Teaching Critical Thinking Skills with Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix®
In the early 1900s, an American philosopher first coined the phrase critical thinking. By definition, critical thinking is a process for analyzing facts and information to make a judgment and form a solution, which is undoubtedly a hugely important aspect of early childhood development. The sooner and more often children are given opportunities to practice their critical thinking skills, the more benefit they will receive as they continue onto higher levels of education and their professional careers.
To help parents, families, and educators equip their children and students with strong critical thinking skills, Magna-Tiles® offers fun, engaging, hands-on learning opportunities with our Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix® magnetic shapes. Here, we explain how our innovative and industry-leading toys can help develop a child’s ability to think critically and solve problems.
Inspiring New Thought Processes
A child’s imagination is as limitless as can be, and while they may spend a lot of time daydreaming about their favorite movie characters or superheroes, Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix® can help them bring those visions to life. With the magnetic shapes in each set that simply “click” together, children are able to construct whatever their heart desires — after they figure out a plan for building it. For young children, these types of activities not only utilize their imaginative creativity but also inspire new ways of approaching problems and forming solutions, a crucial aspect of critical thinking. For older children, their imagination can still lead the way as they use critical thinking to build even more complex creations.
Setting Up Activities to Stimulate Critical Thinking
When your children or students are playing with Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix®, you can serve as their guide and show them what critical thinking is really all about. Once children appear to have hit a stride in building their magnetic masterpieces, ask them specific questions geared towards encouraging the child to think about how they came up with their process. This very basic form of critical thinking asks the child to stop and consider how they came to their conclusions, as well as why they didn’t think to do it another way. Here are some questions you can pose to your children or students:
- What are you building?
- How does it work?
- Why did you choose those shapes and colors?
- How else could you achieve the same result?
- What would happen if we tried this?
After they’ve completed their Magna-Tiles® or Magna-Qubix® creation, there’s another opportunity to encourage critical thinking. Ask them to build it again, but this time by using a limited number of pieces or only one type of shape. In doing so, you’re challenging them to move past what they can see and already know, which are concrete concepts, and move towards other possibilities, which are abstract concepts. This shift from the concrete to the abstract, much like the theoretical to the practical, is an essential stage of critical thinking development for children.
Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix® Make Critical Thinking Fun!
With dozens of shapes and colors, Magna-Tiles® and Magna-Qubix® can turn any critical thinking exercise into an afternoon full of fun. Shop online today, and contact us for more fun Magna-Tiles® activities.