How Toys can develop Thinking Skills

WHAT IS THINKING SKILLS?

Many educators, scientists and philosophers have recommended that today’s children should learn to be thinkers. Children must be able to solve problems, be flexible in their thinking and be willing to venture into new areas of study that have yet to be discovered. Mozart, Einstein and Da Vinci are creative people who thought in new ways and challenged others to question traditional thinking in their fields and whose innovative ideas have literally changed the world.

Howard Gardner who developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences quoted “If in early life, children have the opportunity to discover much about their world and to do so in a comfortable, exploring way… they can draw on it in later life”.

Thinking skills is best sectionalised in the below chart.

Information Processing SkillsCreative Thinking SkillsReasoning SkillsDrawing Skills/Musical Skills
AnalyzingDivergent thinking – think differently to find solutionInference (make connections)Focusing on parts - Builds patience, concentration
ComparingImagination - Create or invent new ideasMake informed decisionsImagination and creativity
SequencingApplicationFollow directions
ClassifyingSpatial - fit things together, take things apart ,rearrange things, navigationMake deductions, opinionsManage tasks- Children aware that visually complex problems can be solved by breaking to smaller, manageable parts.
ObservationImaginationObservation
CountingVisual Perception – copy sequence and shapes, find hidden objects, matching same objects and differentiate shapes.Visual Perception -
Eye hand coordination and balance.
Enhances memory.
Solution finding -
what, why, where, how , when
Solution finding -
what, why, where, how , when
Solution finding -
what, why, where, how , when
Drawing skill - Fine motor skills -
join dot to dot, cutting, tracing, coloring.
Musical skill - Fine
motor skill - plucking strings, placing fingers precisely precisely.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DEVELOP CHILDREN’S THINKING SKILLS?

It is important to develop children’s thinking skills during the early years of their life as early years are a critical time of development and experiences during this period impart lifelong learning. Developing the children in the various areas of thinking skills as depicted in the above graph shapes the mind, expand capabilities which will have profound effect on how children think and behave.

Searching for the solutions of the unknown challenge, creating and inventing new ideas, having a “never give up” attitude when faced with a difficult task, and having original thoughts are established early in life and when established will continue later in life.

The 21st century will see more new markets and technologies emerging and with it comes the need to nurture our children to mature into adults who are confident, who can express ideas and create knowledge, who can learn quickly, who can develop and discover their individual natural talents and creativity, who can see potential and possibilities and who ask questions rather than simply follow commands.

HOW CAN PLAYING WITH TOYS HELP DEVELOP CHILDREN’S THINKING SKILLS?

 
This is one of the 3D-puzzle sold in www.funtoysland.com under Building category.

 

It helps to develop :

  1. Creative thinking skills – spatial and imagination
  2. Reasoning skill – inference (making connections)

  1. Creative Thinking Skills – Spatial and imagination

    Playing with puzzle, other than developing spatial skills, you can spark off the children’s imagination by asking them to create a short story.
    You can start the story –

Johnny is spending his holiday in his grandfather’s farm. He loves to play with the animals. His favorite animal is his best friend, the sheep, Pink Furry.

Ask the children either to continue with the story or make their own. Other than developing their imagination, it can definitely help in their vocabulary and comprehension.

  1. Reasoning Skill – inference

Inference means making a guess about what you do not know by drawing from your own experiences or reading between the lines. Helping children develop this skill can help them gain more personal and memorable pleasure from reading, to read text more critically and remember and apply what they have read.

Inference is a skill all of us are already using in our daily life. For example, when there is a strong wind and heavy clouds, we infer that it is going to rain soon. When we met a friend with a bandage on her finger we infer that she might have cut herself.  When we see a stranger in the street dress up as a clown, we infer that he is going to a costume party or promoting an advertisement.

When the child understands that they are using this skill, we just now need to apply it to reading and can help the child feels more confident.

Using pictures to develop this skill is less complicated than using text as pictures can paint a thousand words or even stories. Using only pictures forces the children to observe carefully what is going on and to notice small details to understand the story’s meaning.

Moreover, this puzzle is 3-D which makes it more captivating.

These are some activities using this 3-D puzzle to develop inference skill :

  1. Ask the children what is going on in this picture.
  2. Describe the tractor in the puzzle. Give them the clue. It is red in color. It can help the farmers plough and mow the farm and lift very heavy things. What do you infer it is? Then ask the child to pick the picture.
  3. Johnny looks very happy and not afraid of the animals.  I know that …. children will cry when they are scared but Johnny is not scared, so …. this makes me infer that Johnny knows the farm animals very well, because Johnny feeds them every day.

When children understand the thinking process behind making inferences, it can develop them into active, thoughtful, proficient readers.

Toys is an important learning tool for children during their growing years as it is not only fun but  it can grow with your children, challenge her and nurture her thinking, physical, language and social-emotional skills. 

Please visit our blog page to find out on how to use the toys to play with your children for fun educational moments.

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