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Learning to think critically may be one of the most important skills that today's children will need for the future. Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making, includes critical thinking on her list of the seven essential life skills needed by every child. In today’s global and rapidly changing world, children need to be able to do much more than repeat a list of facts; they need to be critical thinkers who can make sense of information, analyze, compare, contrast, make inferences, and generate higher order thinking skills.

There is no one strategy to support and teach your child how to think critically. As a parent, your role may sometimes be to ask open-ended questions to guide the thinking process. In other cases, it may be more appropriate to allow your child to experiment and refine his or her theories on what causes things to happen. Guiding your child’s critical thinking process can have a positive  impact on his or her problem solving skills.

Here are some tips and ideas to help your child build a foundation for critical thinking:
  • Provide opportunities for play
  • Pause and wait
  • Don't intervene immediately
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Help children develop hypotheses
  • Encourage critical thinking in new and different ways


More help on how you can help your child become a critical thinker can be found at:


The following websites provide more information about Higher Order Thinking: