How to Explain Critical Thinking to a Five-Year-Old?

Girl playing chess

How to Explain Critical to a Five--?

Children as soon as they are born become fascinated with the around them. Their five senses help them discover thousands of things and they learn to differentiate between a loved one’s warm embrace to feeling the cold floor on the soles of their feet.

When they learn to speak, their curious nature takes hold. The environment around them enthralls their senses, enticing them to explore. The never-ending cycle of questions begins. Instead of being annoyed by their questions, take advantage of the opportunity to instill critical thinking skills in them.

Defining Critical Thinking to Your Child

Even though critical thinking skills develop during adolescence, the ripe age of five serves as the foundation for the development of thinking skills at a age. When introduce critical thinking exercises to your child at five, you are helping their mind stay active. Through the exercises, which you can find online, you can help strengthen their critical thinking skills before they are even fully developed.

It’s similar to putting training wheels on the bike, except you are putting them on their mind. You are helping them take the first steps to making decisions, evaluate information, and determine right from wrong.

When they are able to make judgments without the aid of their parents, you take off their wheels and let go off their hand. You have prepared them to deal with problems and come up with solutions in the real world where having critical thinking skills is necessary.

The Significance of Critical Thinking Skills in the Real World

If it were up to parents, most of them would keep their children close to them, never disclosing them to the world that awaits them. In the world, children will run into dilemmas where they will have to use their analytical reasoning and problem solving skills to identify a solution that would work. There will be setbacks, but not as many, if their critical thinking skills were developed.

In order for the thinking skills to develop fully, much has to do with a ’s coaching and teaching abilities. Since, it’s up to the parents to mold their child’s thinking skills by refining it. By starting at the age of five, children will be able to use the skills taught to them at a young age, directing it towards a desirable outcome, using a reasoned, purposeful, and goal directed approach.

In short, children will learn to come up with out of the box ideas to solving problems, come up with solutions, and new ideas. For their young minds to transition to an analytical mind, parents can take the help of productive online sources and physical activities to poke their mind to wander deep into unexplored regions and arrive at an answer.

Before you begin training your child’s mind, you need to explain to them what critical thinking entitles:

  1. Encourage your children to ask more questions, explanations, and examples to comprehend something (for the parents of over the top curious children, be ready to be bombarded with tons of questions).
  2. Tell them that confusion is part of the problem and ask questions to clarify their meaning of something.
  3. Teach your children about a ’s best friend, Google. Tell them to conduct in order to be accurate.
  4. Help them stay on track and keep up with the ongoing discussion by only discussing related topics to aid the discussion.
  5. Teach your child about the importance of backing his or her solution with facts.
  6. Teach your child about the importance playing and thinking fair during group discussions.


Your five year old will thank you for kick starting their critical thinking process at a young age. The early boost in their thinking skills will enable them to ask questions that stimulate application, data gathering, and processing skills. Your child will be on his or her way to tackling real life problems with the complete knowledge of how to get to the answer.


“Believe what you like, but don't believe everything you read without questioning it.” ~ Pauline Baynes


A Selection of Critical Thinking Quotes

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.”
~ Christopher Hitchens

“Believe what you like, but don’t believe everything you read without questioning it.”  ~ Pauline Baynes

“If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity” ~ Josh Lanyon

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