Critical thinking strategies are some of the tools we teach students here at TFALC to improve executive function skills. These strategies help with problem-solving, organization, and self-reflection.
Playing board games gives children the opportunity to apply critical thinking strategies and see a direct benefit. You can make the most of family game nights by modeling some of your own thinking out loud and asking your kids about their decisions in the game. Here are some of the critical thinking strategies you might use playing board games!
Before Starting a Game
Brainstorm what board game to play. If you don’t have the time for everyone’s favorites, encourage flexibility and suggest saving some favorites for the next game night or trying out a new game instead. When learning a new game, help your kids read the directions and say them in their own words or demonstrate how to read and paraphrase directions.
Before Making a Move
As you start playing, consider which details are the most important and comment on paying attention to these details. If it’s a strategy game, remind your kids to stop and plan before making a decision. You can also say what you’re thinking as you stop and plan your own move. You might brainstorm potential consequences of your choice or talk about finding patterns in the game. For memory games, you can model how to form chunks by sorting objects into groups or splitting large items into smaller pieces. You can also suggest visualizing to remember key information.
After Making a Move
Reflect on your decision as you see the results begin to take shape. You can ask your kids why they made a move or what they think is going to happen next. Board games activate connections in players’ brains to help them learn, and reflection can help them learn how to problem-solve using critical thinking strategies.
There are many ways we can incorporate critical thinking strategies into daily routines. Click here to read a blog post with more ideas about how to reinforce strategies at home.
If your child would benefit from further developing his/her critical thinking skills, contact The Family & Learning Center today to learn how we can help!