarios

Wordless Video teaching Problem Solving

Watch this super cute wordless animation with your students and have them discuss the problem they see and how to best solve the problem.

Use this as a fun practice example to get your students started towards learning how to problem-solve.

Demonstrate Through Modeling

Teach Communication

Encourage Independency

Teach How to Disagree and How to Make Up

Get your free social problem solver today!

I hope you and your students love this freebie!

Students are really having to stretch their brains today. It's @NSPCC #NumberDay and @problemsolveit are challenging Y9 and 10 to solve the escape room boxes. It's not as easy as it looks! The promise of a few sweet treats for the winners seems to be helping though! pic.twitter.com/AxRRJnJIv2 — CongletonHS (@CongletonHS) February 2, 2018

Have your students use task card scenarios to help them identify how they and others might feel in different social scenarios. Be sure to discuss the problem, identify possible solutions, identify the consequences of those possible solutions, and then based on those consequences pick the best solution. Make social problem-solving a game by telling the students that they are social detectives and that it is their job to use what they know about social rules to help them identify the possible and best solutions. Start practicing today with 71+ free social problem social task cards! Do your students need more practice? Be sure to check out my other freebie for 31 wordless animated videos to teach problem-solving and so much more.

Get More Problem Solving Time Saving Materials

Next, be sure to check out the following time-saving materials to continue to teach your students how to solve their social problems in addition to this freebie.

Weekly Social Pragmatics Homework

Social Pragmatics Homework

Weekly Social Pragmatics

Restorative Justice Problem Solving Flip Book

Restorative Justice

restorative justice

Self-Advocating Role-Play Scenarios

Self Advocating

Self Advocating Practice

5th-12th Grade Life Skills Problem Solving

Life Skills Social Skills

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

I recommend you read Problem Solving Wheel: Help Kids Solve Their Own Problems , 61+ Free Fillable SLP Planner Pages 2020-2021 , 430+ Free Multisyllabic Words List Activity Bundle , or 432+ Free IEP Goal Bank to Save You Time posts because they include freebies as well and who doesn’t want more freebies!

Got questions? Leave a comment. Let’s chat!

Monday 30th of January 2023

Hello! I have entered my name and email twice (yesterday & today) to receive to 71+ Free Social Problem-Solving Senarios, but I have not received anything yet. Not even an email back to mine in order to subcribe. Thanks for your help! Tracy

Melissa Berg

Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Hi Tracy, Thanks so much for reaching out! Sorry about that. We went ahead and sent you an email with the PDF attached. Wishing you all my best, Melissa

Problem Solving Skills

Tuesday 30th of August 2022

I truly love your site. Excellent colors, theme and writing. Thanks for sharing.

Laura Ricca

Monday 11th of April 2022

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Hi Laura, I'm glad you found this resource helpful. Melissa

Modified Mental Health and Suicide Prevention - Speech Therapy Store

Monday 11th of May 2020


Problem Solving Wheel: Help Kids Solve Their Own Problems - Speech Therapy Store

Monday 4th of May 2020

[…] 71+ Free Social Problem Solving Task Cards Scenarios […]

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How to Teach Problem-Solving Skills to Children and Preteens

Whether it’s a toy-related conflict, a tough math equation, or negative peer pressure, kids of ALL ages face problems and challenges on a daily basis.

As parents or teachers, we can’t always be there to solve every problem for our children. In fact, this isn’t our job. Our job is to TEACH our children how to solve problems by themselves . This way, they can become confident , independent, and successful individuals.

Instead of giving up or getting frustrated when they encounter a challenge, kids with problem-solving skills manage their emotions, think creatively, and persist until they find a solution. Naturally, these abilities go hand-in-hand with a  growth mindset .

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our FREE Your Words Matter Volume 2 Kit . With these 10 one-page parenting guides, you will know exactly how to speak to your child to help them stand up for themselves, be more confident, and develop a growth mindset.

So HOW do you teach problem-solving skills to kids?

Well, it depends on their age . As cognitive abilities and the size of the child’s challenges grow/evolve over time, so should your approach to teaching problem-solving skills.

Read on to learn key strategies for teaching problem-solving to kids, as well as some age-by-age ideas and activities.

How to teach problem solving skills by age group

3 General Strategies to Teach Problem-Solving at Any Age

1. model effective problem-solving .

When YOU encounter a challenge, do a “think-aloud” for the benefit of your child. MODEL how to apply the same problem-solving skills you’ve been working on together, giving the real-world examples that she can implement in her own life.

At the same time, show your child a willingness to make mistakes . Everyone encounters problems, and that’s okay. Sometimes the first solution you try won’t work, and that’s okay too!  

When you model problem-solving, explain that there are some things that are out of our control. As we're solving a problem at hand we should focus on the things we CAN actually control.

You and your child can listen to Episode 35  of the Big Life Kids Podcast to learn about focusing on what you can control.

