Problem Solving Interactive Games

That might mean stretching from a chair onto a trampoline, then walking across a pool noodle to reach a small table.Encourage children to be creative, and then to try out their plans.

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Preschoolers can learn how to create a basic paper airplane with practice.

You can challenge them to take it a step further, however, by asking them to create an airplane that can fly the farthest.

Putting together a puzzle teaches preschoolers how to use trial and error, as well as fine motor skills and visual cues, to create the final picture.

You can play a game with puzzles by challenging preschoolers to try to beat their best time to complete one.

Make rows of dots — five dots in each of five rows, for starters — and then take turns drawing one line to connect the dots horizontally or vertically. If so, hold a contest to see who can build the tallest skyscraper in a given amount of time.

Players who complete a box can write their initials in the box and take another turn. You can use whatever building materials you have available — blocks, Legos or other building toys — but emphasize that the "skyscraper" needs to stand independently.Alternatively, you can challenge children to create a building using pipe cleaners. While homemade games are always fun, many commercial games can teach problem-solving skills as well.Cooperative games, such as Max, Harvest Time or Richard Scarry's Busytown, can teach kids to work together to solve problems.The Mathseeds lessons teach a variety of problem solving strategies using interactive manipulatives to solve increasingly difficult math problems.Every Mathseeds lesson also has a printable problem‑solving task targeting higher‑level critical thinking skills.  Teachers should ask students to explain how they know what comes next to develop students' ability to explain their thinking.Shape Patterns: shape patterns that require students to draw what comes next.Keren Perles has written hundreds of articles about great activities for young children and their caregivers.With three young boys of her own, she loves watching a child's eyes light up when they finally figure out the solution to a play-related problem.Although talking about hypothetical problems may seem like the obvious choice, consider using a game instead."Games are fun and bring joy to the child, and give her a sense of accomplishment," says Barbie Gallini, who has over 20 years' experience working with children and is the co-founder of Robots and Mud Pies Preschool."Games also provide bonding time with parents, family and friends."Pre-K games that involve problem solving can bring you and your child together — if you give them a chance."Many parents shy away from problem-solving games," says Darla Hutson, creator of The Preschool Toolbox blog and family child care owner with 34 years' experience, "as they are not sure exactly how to play them or what kinds of games enhance critical thinking."If you're looking for some great pre-K games and activities that will build your child's problem-solving skills, look no further.


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