Thinking Skills: A Deeper Understanding

  1. Child development
  2. Cognitive Development
  3. Thinking Skills

Most of us have heard the phrase “thinking skills”, but what does it really mean? Thinking skills are a set of cognitive processes that enable us to make decisions, solve problems, and understand complex issues. They are the building blocks of higher-level thinking, and without them, we would be unable to navigate through life. In this article, we will explore the different types of thinking skills and how they can help in child development and cognitive development. Thinking skills are mental processes that allow us to analyze information, make decisions, and solve problems. They are essential for cognitive development, problem-solving, and decision-making in children.

In this article, we will explore the definition and types of thinking skills, their importance in child development, and strategies to help children develop them.

Definition of Thinking Skills

- Thinking skills refer to the ability to think abstractly, reason logically, understand complex ideas, and use knowledge to make informed decisions. These skills are critical for developing a range of other skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity.

Types of Thinking Skills

- There are several different types of thinking skills, including analytical thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Analytical thinking involves breaking down a problem into smaller parts and looking at the relationships between them.

Creative thinking involves thinking outside the box and coming up with new ideas. Critical thinking involves evaluating evidence and making logical decisions. Problem-solving involves identifying problems and finding solutions.

Importance of Thinking Skills

- Thinking skills are essential for success in life, both academically and professionally.

They help children develop self-awareness, communication skills, and confidence. Thinking skills also help children develop an understanding of the world around them and how to interact with it in meaningful ways.

How to Develop Thinking Skills

- Parents and educators can help children develop their thinking skills by encouraging them to ask questions, providing open-ended tasks that require problem-solving, and helping them identify solutions to problems. It is also important to provide a safe environment where children can explore their ideas without fear of failure or criticism.

Additionally, helping children understand how their actions have consequences can help them develop their problem-solving skills.

Benefits of Developing Thinking Skills

- Developing thinking skills can lead to improved communication and self-confidence in children. Having strong thinking skills can also help children stay focused on tasks and achieve their goals. Furthermore, developing these skills early on can help children become successful adults by giving them the tools they need to think critically and make informed decisions.

Definition of Thinking Skills

Thinking skills refer to the cognitive processes involved in acquiring knowledge. They include problem-solving, decision-making, memory, concentration, reasoning, and creativity.

Thinking skills are important for cognitive development, which is the ability to learn and use new information. Problem-solving is the ability to identify a problem and then develop a plan to solve it. Decision-making involves evaluating different options and selecting the most suitable one. Memory is the ability to recall and store information.

Concentration refers to the ability to focus on a task for an extended period of time. Reasoning involves analyzing facts and data to form logical conclusions. Creativity is the ability to think of new ideas and solve problems in novel ways.

Importance of Thinking Skills

Thinking skills are essential for a child's cognitive development. Research has shown that children who have strong thinking skills are more successful in problem-solving and decision-making.

Thinking skills help children build the necessary foundations for higher-level concepts, such as problem-solving, reasoning, and abstract thinking. In particular, thinking skills are important for helping children to develop a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. As children use their thinking skills to analyze information, they can better recognize patterns and create new ideas. This helps them to develop their creativity, become more independent thinkers, and better understand social dynamics. In addition, thinking skills are important for developing other skills, such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.

By using their thinking skills, children can learn to make more informed decisions and express themselves more clearly. This, in turn, can help children build relationships with others and build self-confidence. Overall, thinking skills provide an important foundation for children’s cognitive development. They are key components in problem-solving, decision-making, creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. By helping children develop their thinking skills early on, parents and teachers can help ensure that children have the necessary tools to succeed in life.

Benefits of Developing Thinking Skills

Thinking skills are essential for children to develop problem-solving and decision-making abilities.

These skills can provide numerous benefits to children, such as helping them become more independent, improving their academic performance, and building their confidence. Additionally, strong thinking skills can help children develop better social skills and interpersonal relationships. By developing strong thinking skills, children can learn to think critically and creatively, which can help them solve complex problems in the future. They can also practice self-reflection and develop sound judgment.