2. Ask for Advice

Ask your kids for advice when you have a problem. This teaches them that it’s common to make mistakes and face challenges. It also gives them the opportunity to practice problem-solving skills.

Plus, when you indicate that their ideas are valued ,  they’ll gain the confidence to attempt solving problems on their own.

3. Don’t Provide “The Answer”

As difficult as it may be, allow your child to struggle, sometimes fail , and ultimately LEARN  from experiencing consequences.

Now, let’s take a look at some age-specific strategies and activities. The ages listed below are general guidelines, feel free to choose any strategies or activities that you feel will work for YOUR child.

Use Emotion Coaching

To step into a problem-solving mindset, young children need to first learn to  manage their emotions . After all, it’s difficult for a small child to logically consider solutions to a problem if he’s mid-tantrum.

One way to accomplish this is by using the  emotion coaching process  outlined by John Gottman.

First,  teach your kids that ALL emotions are acceptable. There are NO “bad” emotions. Even seemingly negative emotions like anger, sadness, and frustration can teach us valuable lessons. What matters is how we  respond  to these emotions.

Second,   follow this process:

Say, “Show Me the Hard Part”

When your child struggles or feels frustrated, try a technique suggested by mom and parenting blogger Lauren Tamm . Simply say, “Show me the hard part.”

This helps your child identify the ROOT   of the problem, making it less intimidating and easier to solve.

Repeat back what your child says,  “So you’re saying…”

Once you both understand the real problem, prompt your child to come up with solutions . “There must be some way you can fix that…” or  “There must be something you can do…”

Now that your child has identified “the hard part,” she’ll likely be able to come up with a solution. If not, help her brainstorm some ideas. You may try asking the question, “If you DID  know, what would you think?” and see what she comes up with.

Problem-Solve with Creative Play

Allow your child to choose activities and games based on her  interests . Free play provides plenty of opportunities to navigate and creatively solve problems.

Children often learn best through play. Playing with items like blocks, simple puzzles, and dress-up clothes can teach your child the process of problem-solving.

Even while playing, your child thinks critically:  Where does this puzzle piece fit? What does this do? I want to dress up as a queen. What should I wear?   Where did I put my tiara? Is it under the couch?

Problem-Solve with Storybooks

Read age-appropriate stories featuring characters who experience problems, such as:

Connect these experiences to similar events in your child’s own life, and ASK your child HOW the characters in these stories could solve their problems. Encourage a variety of solutions, and discuss the possible outcomes of each.

This is a form of dialogue reading , or actively ENGAGING   your child in the reading experience. Interacting with the text instead of passively listening can “turbocharge” the development of literacy skills such as comprehension in preschool-aged children.

By asking questions about the characters’ challenges, you can also give your child’s problem-solving abilities a boost.

You can even have your child role-play the problem and potential solutions to reinforce the lesson.  

For book suggestions, refer to our Top 85 Growth Mindset Books for Children & Adults list.

Teach the Problem-Solving Steps

Come up with a simple problem-solving process for your child, one that you can consistently implement. For example, you might try the following five steps:

Consistently practice these steps so that they become second nature, and model solving problems of your own the same way.  It's a good idea to   reflect :   What worked? What didn’t? What can you do differently next time?

Problem-Solve with Craft Materials

Crafting is another form of play that can teach kids to solve problems creatively.

Provide your child with markers, modeling clay, cardboard boxes, tape, paper, etc. They’ll come up with all sorts of interesting creations and inventive games with these simple materials.

These “open-ended toys” don’t have a “right way to play,” allowing your child to get creative and generate ideas independently .

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Asking open-ended questions improves a child’s ability to think critically and creatively, ultimately making them better problem-solvers. Examples of open-ended questions include:

Open-ended questions have no right answer and can’t be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.”

You can ask open-ended questions even when your child isn’t currently solving a problem to help her practice her thinking skills, which will come in handy when she does have a problem to solve.

If you need some tips on how to encourage a growth mindset in your child, don't forget to download our FREE Your Words Matter Volume 2 Kit .

Free Your Words Matter Printable Kit

Break Down Problems into Chunks

This strategy is a more advanced version of “Show me the hard part.”

The bigger your child gets, the bigger her problems get too. When your child is facing a challenge that seems overwhelming or insurmountable, encourage her to break it into smaller, more manageable chunks.

For instance, let’s say your child has a poor grade in history class. Why is the grade so low? What are the causes of this problem?

As usual, LISTEN as your child brainstorms, asking open-ended questions to help if she gets stuck.

If the low grade is the result of missing assignments, perhaps your child can make a list of these assignments and tackle them one at a time. Or if tests are the issue, what’s causing your child to struggle on exams?

Perhaps she’s distracted by friends in the class, has trouble asking for help, and doesn’t spend enough time studying at home. Once you’ve identified these “chunks,” help your child tackle them one at a time until the problem is solved.

Show “ The Broken Escalator Video ”

Discuss the importance of embracing challenges and solving problems independently with the “broken escalator video.”

