Free Kids Activities for Creative Thinking – Part 3

“Creative Thinking” or creatively solving a problem is the most sought skill. It is going to be the top skill to look for a world moving towards automation of standardized jobs. How to develop a mindset that the habit of solving a problem comes to children with ease and swift? We research on this problem and have developed methods to impart creative thinking. In 2012, we published a well-designed activity book “Thinking Tools for Creative Kids“. Thinking Tools inspired thousands of students in well-known schools in India. It aids in developing a problem-solving mindset. In this blog series, we’ll share some of the exercises from the book.

Thinking Tools #3: Connect It: Find the common parts present in the objects. 

Why this technique?

Finding a typical pattern in various things is a prerequisite of any problem-solving. When you understand the problem at its deepest level, the solution emerges. So, how to train children for visualizing underlying patterns in phenomena? This exercise trains children to find common materials present in two diverse objects. It’s the simplest way to introduce the techniques of studying a problem with a deeper level.

How to do?

In the exercise below, the child has to find things present in ice cream and watermelon. There are more than ten objects present both in ice cream and watermelon. Children can start from one object and ten objects in a phased manner. For example, a motor is present in the washing machine and vacuum cleaner. They can more such parts, objects and things. 

Get the activities for the above tools by downloading free-thinking tools exercises here

Tips for parents

1. Finding the first part the most challenging thing to do and help your child by being with them.

2. Do not force your answers on them; maybe you can solve the problem separately. 

3. Remember that the aim is creative thinking, so it takes time. Do not worry about finishing at a shorter duration. 

4. There is no ideal answer to these exercises. As longs as, children able to defend the answer logically, it is okay.

Stories from field

One of our trainers puzzled children by posing an interesting question. Find common thing present in me and tree next to the window. After deliberation, cross-questions, one child came with an incredible answer, i.e. water. Her explanation even startled us. She told us that we drink water, the tree also takes water so definitely water should be present in both. That opened up the window of thinking in others. That session went on and on and extended two hours beyond the scheduled time. The children, together with trainer listed eighty-four items present. That is the power of systematic way a tool helps to think.

This post is the third in a series of exercises taken from “Thinking Tools” level 2 book. Buy the book for more activities on developing a problem-solving mindset for children. Read part four here.


Manikandan S T

Designing the Learning Experience

Mentor at Miyav Kids

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