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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


How to Improve Thinking Skills in Children? Tips and Suggestions

By Andrew Loh

Enhancing thinking skills in your kid can be real fun and thrilling. Nothing can be more effective than asking the right type of questions in an easy going manner. Questions that you ask should have simple and proper wordings. When you ask questions that lead to a mental stimulation of your kid’s thought process, it can be really good for you as well as your kid. One of the most important things to remember while asking probing questions to your kid is to creating questions by using different types or levels or platforms of thinking.

Enhancing thinking skills is best performed in a systematic and well calibrated manner. Your kid will not be ready to think on many aspects of life. Your main goal should focus at motivating his or her inner level of consciousness. Experts in human psychology grade thinking skills in humans into six categories. These thinking skills are common to all individuals and you will need to modify or restructure the questions in such a way that your kid will understand and comprehend the meaning very easily.

Here are some steps that you can follow to develop thinking skills in your kid. It is easy to develop and enhance thinking skills by using the following six categories:

Developing Knowledge Skills

Knowledge skills include remembering, recalling or retrieving correct, right and appropriate and previously learned information or details to bring or draw out factual and data based answers which may either right or wrong.

To develop this skill:
You will need to use right words, phrases and sentences like: “when”, “how”, “what”, “how much”, “how many”, “where”, “tell me”, “detect”, “identify”, “list” etc. These wording are simple to understand and comprehend and they can help you kid to answer with a fair degree of certainty.

Sample Questions:

  • How many oranges are there in one dozen?

  • What is this color?

  • Tell me more about this picture

  • When is your birthday?

Developing Comprehension Skills

In reality, comprehension means grasping, comprehending or understanding the real meaning of materials that signify materials and things.

To develop this skill:
Use these words and phrases: “explain”, “describe”, “guess”, “predict”, “detect”, “identify” etc. These simple words will help your child to translate, interpret, and guess all those things that are materialistic in nature.

Sample questions:

  • Tell me how this dog eats food.
  • Explain how this seed becomes a tree
  • Can you guess what this figure is?

Developing Application Skills

This skill involves applying and adapting previously learned and comprehended information or details to new, strange and unfamiliar scenarios.

To develop this skill:
Use words that urge your kid to applying them to new situations. These words could be: “demonstrate”, “show”, “tell”, “solve”, “examine”, “apply” etc.

Sample questions:

  • What is common between this ball and that globe?
  • Tell me the difference between a plant and tree
  • Show me how a dog barks

Developing Analysis Skills

This skill involves breaking down a given bit of information into a number of parts or segments and later examining them in detail.

To develop this skill:
You can use very simple and easy to understand words like: “what is the main difference”, “analyze”, “discuss”, “explain”, “compare”, “arrange” etc. When you ask your kid simple questions that include these keywords, he or she will start thinking about the question by breaking the questions into many parts.

Sample questions:

  • Tell me one simple difference between a plant and baby
  • Can you tell me more about this egg?
  • Compare this Barbie and that Mickey. Tell me what the difference is.

Developing Synthesis Skills

This thinking skill is a bit difficult to learn and understand. It involves applying the previously acquired information, knowledge or skills to gel them together into a clear pattern which was not there before asking.

To develop this skill:
You may need to use simple words and phrases like: “arrange”, “rearrange”, “combine”, “design”, “compose”, “create”, “make” etc. When you ask questions containing these simple words, your child will start thinking to combine all the clues to form a clear pattern.

Sample questions:

  • What happens when you throw that puzzle on the floor?
  • How do you make this pattern by using all these pieces of puzzles?
  • What might happen if this plant starts giving fruits?
  • How do you arrange this room?

Developing Evaluation Skills

This skill involves judging, inferring, deciding and concluding based on a set of conditions or criteria, without real or wrong answers.

To develop this skill:
You may need to use keywords like: “assess”, “measure”, “quantify”, “explain”, “compare” etc.

Sample questions:

  • What is common between this globe and that egg?
  • What happens if you had a pair of wings?
  • Can you tell me the exact number of fruits in that basket?


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