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Ways To Improve Critical Thinking Skills In Kids

Critical thinking refers to the ability to observe, imagine, analyze, reflect, experience and evaluate information. It involves thinking independently and formulating your own opinions irrespective of outside influence.

Critical thinking is a crucial life skill for children and is becoming increasingly essential in this fast-changing technological era. The skill encourages children to question facts and analyze information. Here are some ways in which critical thinking skills can be developed in children:

  • Encourage Free Play: Free play develops critical thinking by encouraging a child to evaluate the cause and effect of certain actions. They should be provided enough outdoor and indoor space to play uninhibited. This would give them a chance to explore the world around them and form a judgement without interference of an adult.
  • Refrain From Intervening: It is tempting to intervene and help your child come up with an answer to something that is puzzling them. However, one should resist the urge to do so and let their child work towards developing their critical thinking abilities. So, next time your child is trying to figure out the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of a situation, pause for a few seconds before telling them the answer.
  • Encourage Them To Ask Questions: Open ended questions are the best answers to your child’s questions. Instead of providing your children with an instant answer to their questions, help them think critically by asking questions and let your child predict the outcome of any problem at hand.
  • Do Not Micromanage: If your child is stuck in a situation, let him try to figure out a possible solution of a problem by thinking on his own instead of managing the situation yourself. This will stimulate the formation of new neural connections in the brain and develop confidence in one’s capabilities.
  • Use Puzzle Games: Puzzle games such as brainteasers, riddles, word games, math games and so on help in improving child’s critical thinking abilities. Ensure that your child indulges in such games whenever possible e.g. while waiting at a restaurant, while travelling, at a picnic etc.
  • Role Playing: Role playing is believed to be one of the best ways of encouraging kids to think critically. Embodying the persona and characteristics of another puts a child’s analytical and creative mind at work.
Boys & Girls Clubs Of Central Texas offer a wide range of programs for kids from 6 to 18 years of age. To enroll your child at the club, call at (254) 699 – 5808 or visit 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541.

Healthy Habits For Mental Growth

Mental growth is an integral part of a child’s development. The daily habits of a kid greatly influence the mental growth; so adopting habits like exercising, socializing, learning new things, etc. can help him in following the normal graph of growth. It is important to inculcate these habits in children at an early age for their proper growth and development.

Following are some healthy habits that have shown to benefit a kid’s mental growth:

  • Exercising: It is recommended that kids should exercise for 30 to 60 minutes daily for unaltered mental growth. Exercise reduces stress levels, improves the quality of sleep and elevates mood which positively impacts the health of brain which governs mental growth. Also, exercise improves brain tissue health by increasing blood flow to it, decreasing blood pressure and reducing the chances of mental injury caused by cholesterol build up.  
  • A Healthy Diet: A healthy diet prevents cognitive decline. So, include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein from legumes & healthy unsaturated fats in the diet of your kids while avoiding sugar and simple carbs. It is also advised that children should drink ample amount of water daily for better memory, concentration and mental agility.
  • Self-Care And Stress Management: Stress is associated with increased level of a hormone called cortisol. In the long run, high cortisol levels may result in memory problems. So, it is important for children to keep a check on stress by getting appropriate hours of sleep and engaging in stress management activities like meditation or yoga. Going for a stroll with a pet, reading a book or magazine, deep breathing exercises, etc. can also help.
  • Learning: Learning new skills, language or art stimulate the mind which improves the thinking skills. Such classes or clubs are also a good platform for socializing and building interactions. It helps children in forming an emotional bond with their peers as they help each other in the process of learning. Socializing and companionship establish emotional well-being among kids which is pivotal for the mental growth.
  • Play Challenging Games: Motivate children to play games such as Sudoku, chess, scrabble, crosswords, puzzles and video games that boost mental health significantly. Research shows that kids who play mentally stimulating games regularly show signs of higher memory retention. These games improve concentration, adaptation to new situations and task-switching abilities.
We, at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, offer a wide range of programs to promote healthy lifestyle among kids aged between 6-18 years. To enroll your child at the club, call at (254) 699 –5808 or visit 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541.

Boosting A Kid's Communication Skills

Good communication skills are vital for a child to socialize and feel connected to the world. The first few years in a child’s life is an important period as it lays the foundation for learning these skills. However, like any other skill, it takes time and practice to develop communication skills.

Here are a few tips on how to help your child learn and excel at communication skills:

  • Listen To Your Child: It is important to listen patiently when your child talks, without interrupting to correct or question. Also, children usually need few seconds to understand a question and process their thoughts. So, refrain from immediately helping your child with the answers. 
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions: Research shows that asking open-ended questions develops creative thinking and encourages kids to use more than one word to answer. This approach helps them enrich their vocabulary over time.
  • Encourage Reading: Rich vocabulary is an intrinsic part of good communication. To broaden your child’s vocabulary, encourage him to read a lot of story books, magazines, newspapers and so on. The more a child reads, the better his communication skills will be.
  • Be A Good Role-Model: A child’s basic communication skills bud at home and are influenced by the family members around him. So, be conscious of the way you interact with your child and other family members. Be a role model to teach your child how to speak respectfully, be a good listener, complete sentences, articulate words clearly and use correct grammar.
  • Play Communication Games: Play interactive games to introduce your child to various aspects of communication such as facial expressions, tonal variation, body language, gestures and so on. Games are a good way of developing verbal and non-verbal skills in a relaxed environment without the pressure of being perfect.
  • Create The Right Environment: Background noises like sound from the television and mobile devices can disrupt the communication. So, make the environment conducive by turning off all unnecessary sounds when communicating with your child and focus on the activity at hand e.g. reading a book, story narration, playing a game, etc. 
  • Praise Your Child Often: The judicious use of praise can boost a child’s confidence. Thus, make it a point to occasionally appreciate the way your child talks and expresses his thoughts. Avoid criticizing and blaming the child when he falters, as this may shatter his confidence.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, offers variety of programs to develop various skills in kids aged 6 to 18 years. To enroll your child at the club, call at (254) 699 –5808 or visit 304 W Ave B, Killeen, TX – 76541.