In the video, an escalator unexpectedly breaks. The people on the escalator are “stuck” and yelling for help. At this age, it’s likely that your child will find the video funny and immediately offer a solution: “Just walk! Get off the escalator!”

Tell your child that this is a simple example of how people sometimes act in difficult situations. Ask, “Why do you think they didn’t get off the escalator?” (they didn’t know how, they were waiting for help, etc.)

Sometimes, your child might feel “stuck” when facing problems. They may stop and ask for help before even attempting to find a solution. Encourage your child to embrace challenges and work through problems instead.

Problem-Solve with Prompts

Provide your child or a group of children with materials such as straws, cotton balls, yarn, clothespins, tape, paper clips, sticky notes, Popsicle sticks, etc.

With just these materials, challenge your kids to solve unusual problems like:

This is a fun way to practice critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Most likely, it will take multiple attempts to find a solution that works, which can apply to just about any aspect of life.

Make Them Work for It

When your child asks for a new toy, technology, or clothes, have her make a plan to obtain the desired item herself. Not only will your child have to brainstorm and evaluate solutions, but she’ll also gain confidence .

Ask your child HOW she can earn the money for the item that she wants, and encourage her as she works toward her goal .

Put It on Paper

Have your child write out their problems on paper and brainstorm some potential solutions.

But now, she takes this process a step further: After attempting each solution, which succeeded? Which were unsuccessful? Why ?

This helps your child reflect on various outcomes, learning what works and what doesn’t. The lessons she learns here will be useful when she encounters similar problems in the future.

Play Chess Together

Learning to play chess is a great way for kids to learn problem-solving AND build their brains at the same time. It requires players to use critical thinking, creativity, analysis of the board, recognize patterns, and more. There are online versions of the game, books on how to play, videos, and other resources. Don’t know how to play? Learn with your teen to connect and problem solve together!

Have Them Learn To Code

Our teens and tweens are already tech-savvy and can use their skills to solve problems by learning to code. Coding promotes creativity, logic, planning, and persistence . There are many great tools and online or in-person programs that can boost your child’s coding skills.

Encourage to Start a Meaningful Project

This project has to be meaningful to your teen, for example starting a YouTube channel. Your teen will practice problem-solving skills as they’re figuring out how to grow their audience, how to have their videos discovered, and much more. 

In the Big Life Journal - Teen Edition , there’s a section that guides them through planning their YouTube channel and beginning the problem-solving process.

Apply the SODAS Method

Looking for a game plan that your teen can employ when faced with a problem? The SODAS method can be used for big or small problems. Just remember this simple acronym and follow these ideas:

Encourage to Join Problem-Solving Groups

Does your teen enjoy solving problems in a team? Have them join a group or club that helps them hone their skills in a variety of settings--from science and robotics to debating and international affairs. Some examples of groups include: 

Looking for additional resources?  The Bestseller’s Bundle includes our three most popular printable kits packed with science-based activities, guides, and crafts for children. Our Growth Mindset Kit, Resilience Kit, and Challenges Kit work together as a comprehensive system designed specifically for children ages 5-11.

25 thoughts on “ How to Teach Problem-Solving Skills to Children and Preteens ”


I love, love, love the point about emotional coaching. It’s so important to identify how children are feeling about a problem and then approach the solutions accordingly.

Thank you for putting this together. I wrote an article on problem-solving specifically from the point of view of developing a STEM aptitude in kids, if you like to check it out – https://kidpillar.com/how-to-teach-problem-solving-to-your-kids-5-8-years/


I feel that these techniques will work for my kid.. Worthy.. Thank you


I love you guys

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15 Fun Activities To Teach Problem Solving To Kids

Problem-solving skills help children efficiently manage difficult moments in their lives.

Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri MD

Specialty: Psychiatrist, motivational speaker, writer

Experience: 15 years

Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri, popularly referred to as ‘The Celebrity Shrink,’ is an award-winning neuro-psychiatrist and mental health advocate with over 15 years experience.She is the medical director and psychiatrist-in-chief at Pin... more

advaitaa ravi BBA

Specialty: Kids Fun and Activities

Experience: 7 years

Advaitaa is a digital marketing and content writing specialist with around seven years of experience. She’s worked on a variety of genres including travel, fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and health and w... more

Image: Shutterstock

Children receive numerous opportunities to learn about the world as they get older. However, they also regularly encounter problems, whether it is peer pressure, difficult arithmetic calculations, or disagreements with their peers. The benefits of problem-solving skills for kids are numerous and can help them effectively deal with such situations.

They will learn to find practical solutions independently without relying on an adult. Further, when they encounter difficulties, they will be more confident in their ability to employ their problem-solving skills and develop innovative solutions on their own.

Read this post to know the importance of problem-solving abilities for children, how to inculcate this skill in them, and for some exercises to help them develop this essential skill.

Importance Of Problem-Solving Skills For Kids

Problem-solving benefits children in numerous ways. It helps them

How To Inculcate Problem-Solving Skills In Children

Here are a few ways to encourage your child to utilize their problem-solving skills.

