Thinking can be regarded as a skill. This approach to thinking means that everyone can improve her approach to thinking. A lateral approach to thinking means that a child deliberately searches for alternatives – often using tools to disrupt a more obvious way of approaching a problem and arriving at the solution from another angle.
Often a lateral approach to thinking can help a child to develop skills that will help her to
- Develop new concepts
- Solve problems in a creative manner
- Design things
Supporting and teaching children to use the idea of alternatives, helps them to search for solutions in an alternative manner. This method helps her to nurture and develop new ideas and suggestions.
Explore ways that you can cut a slice of bread. The most obvious method is to use a knife – but you can cut bread with a pair of scissors, tear it, or use baking cutters. A vital part of thinking is to focus and concentrate on solving the problem. Helping your child to focus and to pay attention to the problem helps her to explore it from different angles.
Children like action and letting them cut the bread using tools and methods helps them to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying problems. It is also easy to explore and develop new ideas when you are allowed to use your hands. The bread can be torn by holding it up in the air and just tearing it from top to bottom or you can lay it on the chopping board and tear at different directions. This helps to see the problem for different perspectives.
Challenging your child you twist and turn problems will help her to come with unusual solutions. But more importantly it will reinforce the idea that thinking is fun and a rewarding activity.
Photo; “Two Kids Lying And Playing” by Stuart Miles