Furthermore, learning how to think in different ways can enable children to come up with innovative solutions to difficult problems. Thinking skills are also important for developing emotional intelligence. As children become more adept at thinking through their emotions, they can learn to manage their feelings more effectively and understand others’ feelings better. This is essential for building empathy and strong interpersonal relationships. Finally, developing thinking skills can help children feel more confident in their abilities and have a greater sense of self-worth.

Being able to think logically and analytically can give children a feeling of control over their lives. This sense of control can help them make better decisions and take initiative when necessary.

Types of Thinking Skills

Thinking skills refer to the cognitive processes that people use to gather, analyze, and evaluate information. They are important for problem-solving, decision-making, and forming opinions. There are many different types of thinking skills, each with their own unique abilities and uses.

Critical Thinking

is the ability to analyze information objectively and make well-reasoned decisions.

It involves looking at the facts and data available and considering the different angles and perspectives before making a conclusion.

Creative Thinking

is the ability to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. It involves looking at a situation from a different perspective and finding a unique solution.

Analytical Thinking

is the ability to break down complex information into smaller parts and see how they relate to each other. It involves examining data, recognizing patterns, and drawing logical conclusions.

Logical Thinking

is the ability to think in a systematic way and draw logical conclusions from information. It involves using facts and data to form arguments and draw conclusions.

Strategic Thinking

is the ability to think ahead and plan for the future.

It involves looking at all the potential options and outcomes before making decisions.

Systems Thinking

is the ability to see how different elements interact with each other in order to create a larger system. It involves understanding how different parts of a system work together in order to achieve an overall goal.

How to Develop Thinking Skills

Thinking skills can be developed in children through the use of educational activities, games, and other challenges. These activities help children practice different types of thinking skills such as problem solving, decision making, and creative thinking. Parents and teachers can use a variety of strategies to encourage children to practice thinking skills.

Educational activities Educational activities are an effective way to develop thinking skills. Activities such as puzzles, brain teasers, and strategy games can help children practice problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical skills. Educational activities can also be used to teach children the importance of critical thinking.


Games can be a great way to help children develop their thinking skills.

Games such as chess, checkers, and other strategy games can help children develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills. Other games such as word games, memory games, and logic puzzles can help children develop their analytical and creative thinking skills.


Challenges are another way to help children develop their thinking skills. Activities such as scavenger hunts, riddles, and other creative tasks can help children practice problem-solving, decision-making, and creative thinking.

Challenges can also help children learn the importance of perseverance and resilience.


Encouragement is another important strategy for helping children develop their thinking skills. Parents and teachers should provide positive reinforcement when children demonstrate good problem-solving or decision-making skills. They should also provide guidance and support when children make mistakes or struggle with challenges.

In conclusion, thinking skills are an essential part of cognitive development, problem-solving and decision-making. Parents and educators should provide children with opportunities to practice and develop their thinking skills, as this will help them become successful adults. Thinking skills help children develop their creativity, analytical and logical abilities, and improve their critical and creative thinking. Additionally, developing thinking skills helps children become better problem solvers, decision makers, and more independent thinkers. In order to nurture children’s thinking skills, parents and educators should create an environment in which children can explore, question and experiment.

This can be done through activities such as games, puzzles, stories, and discussions that encourage critical thinking. By providing children with the appropriate resources and guidance, they can develop the necessary skills to become successful in life.

Paul Delaney
Paul Delaney

"Paul Delaney is Director at Content Ranked, a London-based digital marketing agency. He has been working in Education since the 1990s and has more than 15 years digital marketing experience in the sector.As Director at he focuses on SEO strategy for educational organisations; and Paul's expert team support clients with on-page, off-page and technical SEO. He is also Marketing Director at Seed Educational Consulting Ltd, a study abroad agency that helps African students study at university abroad. He has also held significant positions at multinational education brands, including Business Development Director at TUI Travel PLC, Area Manager at Eurocentres Foundation, and Sales Office Manager at OISE.Paul holds a postgraduate diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute, BA in Publishing from Edinburgh Napier University, and a RSA/Cambridge CELTA.Outside of Education Paul is experienced in event promotion, production, and performance in the music industry."