1. Test it out

Whenever your child encounters a problem, ask them to acknowledge it and embrace the challenge. If the outcome is not effective, they can try out different approaches. This will encourage your child to look at a problem from different angles .

2. Ask for advice

Sometimes, you may struggle to make decisions in your everyday life. For instance, you might struggle to decide what to cook for dinner or what to wear to the movies. Ask your children to help you make these simple decisions . When you ask them for their advice, it teaches them that they’re not the only ones who face problems. When you value their ideas, it will give them the confidence to solve problems independently.

3. Take a deep breath

One of the first steps to effective problem solving is remaining calm. Even with youngsters, when their emotions go out of hand, it’s difficult to look at things rationally, and the tendency to make impulsive decisions becomes higher. It’s important to teach your child to take deep breaths every time they feel they’re losing control of their emotions . Once they’re calm, they can assess the situation better.

4. Verbalize the problem

It would help your child if they verbally express how they feel and what they’re struggling with after calming down. It helps them gain perspective and makes it easier for them to come up with potential solutions.

5. Don’t provide “the answer”

While it’s difficult to watch your children struggle with an issue, do not give them the answer outright. Instead, give them hints to help them solve the problem independently. This way, they can learn to come up with creative solutions independently .

6. Lead by example

Children are like sponges and pick up things very quickly. So, when you confront a problem and come up with an effective solution, they’ll notice how you address issues and try to emulate you.

7. Allow natural consequences to unfold

Sometimes, letting the problem run its course is the best way to deal with it. So, when your child is faced with a problem, let them be. Let’s suppose your child spent all their weekly allowance in a day or two; let them go the entire week without allowance. This will set them up to make better choices in the future.

15 Problem-Solving Activities For Kids

There’s no better way to learn than through play. The following activities are quite fun and require children to display their problem-solving skills.

One of the best problem-solving activities for children is puzzles. They come in various difficulty levels. Based on your child’s age, you can pick the appropriate one. Give them a puzzle, and they will learn to analyze the problem/question, find different ways of solving it, and arrive at the solution .

Additionally, the activity will help improve their critical-thinking skills, gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination.

2. Scavenger hunt

One of the educational activities that every parent should introduce to their children is scavenger hunt. It is an inexpensive, easy, fun activity that can be done both indoors and outdoors and requires nothing more than the items you already have at home. The activity allows children to think outside the box. Without being aware, they’re learning problem-solving skills in a fun way.

3. Storybooks

Reading offers a plethora of benefits. One of them is problem-solving. When children read stories , they come across various characters and the roles they play. Most often, children get attached to these characters. So, when they come across a problem, ask them how their favorite character would have solved it. Encourage them to come up with a variety of solutions and discuss the possible outcomes of each.

Engaging them in arts and crafts is another excellent way to teach children problem-solving skills. Give your child a variety of materials lying around the house. Let them come up with all sorts of exciting creations or repair broken toys or gadgets. Allow them to work independently, and guide them only when they are out of ideas.

5. Open-ended questions

Asking open-ended questions is an excellent way to improve your child’s ability to think creatively and critically and improve their problem-solving skills . With these questions, there’s no right or wrong answer, and the answer goes beyond a simple ‘no’ or ‘yes.’ They have to put some thought into their answers. Here are a few questions you can ask after each session.

Mazes are fun and safe for all age groups. When they work on mazes, it makes them think. The activity also improves their motor skills, observational skills, sense of direction, and problem-solving skills. Think beyond book mazes – you can find many maze games on the web. With practice, they’ll get better at finding their way out. Eventually, you can give them more complex mazes to solve.

7. Mini treasure hunt

Treasure hunt is one game that can get the entire family involved. You can keep their minds at work, especially if they know they’re going to win something in the end. Give them clues that encourage them to think outside the box and use their problem-solving skills to find the treasure in the end. Here are a few hints you could use to let them find the treasure:

8. Building with toys

Give your children LEGO blocks, wooden blocks, engineering blocks, etc., and make them build whatever they wish. Building with toys requires your child to think about what to build and how to put the pieces together and come up with creative solutions to ensure it’s a functional design. You can once in a way ask them to build something challenging, such as a creature with three arms or two towers with a joining bridge. Watch them rack their brains as they try to come up with a structure.

9. Wool web

Give the children a multi-colored yarn and ask them to stand in a circle. One person loops the ball of yarn across a finger and passes it to another person. Once every person gets a chance to hold the ball and loop the yarn across their finger, a web would be created.

Now, blindfold one member and ask them to follow the verbal instructions of the others to unwind the web. This group activity involves teamwork, focus, patience, coordination, concentration, and problem-solving skills to figure a way out.

