How to Raise a Critical Thinker

4 Tips for how to raise a critical thinker.

Critical thinking is such crucial skill for children to be learning and developing. Looking at all the sides of an issue, and predicting what each option will produce are skills that are just beginning to grow in early childhood. So how can you raise a critical thinker? Here are 4 tips to get you started.

1. Make Predictions

Predict what will happen in real life, predict what will happen in a book or movie. Say your predictions/thought process out loud.

This might sound something like:

“I think that if we read two books, it will be time to get our shoes on to go outside.”

“Oh boy, if they go in that cave I think they might find a scary bear.”

2. Encourage Your Child to Make Predictions

Encourage your child to make predictions. “What do you think will happen next?”

This might sound like:

“Hmm, you’re thinking about stacking all those cars on top of each other. That sounds so fun! What do you think will happen when you get them all stacked?”

“So first they made three snowballs, then they got some sticks and pebbles. What do you think they will do next?”

3. Explore All the Options

 Explore all the different options when your child is facing a choice. Talk about the consequences (both good and bad) of each choice (if applicable).

This might sound like:

“You have chicken, peas, and rice on your plate. You could eat one food at a time till it’s all gone. Or you could take bites of all the foods together. What sounds the best to you? Which one would you like to put in your mouth first?”

“Before dinner we have time to either jump on the tramp for 10 minutes, or color for 10 minutes. Which would you like to do?”

4. Recap Experiences

Recap experiences, highlighting how each choice resulted in the outcome. 

This might sound like:

“When we went to the store you stayed right by my side the whole time. That was so safe.”

“You chose to make one big mountain out of your playdoh instead of lots of small pancakes. You had to work really hard and stay focused to make such a big mountain. But you did it!”

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