How To Teach A Child To Think Critically

Written by: The Story of Sprout



Time to read 6 min


In our current times, it’s vital to teach a child to think critically, as being brainy or talented is not enough. They should excel in assessing situations, overcoming hurdles, and reaching sound judgments. Plus, they should navigate through heaps of details, discern real from fake, and land on thoughtful choices.

We’re in a time where endless knowledge is just a click away, yet not all of it holds water. Equipping our little ones with critical thinking skills is akin to handing them a mental multi-tool. This prepares them to break down scenarios, pose pertinent queries, and formulate logical answers. Stay tuned, and we’ll guide you through the process of nurturing a young critical thinker.

How To Teach A Child To Think Critically

What is Critical Thinking?

The concept isn’t just about memorizing facts or following instructions. It’s much more than that! Thinking critically means understanding the “why” behind the “what.” It’s about analyzing situations, interpreting information, making inferences, and evaluating outcomes. In simpler terms, it’s teaching your child to be a mental detective. So, they learn to gather clues, ask the right questions, and solve the puzzle instead of just collecting data. 

The Importance of Critical Thinking

You might be asking yourself, “Why should this matter to me? My child is still so young!” Well, here’s the scoop: The sooner you begin, the more advantageous it is. Critical thinking isn’t merely a classroom asset; it’s a lifelong skill. Picture your kiddo in a challenging predicament. With critical thinking in their toolkit, they won’t just impulsively act; they’ll thoughtfully engage.

They’ll balance the advantages and drawbacks and ponder the outcomes. Plus, it aids them in arriving at a carefully considered verdict. Let’s be honest! In our rapidly evolving, always-on-the-move society, the capacity to adapt and make savvy decisions is more crucial than ever. It’s not merely about taking tests! It’s about gearing them up for the real deal, where quick wits can be a game-changer.

Tips To Improve Critical Thinking

To teach your kid to think deeply and ask smart questions, these pointers cover the essentials. Eager to enhance your child’s thought process? Here are seven key tactics for wiser choices! 

1. The Early Years Matter!

The earlier we start teaching our kids critical thinking, the more naturally it will come to them. Do you remember the toddler years when they were curious about everything? “Why is the sky blue?” “How does the TV work?” These queries may have irked you, yet they’re the foundation for deep thought. Your kid aimed to grasp life’s complexities, which is a plus! 

So, don’t dismiss their wonderings. Engage with them. Turn their “Why?” into your “Let’s find out!” Create an environment where asking questions is encouraged, and you’ll set the foundation for a lifetime of critical thinking.

2. Teach a Child to Think Critically, Not Obedience!

Obedience can be taught. You say, “Jump,” and they ask, “How high?” But what if you’re not there? You want your kid to make good choices alone, right? That’s why thinking matters.

Tell them to ask questions and even doubt the answers. Say it’s okay to think differently if they can explain why. Don’t just tell them what to do; ask them what they think is best. You’ll be surprised at the insights your little thinker can offer.

3. Problem-Solving Instinct

If your child asks questions and challenges the norms, that’s great! But what about when they face a problem? Critical thinking is the key that unlocks the door to effective problem-solving.
Imagine your child is building a tower with blocks that keep falling over. Instead of swooping in to fix it, take a step back. Encourage them to figure out why it’s not working. Is the base not sturdy enough? Are the blocks not aligned properly? This is how you teach a child to think critically!

Let them mess up; it’s just part of learning. When they do, they’ll think about what went wrong. Additionally, they will strive to fix it. That is where you come in! You need to hint them to think and solve issues.

4. The Power of “Why”

If you’re a parent, you get it. Kids are always curious, and it’s tiring, but it’s also super important. When kids ask “why,” they’re not just being annoying. They’re exercising their critical thinking muscles. They’re trying to connect the dots, to see how the world fits together. So, try to engage them.

Ask what they guess is right. You’ll be wowed by their cool, new ideas. If they don’t know the answer? No big deal! Learn together. Look it up together and discover something new.

5. The Parent as a Model Thinker

Kids are like sponges! They soak up everything around them, including how you handle problems and make decisions. 
Also, show them that deciding isn’t just a coin toss. Instead, it is a thought process. 

Also, don’t just preach. Involve them in your decision-making and ask for their input, Whether choosing a weekend activity or planning a family meal. Let them see that their opinion matters and that you value their thought process. It’ll go a long way to teach a child to think critically.

6. Fostering A Better Environment

So you help at home, but what about school? They’re there a lot, right? The place where your kid learns really affects how they think. An ideal study pool can exclusively develop critical thinking skills for students.

Speak with the teachers to learn how they add critical thinking to lessons. Ask for advice on boosting this skill in your kid. If they lack a plan, advocate for it. And remember, it’s not just in school!

The games they play, shows they see, and books they read can either help or harm their thinking. Choose smartly and switch things up now and then. Variety isn’t just fun; it’s also a great way to learn.

7. Books Aid Critical Thinking

Have you ever thought of books as your hidden tool for teaching your child critical thinking? Absolutely! The right reads can unlock whole new universes and ignite a fire of inquiries. But don’t just stop at reading; engage in a hearty discussion post-storytime. Ask them about their impressions, what parts of wisdom they picked up, and any questions that popped into their heads. This transforms reading from a mere passive pastime into an active quest for knowledge.

Now, let’s not forget we’re in the digital era. So, shunning apps and websites to enhance critical thinking would be a mistake. Just be cautious to pick ones that lean more towards the educational side rather than just fun and games. The objective here isn’t merely to occupy their time and stimulate their gray cells. Remember, variety keeps things fresh and engages different parts of their brain, making the learning process more holistic and enjoyable.

The Long-Term Benefits Of Critical Thinking

Critical thinkers tend to deal with problems much faster. A child with the habit of asking questions reaches the possible outcomes much quicker. Being ahead of everyone, such a child can easily pick the optimum solution among all the possible results. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, these are invaluable skills.

Furthermore, employers are on the lookout for critical thinkers. They’re the ones who can navigate the challenges of the modern workplace. Additionally, they can come up with innovative solutions and drive change. So, in a way, you’re shaping a future leader if you teach a child to think critically.

Challenges And How To Overcome Them

Teaching critical thinking is not easy. Let’s be honest! It can be downright challenging as well. Here are two common challenges you can face and their solutions:

  • Patience is key. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a critical thinker. It’s a gradual process requiring consistent effort from you and your child. If they’re resistant, don’t push too hard; take a step back and try to understand their perspective.
  • Second, make it fun! Turn it into a game or a challenge! You could do a fun family thing—the goal is just to have a good time. The more fun it is, the more your kid will get into it. Getting into it is the start of learning.


Imparting the skill of critical thinking in a young mind is among the most priceless gifts you can bestow. It’s not merely about amplifying their intellect. Instead, it’s about equipping them to maneuver through life’s complex maze. Could there be a more engaging way to teach a child to think critically than a storybook? We are talking about Sprout!

Sprout is more than just a book! It’s a philosophical adventure that takes children on a journey of self-discovery. It teaches them invaluable lessons about knowledge, truth, and goodness. Overall, Sprout emphasizes the importance of character, wisdom, and legacy. So, don’t miss out on the treasure that is Sprout. Order it now via Amazon or Barnes & Noble.