The Building Blocks of Critical Thinking!

Posted on by Helena Eddings

The Building Blocks of Critical Thinking!

Every educational reform movement in America has new buzz words. Critical thinking skills developed through “learning experiences” are the current rage. But wait. Infants begin to sort and categorize information from the moment they are born. Give your babies lots of sensory experiences with descriptive language as they touch and explore. The bark on the tree is rough. The blanket is soft. By age 2 many children can begin to sort and categorize objects, non-food items from food as you unpack from a trip to the store, socks from shirts as they are removed from the dryer. Older pre-school children can help determine what to recycle and what to compost. A sense of order is the first building block of critical thinking.


Sequencing activities leads young children to think about what makes sense. Read stories and discuss beginning, middle, end. Plan a family project. What comes first, second, third? Five-year-olds like humor and enjoy comic strips. They can predict that Lucy will pull the football away from Charlie Brown.


Solve real problems with your children. Hold regular family meetings, not easy for on-the-go families these days.  All ages can participate.  For example: “We have 3 hours on Sunday to have some family fun.  We have $15 to spend. What should we do?” Brainstorm. Accept and discuss every idea. No suggestion, however outrageous, should be discounted. Reach consensus, often difficult without practice. Critical thinking skills grow when children develop a sense of order, can make sense of their world, and have the opportunity to solve real problems.

Head of School,

Lynn Fisher

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West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.