Problem solving is one of the most crucial aspects of child development. Most of the skills that we use to work through day-to-day issues are learned in our early formative years. A good kindergarten program is designed to nurture this learning, doing so in a fun manner that allows the child to develop in a natural manner.
What is Problem Solving?
Problem solving is, as the name suggests, the process of finding a solution to a challenge. By using pre-learned knowledge in conjunction with the issue at hand, the thought processes used by an individual is how he or she arrives at a decision.
Problem solving is a key competence – something we use to make decisions ranging from as simple as how two shapes fit together to complex issues such as advanced algebra.
What Skills Aid Problem Solving?
Problem solving is achieved by using many different skills. These include:
- Lateral thinking
- Decision making
Because all problems are unique, the skills necessary to solve a particular issue differs each time. This means that the development of all skills is something that requires gentle nurturing, especially during the pre-school years.
That’s because at this stage of life learning is effortless. It’s also something that will be learned for life. Opportunities for honing all these key skills present themselves many times each day, and the right pre-school environment will provide exactly what’s needed for such vital skill development.
Creative Play, Free Play and Active Development
Preschool can play a crucial role, thanks to presenting endless opportunities, not only for problem solving but that help develop those crucial key skills. These opportunities can be broken down into three key areas:
- Creative play
- Free play
- Active development
With creative play the child is given the opportunity to both have fun and develop their intellectual muscles. Examples might include building and/or negotiating a simple obstacle course, painting pots and stones to design a fairy garden, baking biscuits or building a tower of bricks.
Free play is where the direction of fun is led by the child. They explore and learn as they do so, creating those vital neural connections within the brain due to the many different stimuli they receive. Examples include playing with blocks, water or sand, running, playing tag, swinging and racing with friends.
Active development, or guided activities, are where the teacher or caregiver encourages the child to work their way through a particular problem. This should still be fun but can be directed by the adult asking how they would go about solving an issue. Simple examples would be how to form a circle with their friends, working out ways to get that frisbee out of a tree or how to build a tower of bricks that doesn’t fall over.
How We Help Develop These Key Skills
At Nido, our ethos is to provide countless fun and creative opportunities that allow children to develop crucial problem making skills. Our focus is on creativity, rather than the outcome. At this stage of life encouragement and learning about their individual strengths is the key to productive learning.
Our early childhood educators are committed to helping their children develop these pivotal skills. We utilise many ways to do this, one of which is creative play. Others include more formal – yet fun – interactions that gently help children learn at their own pace. That’s one of the reasons that every Nido environment has been custom created to provide a location that actively encourages exploration.
From the use of mirrors through to tactile fixtures and fittings and a free-flowing use of space that fuses the indoors to outside, Nido Early School provides the ultimate environment to stimulate the best development of your child’s essential skills.
Find out more about our pre-school care at www.nidoearlyschool.com.au