Friday, February 27, 2009

Teaching Problem Solving -- The "Why Do You Think?" Game

In the past couple of weeks, 4 year old Luke and I have created another new's called "Why do you think......?"

The game came about one day while we were riding in the car. We had to stop for a red light, and Luke asked me (although he knew the answer), "Why did we stop?"

Instead of answering the question that he already knew the answer to, I turned it around and asked him, "Why do you think we stopped?"

He immediately responded, "Because the light is red!"

Problem solving is an important skill for toddlers to learn. It's sometimes difficult for us as parents, who have always taken care of our toddlers' needs, to step back a bit and let them 'stretch their brains.'

Many times Luke will try to shrug or say "...because!" but I try to insist that he think of an answer.

Now, several times as day, I'll ask Luke, "I wonder why.....?"

"I wonder why the sidewalk is wet.....?" ("Because it's raining!")

"I wonder why we have to sit quietly.....?" ("Because we're at Church!")

"I wonder why that lady over there is wearing sunglasses....?" ("Because it's sunny!")

"I wonder why that food is hot....?" ("Because Mommy just took it out of the oven!")

"I wonder why Spongebob is sad....?" ("Because Patrick is being mean to him.")

It's so much fun to see that little brain work and grow as he thinks things through and tries to come up with the best answer to my questions.

I also see it as just a little payback, for all the times he's asked me "Why?"


Have you seen my trendy shirts for moms?!


  1. I am posting this to Eamon's Journey on the 4th! You have great stuff that will help kids like Eamon!!

  2. Cute game. I loved to hear what my kids were thinking when they were growing up. You have been given an attitude of gratitude award. Go to my blog to receive your award.

  3. Awesome little game. And it makes so much sense. Another way to look at this game would be that you are trying to "teach" him to think. Teaching is not a simple thing and is often not given the true value it deserves. I recently ran into a website called raylit, and it actually understands what teaching really entails