Parenting Tip – How To Teach Problem Solving

What do you get when you give two seven-year olds some construction paper, markers, scissors and tape?

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problme Solving

You get the most amazing creations! And you get happy kids!

I encourage parents to keep simple arts and crafts supplies on hand. Paper, scissors, markers and glue are imagination enablers. Kids can spend hours, happily engaged in expressing their creativity, exercising their problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Last week, my son and his family stopped by.

Knowing that my grandchildren LOVE making things, I had put a few arts and crafts supplies on the dining room table. After we visited for a while, I asked the kids if they wanted to sit down and use the materials.

Before I had even finished the sentence they were at the table.

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

My granddaughter made a card to thank us for having them at our home.

At the bottom of the card, she included two riddles – here is one:

Scramble up the letters and make a word that is the name of a composer.


I’ll give you a clue – this is a fictional composer who appears in a chapter book series she loves.

Do you know the answer? If you think you do, why not tell me in the comments.

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

My grandson made an awesome game with two paper airplanes – each had moveable flaps and flew beautifully – and a game board. He explained the rules of the game to me and we enjoyed playing it.

Two of the most important skills we want children to learn are critical thinking and problem solving. When kids make do-it-yourself (DIY) games and cards, they are exercising their imagination and their creativity – they are thinking critically and solving problems. For example, the first plane my grandson made did not fly well. He took off the flaps and repositioned them and tried again – success!

Our visit was over all too soon – I hope we can see them again soon!

All of the quick and easy craft projects in my book will help your kids develop problem solving and critical thinking skills. Right now we are offering FREE SHIPPING – at the lowest per copy price anywhere on the web.

Parenting Tip - How To Teach Problem Solving

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (Pomegranate Press, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, 2019), FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY WE MOVE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, 2019), picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my 9-year old grandson.

Posted on April 7, 2013, in Crafting with Kids, Critical Thinking, Parenting Tips, Problem Solving and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. Great idea! I know that the scrambled word can be “LARGE”. Is that the composer’s name? 🙂


  2. Such a fun activities for your grandchildren. They are so lucky to have a creative grandmother. Hmmmm — I came up with Regal.


  3. What a wonderful afternoon you had with the grandchildren, Vivian. I just love the kids go to hands-on activities while the adults are still asking the questions!
    I guessed Regal, too, so I’ll have to wait for the answer. (A thank-you note with a word scramble? So wonderful!)


  4. Lager? Wow, I don’t ever remember doing crafts at home. I sure missed out on something fun!


  5. Boy! You have some clever grandkids! How about Ergal? I love when kids do riddles! We have some grandkids here who do that kind of stuff too. And they make up games for me too!


    • I love to hear that! When we allow kids the freedom to create, they will always blow us away with their brilliance. 🙂 Glad you have so much fun with your grandkids! Ergal is a great guess…but not the answer we are looking for 🙂


  6. Okay, I have no clue who the character is.
    I love it when kids are eager to be creative. They just need a gentle push. Awesome post, Vivian. 🙂


  7. Kids think up the most amazing things! It’s FUN to be creative! I love that your grandson made improvements to his planes so they would fly better 🙂


  8. Haha, I love it when my son scrambles words for me. They’re usually super hero names and it’s always fun to unscramble them. And I love it when kids create their own games. The only thing is, they seem to change the rules to their advantage as the game plays along. 🙂


  9. Hi Vivian,

    I really admire your personal and engaging voice. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing such great advice and stories on your blog for busy mothers and parents of young children! These are great activities for young children!

    I’ve taken a look through your website and we think you’ve done a fantastic job in covering topics that our brand’s audience of expecting mothers would be interested in reading. It would be great if you could join our community to feature your blog entries.

    If you would like to learn more about this, please send an email to info at with “mothers” in the subject line.



  10. Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my site so i got here to go back the desire?.I am attempting to find issues to
    improve my website!I guess its good enough to make
    use of a few of your ideas!!


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