10. The human knot

It is a simple game that’s extremely fun. In this game, you need a group of children. Make the children form a circle and raise their hands. Start with one player, who has to use their right hand to hold onto a player’s hand from across the circle and their left hand onto someone else’s hand. Check if everyone has held both hands with different players. Now, without breaking the circle, they must untangle themselves. The challenge is complete once everyone’s hands are free and they are back in the circle.

11. Impromptu skits

Divide the players into teams. Write down different scenarios, such as dealing with bullying in school or resolving a fight between siblings, on pieces of paper, fold them, and place them in a bowl. Each team/player picks a chit and acts out the scenario. You can give them a time limit to prepare. Such impromptu activities help children identify a problem, formulate a solution, and execute it.

12. Group drawing

Another excellent team-building activity for sharpening children’s problem-solving skills is group drawing. Divide children into teams of three. Each of the three players in the team has a role to play .

One person is the drawer, who takes directions from the instructor to attempt to create a design. They should stand with their back to the instructor and viewer and must not talk.

Next is the instructor. The instructor is the one who gives out verbal instructions as to how the drawer must draw a particular design.

The viewer looks at the design. But, they’re not allowed to talk and can only communicate with the instructor via gestures.

You have a winner when the viewer is satisfied with the drawer’s picture. You can let the children take turns playing different roles.

13. Clue me in

Clue me in is a fun detective game that encourages cognitive development, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Start by selecting five to six target answers, such as a public figure, animal, historical event, social trend, or profession. Now, collect five to ten items associated with each target answer. They can be pictures from the Internet too. Place them in different bags.

Now decide how many clues a child can pick before making a guess. If it’s two, let the child pick up two clues from a bag and make their first guess. See who’s able to answer the quickest.

14. Survivor scenarios

Here’s another game that doesn’t require any items. In this game, you have to create pretend-play scenarios for children, and they have to analyze and think out of the box to solve. For instance, give them this scenario, “You’re stuck on an island, and you know help will not come for two days. How will you create a shelter for yourself with items around you?” This encourages them to think about different scenarios and find solutions to get out of the situation.

15. Moral dilemma

Children often find themselves in a dilemma. This simple game, without their knowledge, will help them cope with such scenarios. On pieces of paper, write down different dilemmas, such as ‘The cashier gave me $1 extra in change; what should I do?’ or ‘I saw my friend bullying someone at school. Should I stop them or let them be?’ Then fold it up and place it in a bowl. Get each child to pick one piece of paper, read it aloud, and come up with creative solutions on the spot to handle the situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. At what age do children begin problem-solving?

Children are believed to acquire the basics of problem-solving by age three. But it is not refined since it is intervened by short attention span and difficulty in understanding the problems on their own. Their problem-solving skills develop as they grow up (1) .

2. What are three problem-solving strategies?

The three common problem-solving strategies are (2) :

Problems are a part of life, and the sooner children learn to tackle them, the better. Problem-solving for kids is an important skill because it helps them cope with everyday difficulties, challenges them to think differently and learn more critical thinking skills. You may teach problem-solving skills to your children by encouraging them to share their problems, driving them to find their answers, or setting a good example. You can also involve them in problem-solving activities, such as puzzles, scavenger hunts, and mazes. Your focused efforts will help your children grow independent and confident in their skills.

Infographic: “IDEALS” – A Method Of Problem Solving

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Problem Solving For Kids

Help your kid become an ace at solving problems with these problem-solving activities and games .

As children grow up they’ll be faced with several problems. These problems can be complicated, they’ll challenge the kids intellectually, physically and mentally and emotionally. Dealing with all of these can leave them feeling stressed and anxious. That’s why it’s important to equip children with problem solving skills. These problem solving skills will help the children deal with and tackle these problems without any stress or anxiety.

Teaching Problem-Solving For Kids

Problems aren’t something that only adults face. Kids have problems too, it could be a conflict over toys or candy, a math test or even negative peer pressure. As parents and educators, you can’t always be there to resolve conflicts and solve problems for them. A parent’s job is to raise a confident, independent, and successful individual, equipped with the right problem solving skills.

Young children often get frustrated and give up on things when they encounter an obstacle or a problem. With the right problem solving skills, kids learn to think creatively, and work persistently until they find a solution. This equips them with the tools to develop their cognitive abilities and face challenges without fear of failure. Here are some age-appropriate tips to teach problem solving for kids.

Problem Solving For Kids of 3 – 6 years

One of the most important parts of problem-solving for kids is emotion management. Often, when kids encounter challenges that frustrate them, they throw a tantrum. They won’t consider finding a logical solution to the problem in the middle of a tantrum. Teaching them to process and control their emotions helps them think and find a solution easily. 

Once they are calm, help them brainstorm solutions by asking leading questions. Once they learn this process, you’ll find that they tend to practice problem solving skills rather than throwing a tantrum.

Problem Solving For Kids of 6 – 9 years

By the time they are six years old, kids learn to control their emotions better. But they still can get frustrated when faced with challenges they cannot overcome. It’s a great idea to help kids find the root of the problem. This makes it less intimidating and helps them understand the problem, which makes it easier for them to solve the problem. 

