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Problem-solving skills can be defined as “the ability to analyze a situation and then form a workable solution.” The development of problem-solving skills is a step-by-step developmental process. As children grow and develop, their ability to solve problems will also develop. Well-developed problem-solving skills are important for a wide variety of reasons. First, they are important for real life!
Every day both adults and children must solve problems. The ability to approach a problem with an “I can” attitude begins early on. By helping children discover that they can figure things out, you encourage a strong belief in their own abilities. In addition, well-developed problem-solving skills are important for future learning in math, science, and social studies.
Problem-solving skills need to be introduced and reinforced through a wide variety of hand-son, developmentally appropriate activities. Science experiments are a great way to encourage problem-solving skills. There are many different materials and activities that can be utilized to help young children develop problem-solving skills. As you begin to develop activities for your children, keep in mind that children of the same chronological age often function on many different developmental levels. You must observe each child carefully to see how you can adapt the activity to meet individual needs. Start with simple activities and then move to more complex ones.