Childhood is a time for exploring, learning, and developing a solid foundation. Children need to ask questions and discover things for themselves long before they child enter school. From as early as the toddler stage, parents should gently encourage children to think critically. Doing so in an age-appropriate manner helps them to succeed in their education, jobs, and life.
By the time your little one turns three, you will realize their thinking skills have developed quite a bit. They will understand jokes, become empathetic and gain the ability to solve more complex problems. You need to lay the groundwork in your two-year-old. The conversations you have with your toddler and the baby toy or puzzle which you buy can all improve critical thinking. Here are seven things you can do to help your toddler develop valuable skills.
Pretending means that children can understand symbols. Later in life, this will help with writing, science, and math. At the toddler stage, it means using a box as a castle or a block as a truck and coming up with stories. Ask your child to develop their stories. Who lives in the castle? Where is the truck going? Why? This helps the child to develop logical connections in their mind. Provide props to help them with their stories. Get clothing for dress-up, mini versions of household objects, and boxes of varying sizes so they can create their own narratives.
Sort and Categorize Objects with your Child
Help your toddler to understand which objects go together because they have similar qualities. Encourage them to sort their toys by colour or in order from small to large. Ask them to place books on the shelf but dolls in the box. Let your child help you sort whites and colors or separate socks from shirts when you do laundry.
Use Daily Routines to Identify Patterns
When the egg timer goes off, the egg is done. When it rains, we take an umbrella. Pointing out these details helps your child to make logical connections and notice when something is not the way it should be. It also helps them to boost their vocabulary.
Let them know you Value their Ideas
Your toddler will, of course, make some connections that will not be accurate. Still, let them tell you what they think about things around them and encourage them to give their views on your daily routines. Offer gentle corrections when they are wrong. Use their questions about “why” to give age-appropriate explanations. Toddlers may ask about why you have to work or why it gets dark at night. Asking questions and voicing perspectives without fear are important skills to develop.
Encourage your Toddler to Talk About Feelings
Toddlers are now becoming aware of their own feelings and they may be able to identify when they are happy or sad. They struggle to manage these feelings, though and that’s why tantrums are common. Still, you want to begin by explaining that everyone has different thoughts and feelings. Help them to put their feelings into words and to try to identify what other people or characters are feeling.
The toddler stage is an exciting one filled with new discoveries. As your child plays with their toys or watches you around the house, be sure to talk to them and encourage them to share their thoughts. Your feedback and support is key to helping them develop their critical thinking skills.