As the world is fast moving towards a work model which supports artificial intelligence and digital platforms, critical thinking is slowly becoming the most sought-after new age skill. Curriculum is changing at all school levels to amend their academic approach to include learning critical thinking skills through various methods. Amongst one of them is the power of games to build this essential 21st century skill.
5 interesting ways to use fun activities to develop critical thinking in children
1. Build A Bridge
In this activity parents, children and other members of the house divide themselves into teams. Using blocks or cardboard strips they must navigate an open space by building a bridge to cross from one side to the other. This activity is widely used in school summer camps for encouraging kids to analyze, plan and execute their strategy.
2. Puzzle And Riddle
Solving puzzles and Riddles are the best way to initiate critical thinking skills in kids of all ages. A jig- saw puzzle or a tic tac toe or brain teasers are indoor activities enjoyed by all and can become game night favorites. Ensuring that children have fun while learning is a great way to spend quality family time.
3. Find Me A Solution
In this family activity, there are two groups. Each group comes up with a scenario related to daily life and poses this problem to the other group. The other group needs to come up with at least two different solutions to the problem. For example, the washing machine in the house has suddenly stopped working but the clothes and water are still inside. What different ways can the problem be solved? This aids in developing problem solving and decision-making skills which are an integral part of Critical Thinking.
4. Let’s Go Lego
Lego is a universally loved game. Children of all ages love building different structures using Lego parts. Try to give them a weekly challenge by showing them a picture to build. It could be a spaceship, navy armada, house, or a skyscraper. This will help them not only develop critical thinking but motor skills as well while having fun.
5. Charades With a Twist
Charades is on the top of the list of many kids and adults alike when they want to have fun at a party, or a family get together. Try giving it a twist. Hide names of movies or tv shows around the house. Let them go on a treasure hunt for it. Once they find a name, they enact it, and everyone needs to guess what it is. It is especially interesting for kids who learn more from visual, Kinaesthetic or auditory methods which aids them in developing the problem-solving skills.
Games, outdoor or indoor are a source of fun for adults and children alike. I believe involving children in playing games is a wise initiative to help build their critical thinking skills.
Guest Writer ~ Samidha Raj
Samidha Raj works as part of the content marketing team at PlanetSpark, a platform that provides online classes to K8 learners on “New Age Skills” like English Communication, Public Speaking, Grammar, Creative Writing, Debating, etc. She is passionate about empowering the youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!