Holiday Activities that Build Problem-Solving Skills
The school holidays provide a great opportunity for kids to relax and enjoy themselves. For many students, however, learning stops altogether over the Christmas break, and this can be detrimental.
Research has found that children can experience significant learning loss over the holidays if they’re not being challenged. Fortunately, there are many fun activities kids can do at home to retain learning and help build skills, including problem-solving.
Kids with good problem-solving skills are more able to cope with everyday challenges and make good decisions. They learn to be more creative and think outside the box, while also developing their critical thinking abilities.
Here are some easy holiday activities that develop problem-solving skills.
What’s more fun for kids than a family games night? Kids don’t realise that while they’re enjoying themselves they’re also learning to think ahead and strategise. Classic games like checkers, Battleship and Connect Four are ideal for helping kids plot their next move.
Other good games for kids include Guess Who? Scrabble Junior and Sequence. In addition to problem-solving, board games help children learn about taking turns and dealing with setbacks and disappointment when things don’t go their way.
Egg Drop is a challenge that requires kids to design an object to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. All you need are some eggs and basic craft supplies such as cotton balls, straws and bubble wrap.
It’s up to kids to work out how to engineer a device to protect the egg using the materials at hand. You can increase the difficulty once they’ve mastered the first challenge by dropping the egg from a greater height. This is a perfect activity to do in teams.
Simply reading a story with your child can help develop their problem-solving skills significantly. This is because all stories, from picture books to novels, centre around conflict.
Increase both your child’s problem-solving skills and awareness of literary conventions by identifying the conflict and talking about what the characters could do to resolve it. After you’ve finished a story, discuss why the character made the decisions they did. Thinking about people’s motivations can also help kids develop emotional intelligence.
A treasure hunt is a fun way to pass time in the holidays. You can hide some treats around the house on a rainy day or take it outside to the yard.
To enhance problem-solving skills, give kids cards that contain clues they have to decipher to lead them to the next clue. You can also give them some challenges to complete the hunt, including solving a crossword puzzle or writing a poem.
Hypothetical Q & A
This is an ideal activity to do in the car on a long trip. Come up with some interesting and thought-provoking questions, beginning with “What would you do if……” Everyone takes turns answering.
The idea is to get kids thinking about things they wouldn’t normally consider. You can make it competitive by awarding points for the best answer. This game will fire up children’s imaginations and assist them to become innovative thinkers.
Help your child develop their problem-solving skills with these fun activities. Tutors are also available throughout the school holidays to ensure kids don’t experience learning loss.