Top Creative Problem Solving Activities For Kids

Problem solving is an important skill. It’s made up of lots of subskills: tackling a problem by breaking down parts, examining and focusing, following some order, brainstorming, and using creative and divergent thinking. Children can gain confidence in problem solving at home, in class, and even during play. Who says learning can’t be fun? Here are some fun and creative problem solving activities for kids!

Fix-It, Fix-it Now – Breaking Down Parts

An important part of problem solving is breaking the problem down into easily understandable parts. “Parts” are easier to manage so kids don’t feel so overwhelmed. A fun activity to show that a problem is made up of parts is to take apart an object, like a toaster, and then put it back together. An adult might need to supervise this one! Give the kids a screwdriver and a space to work. They can take the toaster apart. Then they can put it back together. Talk to your child about the activity. Did they follow a logical pattern? How did they know how to put the parts all back together? What helped them to complete this activity, and what was difficult about it?

Who Done It? – Examining & Focusing

It is important to examine different parts of a problem. What better way to do this then to slip into detective shoes? Put about 5-7 everyday objects in a bag and have your child pull them out one at a time to examine. Then have your child describe the mystery person behind the clues. By exposing only one clue at a time, your child will be less apt to jump to conclusions. They can start to see how important each part of the problem is and why they need to focus. Some fun everyday objects to use in this activity might include a pack of gum, a crumpled up dollar bill, a button, a movie ticket stub, a key, a postcard or a photo.

Do As I Say – Following Ordered Instructions

To show your child that the order of something that needs to be done makes a difference, try this creative problem solving activity. Give your child paper and a pencil to write down the steps necessary to do a simple task. This could be something like recreating a favorite sandwich, making a banana split sundae or building a blanket fort in their bedroom. If your child prefers to tell you the steps orally for you to do the writing, that will work too. Now you follow the ordered steps. Your child watches as you read the steps out loud and do them. Don’t add to the steps or change them in any way. After the activity, discuss how it went. Did everything go as planned? What would they have done differently? What did they learn about the order of the steps and the detail of their instructions?

Say What? – Brainstorming

To problem-solve, you need to brainstorm ideas along the way. You can give your child practice with some fun situations that are kid-friendly. Write them on slips of paper and place them in an envelope. Have your child draw a slip of paper, read the situation, and brainstorm at least 3-5 solutions to the problem. The purpose of this activity is for them to generate ideas, so don’t comment by saying what is good or bad about them. Instead, simply write down their ideas on a large piece of paper. Then, afterward, have your child pick which idea(s) they would do and tell you why. Possible situations to use for this activity include: you overslept and had to leave for school without eating breakfast; you planned your birthday party at the park but now it is raining; your parents blamed you for something that your brother or sister did; you want to buy a new bicycle but don’t have enough money saved in your piggy bank; or you borrowed a book from your friend and now it is missing. Of course, it’s fun to make up your own, too!

STORY CRAZE

Using Creative & Divergent Thinking

STORY CRAZE, a creative writing and storytelling game, is a perfect activity to help kids build skills to be problem solvers. Developed with kids, players take random PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS prompt cards and use them to make up 3-chapter stories that are guaranteed to bring out lots of laughs and fun! The more experiences kids have to ignite creative, outside-the box ideas, the easier it can be for them to transfer the skills required to think about unique solutions to problems. Games like this can be a great way to encourage kids to solve their own problems in new ways. Do they see a different way to do something? Can they use something in another way? How do they go about generating ideas?

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About StoryClub Games

Full disclosure here: StoryClub Games is the creator of STORY CRAZE. We stand behind it as one of the best story games for kids on the market today. We’ve spent lots of time playing other games in this niche and worked with kids to help ensure our game was loads of fun. After hours and hours of playtesting, we believe we’ve created an amazing storytelling game that kids of all ages will love. And we’re not alone. We launched our game on Kickstarter with plenty of backers that helped us to go above and beyond our goal!

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