By Raising Children Network
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School stimulates whole new areas of thinking for your child. There’s a lot you can do to encourage the development of your child’s thinking and problem-solving skills.
School girl with sad face

What to expect

By school age, your child will probably:

  • be keen to collect items such as cards or stamps
  • be able to read independently (from about seven years old)
  • be able to think ahead and consider the outcome of a situation before taking action
  • be able to tell the time (from seven or eight years of age)
  • know left from right
  • be fascinated by science experiments.

School-age children are able to absorb new information quickly and are excited by learning.

You can help stimulate your child’s excitement about learning by finding out what subjects your child is interested in. For example, by encouraging and supporting your child’s new love of sea urchins or train timetables or Japanese warriors, you help your child absorb more information.

Your child also wants to follow the rules and be well-behaved at this age. That means thinking carefully before acting, and asking permission before trying something new – mostly!

A lack of sleep or poor nutrition can adversely affect your child’s thinking. A good night’s sleep and healthy diet help with concentration.

Self-esteem and thinking ability are closely linked at this age. Taking the time to talk with your child each day can help your child make sense of any concerns. Worries big and small can easily distract your child from thinking clearly, absorbing information, and learning effectively.

Play ideas to encourage thinking

To encourage your child’s thinking through play, you can:

  • provide challenging puzzles
  • play board games together
  • read books and tell jokes and riddles together
  • introduce your child to basic magic tricks
  • do simple crosswords and word-finders
  • play building and construction games
  • play card games.
Children develop at different rates. But it might be a good idea to consult your health professional if your child appears to be having trouble learning at school or is not working at a similar level to classmates.
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  • Last Updated 25-03-2010
  • Last Reviewed 02-11-2009