HOW TO DEVELOP A CRITICAL THINKER FOR KINDERGARTEN - Student Resources

# HOW TO DEVELOP A CRITICAL THINKER FOR KINDERGARTEN

Think your 5-year-old is too young to develop critical thinking skills? In the past, education placed an emphasis on delivering information to children — like the alphabet and counting. Today, the focus is on analysis and logic and on developing a critical thinker for kindergarten. So instead of just memorizing or mimicking what’s being taught or heard, children are being encouraged to think with data and apply it.

#### WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING FOR KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS?

Critical thinking is all about children questioning who, what, where — learning how to think, not what to think. Critical thinking skills consist of compare and contrast, evaluating ideas and forming opinions, thinking of creative solutions, explaining why things happen and predicting what will happen in the future.

#### What is an example of critical thinking?

Any task that lets children solve problems can be called critical thinking — like solving puzzles or riddles. Early learning math is also a stellar example of critical thinking. That’s because math encourages young ones to analyze problems and find solutions.

Your child’s very first math skills at the world’s largest after-school math and reading program, for example, has them counting objects, recognizing and writing numbers, using number tables to understand the number sequence, and learning beginning addition. Its early math program is a self-learning program that gives your child the critical thinking skills to learn new materials independently using colorful, engaging worksheets.

#### “How do I teach my 5-year-old critical thinking at home?

Do activities like mazes and puzzles that reinforce topics such as logic and spatial reasoning. If you do some research, you may even find thinking skills workbooks that can help with those topics.

Here are a few more tips for parents to develop a critical thinker for kindergarten: Arouse your child’s curiosity. Perhaps pose a problem and let them think through many different angles and possibilities to solve it, such as: How could you fit more friends at your dinner table? Or, why does it get warm during the summer? Also, be sure to pause – don’t intervene immediately. Let your child figure it out. If they can’t come to a conclusion, offer them different perspectives or different ways to look at the problem or solution.

More and more, critical thinking is becoming part of early learning programs. After all, in life, you have to make decisions with data, and learning critical thinking skills at a young age can help give children a great head start in life.