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Social Skills Activities that Teach Kids Problem-Solving

September 22, 2021 | In: Autism Resources

​​Social skills activities are important for children of all abilities. With this in mind, We Rock the Spectrum’s Social Skills Blog Series aims to provide insight into activities and practical tips that help instill social skills in children. In this article, we focus on the importance of problem-solving skills in children and introduce five fun and educational activities that can enhance their problem-solving skill set. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability in which children find it difficult to socialize and interact with others. Although autism comes in a variety of forms, many kids have difficulty developing problem-solving skills. The combination of diminished communication, emotional, and self-regulation skills, all contribute to the child’s reduced skills. To be able to become well-rounded individuals, children of all abilities need to be given the opportunity and resources to learn proper problem-solving skills so that they can face challenges head-on later in life. With this in mind, we have put together a guide on the importance of problem-solving skills for both neurotypical children and children with autism.

Why is Problem-Solving Important?

Problem-solving deals with the ability to make decisions in tough or challenging situations. Children of all abilities need to learn how to properly handle each situation with problem-solving in order to become more independent and resilient. Having good problem-solving skills allow children to gain the patience and self-confidence they need to develop into capable individuals.

Problem-solving activities help children develop the skills they need to efficiently and effectively deal with complex issues and situations. In life, children will run into a variety of situations with differing contexts. Having the proper problem-solving skill set will allow children to learn how to handle every situation with ease. Once a child is able to effectively problem-solve, they will be able to better navigate their own personal problems and those of others as well. Additionally, a child will be able to identify a problem, develop different solutions, test different solutions, and analyze the results.

It is essential for parents or guardians to help boost problem-solving skills through a variety of sensory strategies. Here is a list of 5 fun activities that will teach children of all abilities how to build their problem-solving skills.

5 Activities that Teach Problem Solving

1. Problems in a Jar

Problems in a Jar is a fun and creative way for children to explore different situations that can occur in the real world. This activity is designed to help kids generate solutions from one problem or circumstance. To begin, an adult will write one situation on a small sheet of paper, fold it, and place it in a jar. This continues until the jar is full. The child then picks a paper and reads off the problem. He/she must then come up with the best solution that solves the challenging scenario. This helps children think thoroughly about each possible solution independently.

2. Scavenger Hunt

Everyone loves a game of scavenger hunt! This group activity prompts children’s deduction skills based on clues and hints, which in turn, enhances their problem-solving skills. To start, divide children into groups of 2-3 and have them come up with a plan on which members look for which items. Children can also brainstorm together on where each item is located. This helps kids work together towards one goal while also nourishing their communication. Parents can also reward kids with small treats for every item they find on the scavenger hunt.

3. Impromptu Skits

Impromptu skits are a fun and engaging way for kids to think independently and with quick reactions. In this activity, children are given one situation wherein they have to reenact how the situation unfolds and how to solve the issue. This allows children to think about how to deal with each situation and see how it can be solved efficiently. After the skit, ask the children to explain their thought processes and correct them if there were any actions that were unnecessary. Children watching the skit will also be able to learn and understand how to best act in certain circumstances.

4. Puzzles

Puzzles are one of the best ways a child can stimulate their mind. Puzzles have multiple pieces that are all jumbled together. To solve a puzzle, children need to sort the pieces out and place them in their proper areas to be able to put the puzzle back together. This helps children develop memory recall and thought organization. To start off easy, children can work on puzzles with fewer pieces. Once they get the hang of it, they can move on to more difficult and complex puzzles to build their skill set.

5. Play With A PurposeTM

Having a space where your children will feel safe experimenting is vital to developing problem-solving skills quickly. We Rock the Spectrum’s Play With A Purpose™ stimulates and exercises a child’s sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, vestibular system, and proprioception through positive physical, emotional, and social development. At We Rock the Spectrum, kids are able to play and interact together through arts and crafts, classes, our sensory equipment, and more to strengthen their problem-solving skills in an inclusive, sensory-safe environment.

Key Takeaways

Equipping all children with the proper problem-solving tools and resources at an early age will ensure they develop the skills they need to become versatile individuals. Children who are able to hone their problem-solving skills at their most important phase of development will be able to become more independent and know how to acclimate best to a multitude of situations in the long run. We Rock the Spectrum is a kids gym franchise that offers a wide range of fun and inclusive problem-solving activities through its specialized sensory equipment and Play With A Purpose™ program. Discover more about our mission by getting in touch with us today!