Adapted from Ages & Stages:
Children face problems all day long that give them lots of opportunities to practice problem-solving skills. Problem-solving doesn't involve memorizing the alphabet or the names of colors and shapes. Rather, it's a skill that enables children to think both logically and creatively about their world and about the way things work. Ask questions that encourage different kinds of thinking that lead to better problem-solving skills:
- What could you do to reach the light switch?
- If you want to get dry after the bath, what do we need?
- Where could we look for an answer to your question?
- If you keep whining, what will happen next? (Hint: Timeout!)
- If we are out of milk, what should we do?
Divergent thinking (in my opinion, this one is the hardest to do naturally)
- Can you think of another way to make me smile?
- What else can we build out of those blocks?
- What other shapes can you make out of playdoh?