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Many of the math materials for young kids concentrate on acquiring counting and basic computational skills. How can I help my child develop problem solving skills?

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Maria Droujkova

**Answer** by Vijay Krishnan
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Jan 21, 2013 at 05:26 AM

Sue is spot on there with her ideas. Involve the kids in small calculations like when you make a shopping list, simple addition and subtraction involved there. When dealing with the money, currency conversions and decimal addition and subtraction can be reinforced. Scavenger hunts and of course I also advocate exposing them to a certain Sudoku or KenKen puzzle can also channelize the mind in thinking and problem solving. For a ready reckoner on Online math resources for math in real world, you might want to check:
http://www.learner.org/interactives/dailymath/resources.html Hope this helps! Vijay

**Answer** by yelenam
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Jan 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM

I love the idea of scavenger hunts and did a few Math Treks with my son. He really enjoyed those. So that would definitely work well for us. I thought about trying puzzles as well, but somehow my son is convinced that I already know the solutions to puzzles and give them only as a test, something that kills all the joy for him.

**Answer** by Sue VanHattum
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Jan 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

It's broader than just your relationship with math. It's about: - pointing out small problems that you solve ("Hmm, I left my keys inside again, I wonder how I can remember to keep them with me when we leave the house? Maybe I should pretend I have to use a key to get out that door."), - valuing their ideas, - letting them help solve 'problems' that involve them. And, getting a little closer to math, play in ways that involve problem-solving. Hide-and-seek is a great problem-solving game. Scavenger hunts, and similar search games. I love making a rhyming clue that leads to the hiding place of a 2nd clue (etc), with something fun at the end.

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