Kids at this age are quick learners. Help them learn problem-solving skills using stories, creative play and activities. Teach them some problem solving strategies for kids by acting out scenarios.

Problem Solving For Kids of 9-11 years

Children at this age are better equipped to solve problems on their own. However, problems only get bigger as we grow older and their solutions become equally complex too. One great way to solve a difficult problem is to break it down into manageable steps or smaller chunks. 

For example, if your child has a low grade in history, find out why? Maybe they didn’t submit the assignments on time. So help them make a list of assignments and tackle them one by one.

Reading stories and crafting are great activities to instill problem solving skills in a child. Often, children tend to give up if they find a problem too challenging. The characters of a story and their trials and the end product of crafting teaches them to embrace the challenge and persevere until they finish. Here are some great ideas for crafts for kids to teach problem solving for kids.

Benefits of Performing Problem Solving For Kids:

Problem-Solving Activities And Puzzles For Kids:

Kids are taught to solve simple puzzles and games from a young age. These simple learning activities are great tools to build a solid foundation for problem-solving skills. Not only are they fun to play with, but they also teach children to find an optimum solution to a particular problem. These games and puzzles also help in enhancing their logical reasoning and critical thinking skills. These skills are necessary to build problem-solving skills in kids.

Problems are aplenty in our lives. From math problems to emotional problems, we all have them. The best thing we all can do is learn to tackle them efficiently so that they don’t affect us.

Osmo has a wide variety of activities for kids to do at home, games and worksheets for kids , alphabet coloring pages on several topics to aid in your kids learning – math activities for toddlers.

Frequently Asked Questions on Problem Solving For Kids

What are the advantages of problem solving for kids.

The advantages of Problem Solving For Kids are that it helps them to improve their social and emotional skills, develop their critical thinking skills, confidence, logical thinking abilities,and determination.

What are the activities that help kids to solve the problems?

The activities that help kids to solve the problems are solving crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, learning problem solving by working on the maze, solving simple coding games, solving rubix cubes, etc.


Find resources / Articles / Problem solving for 3 to 5-year-olds

Supporting and keeping 3 to 5-year-olds safe as they develop their problem-solving skills.

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What changes after age 3, parents feel frightened too, anō anō — again again, what else can whānau do to help tamariki learn to solve problems.

Problem solving is discussed in quite a few other age and stage sections. The following play activities from the 25–36 months section give ideas for strengthening problem-solving skills, and why they are important to develop in young children:

The recommended reading called Problem solving in the younger age section (19–24 months) is relevant too, as it describes what problem solving looks like for a toddler.

The main problem-solving strategy used by tamariki until around age 3 is trial and error.

A 3-year-old will often use their memory of seeing others solve similar problems. Tamariki will remember what other people did when a problem came up, and they’ll try that themselves.

Tamariki are increasingly keen on doing things themselves, and will sometimes resist help. ‘I can do it myself!’ is commonly heard from tamariki during this stage. The level of risk involved in the activity may not be a concern for them — rather, just doing it is their main concern.

Whānau need to think about ways to give their tamaiti challenges and new learning while keeping them safe from harm. Tamariki want to copy adults and be more independent, which is great as it builds their confidence and skills. However, their ability to move fast, switch machinery on, and access heights or electrical equipment can put them in danger. It’s a good time to check safety around the house and garden, especially in garages and sheds, and their access to climbable fences or unsecured gates.

Preschoolers are also learning about managing their strong feelings. Solving problems can be a challenge, and when they’re unsuccessful it can lead to them expressing feelings of deep frustration.

Tamariki who have temperament traits of persistence, high activity and the ability to take on new situations with ease can find themselves in dangerous situations if there’s insufficient supervision. Whānau need to be close enough to intervene straight away if tamariki lose control of their emotions or their actions.

Confidence is another skill that helps when a child is problem solving. It can also be concerning when their confidence is much greater than their ability to solve a challenge, and they find themselves in strife.

Sometimes whānau themselves get scared or upset by the actions of their clever problem-solver. For example, an active 4-year-old has just climbed to the top of the neighbour’s tree and is now stuck! Concern for their child’s safety can see whānau lashing out in response, as their anxiety generates feelings of anger.

Developing their personal technique for remaining calm and cool is wise. Deep breathing and using a quiet, firm voice can be a good starting place.

After an upsetting event has been sorted out is often a good time for a snack break. Washing hands, sitting down and having something to eat and drink can help calm the situation. Then whānau can talk with their tamariki and ask:

Regular practice playing with similar-aged tamariki encourages progress with the skills of waiting, turn-taking, sharing, negotiating and learning how to solve shared problems together.

Whānau can:

And because preschoolers enjoy figuring out solutions for themselves, whānau need to let tamariki try to do this before offering or stepping in to help.

See Whakatipu booklets Te Māhuri 1 and Te Māhuri 2 (pages 10–17) for ideas and information about everyday problems tamariki are likely to meet when playing around the house and in their community.

Scholastic: Preschool problem-solving

Investigation and discovery 3–5 years.

Peep and the Big Wide World

Play and imagination 3–5 years

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

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problem solving questions for 5 year olds

Critical Thinking: 11 Problem Solving Activities for Kids

11 Problem Solving Activities for Kids | If you want to help build your child’s social, critical thinking, conflict resolution, and anger management skills, these fun and effective ideas are for you! We’ve included worksheets, team building activities, task cards, and other creative challenges for small groups that can be used at home with parents or as a team in the classroom. #problemsolvingactivities #conflictresolution #selfregulation

As parents and teachers, it’s our responsibility to teach the children in our lives appropriate critical thinking and conflict resolution skills to help them develop and maintain relationships, excel in academics and extracurricular activities, and exercise proper self-regulation and anger management skills. If you’re looking for problem solving activities for kids, we’re sharing 11 of our favorites that can be used at home and in the classroom.

Why Is Problem Solving Important for Child Development?

As adults, we field all kinds of problems on a daily basis, many of which we resolve without much thought. We’re able to approach challenges rationally, come up with possible solutions, and weigh the pros and cons of each before we act. Of course, some problems are more complex than others, but for the most part, we’re able to work through each of them and try different strategies and techniques along the way until we come up with a solution that works. This is a natural process we’ve learned throughout the course of our lives, and in order for our children to learn appropriate problem solving skills as they grow, we need to teach them strategies and work with them as they apply these techniques to their lives.

When children aren’t equipped with appropriate problem solving skills, they tend to avoid situations and activities that feel challenging to them, which can have a huge impact on their ability to form and maintain relationships with their peers, excel in a school environment, and pursue interests and hobbies. The absence of critical thinking and conflict resolution skills can also lead to negative, and often impulsive behavior.

Teaching kids proper problem solving skills helps boost their self-esteem and self-confidence, helps them become more independent, and has a positive impact on their mental health.

6 Problem Solving Strategies for Kids

1) Take a deep breath

The first step in teaching problem solving skills to kids is to ensure they are calm. When our emotions are high, it’s much more challenging to see things rationally, making impulsive reactions more likely. Teach your child how to calm his or her body through mindful breathing so he or she has a go-to strategy to return to a state of calm when his or her emotions are high.

2) Verbalize the problem

Once your child is calm, ask him or her to verbalize the problem he or she is struggling with. Putting our thoughts into words can help us gain perspective and make it easier for us to search for solutions.

3) Brainstorm solutions

You can have your child do this verbally, or you can ask him or her to write them down, but the idea is to come up with as many solutions as possible, no matter how silly or far-fetched they may seem. A great idea is to set a timer (we LOVE our Time Timer as it visually shows the passage of time) and challenge your little one to strategize as many ideas as he or she can in that timeframe.

4) Evaluate each option

Work with your child to evaluate each idea he or she has come up with. Help him or her anticipate the pros and cons of each, and then identify which solution is the best.

5) Practice!

Encourage your child to put his or her solution to practice to see if it works!

When it comes to enforcing problem solving strategies for kids, this one is often overlooked but it’s so important! Once your child has tested out a solution to his or her problems, it’s essential that you take the time to help him or her assess whether or not it was successful. What went wrong? What went right? Should he or she try another strategy?

11 Problem Solving Activities for Kids

If you want to help build your child’s social, critical thinking, conflict resolution, and anger management skills, these fun and effective problem solving activities are for you! We’ve included family games, team building activities, task cards, and other creative challenges for small groups that can be used both at home and in the classroom.

1) Problems in a Jar Mosswood Connections is one of my favorite resources for kids activities, and I recently found this Problems in a Jar activity on their site. It’s designed to help kids learn how to define a problem, generate possible solutions, evaluate and select the best solution, and then implement the solution independently. It’s a great social skills activity to work through with your child at home.

2) HedBanz If you’ve never played HedBanz, you’re in for a REAL treat. Not only is this game fun, the question and answer premise behind this game will also challenge your child’s critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills. This is definitely high on my list of the best problem solving activities for kids!

3) The Tower of Self Esteem If you’re looking for team building activities for kids, this is a great ice breaker to consider. This game gets kids talking while also allowing them to see their own self-worth by identifying their own strengths. It’s also a great fine motor activity, and since it can be difficult and frustrating to stack the plastic cards into a tower, it’s one of my favorite problem solving activities for kids!

4) Team Scavenger Hunt This will require a bit of upfront work on your part, but it’s a great way to get kids to work collaboratively and it can be extremely fun and engaging! Divide kids into teams of 4 or 5 and provide them with a set of clues to see who can work together to find all of the items the fastest. What I love most about scavenger hunts is that you can create subject-specific scavenger hunts to compliment lesson plans, holidays, etc. Teachers Pay Teachers  has TONS of great ideas you can purchase for a small fee.

