What are problem solving skills?
Problem solving skills allow your baby to recognise a need and work out a way to fix it.
Your baby begins problem solving as soon as they are born. Crying is a baby’s way of trying to solve the problems of hunger, dirty nappies, or pain. They soon learn that a parent will come to fix the problem at the sound of crying.
How can you help your baby develop problem solving skills?
Childproof rooms so that baby isn’t confined to a pram or playpen. Exploring their environment will allow baby to discover and learn.
Allow your child to move around their environment as much as possible. A baby will learn that if she wants a toy on the other side of the room, she will need to crawl over to it.
Give your baby rattles and toys that make noises. Your baby will soon learnt she needs to shake the rattle to hear the sound.
As your baby gets older, she will learn basic problem solving skills such as how to push one toy out of the way in order to reach another.
Try giving your baby three toys. If she has one toy in each hand and wants to pick up another, she will have to put one down to pick up the other toy. These are basic problem solving skills.
Model problem solving for your baby. If a toy is inside the box, show your baby how to lift the lid off the box to retrieve the toy, then put the toy back and the lid on and encourage your baby to try.
By allowing your baby to play with lots of different shapes, textures, and sizes of toys your baby will explore and discover by putting them in her mouth, turning them over, fitting them one way and then another. She’ll gradually learn to remember her solutions, and will be able to build on these to be able to solve more complex problems.
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