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Thinking Skills and Problem Solving

Out and About Activity Ideas

Duplo Challenge

Give your child three Duplo bricks (the 2x4 bricks).  Tell your child that their challenge is to create lots of different Duplo houses.  If they need more support then show them how to stick the bricks together in any random way to make a house.  How many different ways can your child find to make three brick houses?  If they make a duplicate ask them to look carefully at the house s they have already made and spot the one that is the same.  As always, support your child as much as is needed to enable them to succeed.

Memory Game

Begin with three objects.  Ask/help your child to name all the objects then tell them you are going to take one away and they are going to see if they can remember the missing object.  If that is too easy try four or five objects...

'When' Challenge

This activity is lovely to do in a group in Nursery because it enables us to highlight the fact that different people do different things and have different opinions and reinforce how good and positive that is.  

This activity also teaches the sequence of names we use for different parts of the day.

What is in the Bag?

Put some everyday objects that are well known to your child into a bag.  Your child should not look in the bag but feel the object and guess what it is.  When it is your turn model your thinking for your child to develop their awareness of descriptive language.

What Is Going To Happen if...? Prediction Game

Encouraging your child to think about simple cause and effect.  During your day you might find lots of opportunities to play this game. 

  • If you put chocolate over hot water to melt to make crispie cakes ask, 'What do you think is going to happen to the chocolate?'
  • Make a big ice block with plastic dinosaurs in it - ask your child what will happen if we drop it? what will happen if we pour warm water on it?
  • Hold an egg over the sink and ask, 'What will happen if I drop it?' Then find out....!
  • If I roll the ball down the slide, or take away the middle block in a game of Jenga, or put some newspaper in a bowl of water, ask 'What will happen?'

Which One Doesn't Belong?

We love this kind of activity because of the interesting answers we always get.  As long as your child can give you a reason then there is no right or wrong answer.  You can of course present your idea to your child too as an alternative viewpoint!

Building Challenges

Lovely language modelling and encouragement, hand eye coordination skills, problem solving...