5) What Would You Do At School If… If you’re looking for problem solving activities for kids you can do at home – or in therapy – this is another good one to consider. With 56 cards to choose from, this activity gets kids thinking of different scenarios and helps them strategize how they can make good choices at school.

6) Quirkle Board Game If you’re looking for problem solving activities for kids you can enjoy as a family, I highly recommend Quirkle! It’s easy to play but definitely puts players’ problem solving skills to the test, and I love that it’s a game the whole family can enjoy!

7) Size of the Problem Activity Pack   Teachers Pay Teachers is one of my favorite resources for kids activities, and if you’re looking for problem solving activities for kids, this is a great option. The activities in this set help kids identify the size of their problems and the feelings they create, identify which reactions are/are not appropriate, and strategize possible solutions, making it a great way to engage in meaningful back-and-forth communication with your child while simultaneously teaching appropriate problem solving strategies.

8) Human Knot This is another one of my favorite problem solving activities for kids as it requires no setup and can be done absolutely anywhere. It also doubles as a great team building activity and it’s super fun! Have a group of kids stand in a circle and ask everyone to raise their right arm before reaching forward to grab hands with someone opposite from them. Next, ask everyone to raise their left arms and do the same thing. Be sure no one is holding hands with someone standing directly next to him or her. The object of this activity is for the group to find a way to detangle themselves without letting go of anyone’s hands.

9) Osmo Genius Kit While I like to find ways to get kids off their electronics, the Osmo system has really captured my heart. It teaches so many important concepts in a fun and creative way, and if you’re looking for independent problem solving activities for kids, the Tangram game is one of my absolute favorites!

10) Fingertip Hula Hoop If you’re looking for activities that help kids learn how to work collaboratively to solve problems, this is a fun one to try. Create groups of about 6-8 kids, have them stand together in a circle with their arms raised above their heads, and then place a hula hoop on their finger tips. Using nothing but their fingertips, each team must work together to lower the hula hoop to the ground without dropping it.

11) Kids’ Daily Dilemmas in a Jar I have heard nothing but positive things about these cards, but have been warned some of the topics are a bit mature. If you’re looking for problem solving activities for kids in middle school or high school, this is a great one to consider – just be careful to review the cards ahead of time so you can remove any you feel are inappropriate.

I hope this collection of problem solving activities for kids inspires you to find new and creative ways to develop your little one’s critical thinking and conflict resolution skills. Remember to keep your child calm, to verbalize and strategize together, to evaluate and reassess, and – more importantly – to keep things fun!

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11 Problem Solving Activities for Kids | If you want to help build your child’s social, critical thinking, conflict resolution, and anger management skills, these fun and effective ideas are for you! We’ve included worksheets, team building activities, task cards, and other creative challenges for small groups that can be used at home with parents or as a team in the classroom. #problemsolvingactivities #conflictresolution #selfregulation

And if you’re looking for more ways to have fun with your little ones, please follow our Kids board where we share all kinds of great ideas we find each day!

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problem solving questions for 5 year olds

problem solving questions for 5 year olds

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Problem Solving Question Games for Kids

My son has had some classroom challenges, so I wanted to help him focus on what he could do to make positive changes. Instead of giving him a lecture on what I thought he should do, I came up with the idea of using a version of question games for kids to get him thinking.

The question game worked like a charm to get him thinking about the school issue, and you can also use question games for kids on other issues. Here are my questions and his answers.

“Andrew,” I said. “I’m going to ask you some questions. Write down the first answer that pops into your head. There are no right or wrong answers, but keep them short, okay?”

For all of these questions, keep it light and brief. The quickest way to lose your child’s attention is to drone on and on. When you’ve finished asking the questions, go over your child’s answers with an open mind. I’ll share how that looked with my son. 

The quickest way to lose your child’s attention is to drone on and on.

Question Games for Kids for How to Get Good Grades:

Me: What’s holding you back the most from making good grades?

Answer: Not paying attention in class

Me:  What can we do at home to help you?

Answer: Keep things quieter when I’m doing my homework

Me: On a scale of 1 – 10, with 10 being the highest, how committed are you to doing better next marking period?

Me: Are you ready to come up with a study plan so that you can do better?

Answer: Yes

Question Games for How to Get Kids to Do Chores:

Q: What chore do you hate the most?

Q: What chore do you hate the least?

Q: Why is it good to help with chores?

Q: What could make chore time better?

Q: What chore do you do really well?

Q: Do you do your chores fast like a rabbit or easy going like a turtle?

Q: Would you rather have a chore chart or pull chores out of a jar?

Question Games for Kids for Siblings Fighting

Q: Why do you hit your sister/brother?

Q: What makes you mad enough to do that?

Q: How do you think it makes her/him feel?

Q: What could you do instead of hitting?

You can also use iMOM’s TALK Conversation Starters  and our 14 Day Problem Solver Challenge to get your kids talking and thinking about how to solve problems.

And, just curious here, what questions have you used to get your children in the problem-solving mode?


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