5 Simple Problem Solving Activities for Toddlers

5 Simple Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers

One of the most curious times for a child is during their toddler years. As parents, it’s important to help them learn the skills they need to improve their senses and mental and physical health.

Problem-solving activities for toddlers are one way to help them during their early childhood development.

Problem solving skills are necessary for early childhood cognitive development. It helps them understand the new world they are in and wires their minds to become more independent day by day. They can see that one action can lead to another and that they have specific actions to follow to achieve something else.

Thankfully, there are plenty of problem solving activities for toddlers. Depending on what skill you want to help them develop, a specific type of activity can be done.

These problem skill types can typically be any of the following:

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Decision-Making
  • Initiative
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Negotiation
  • Persistence

These may sound like complicated things but there are plenty of simple activities to encourage the development of one or two, if not all, of the skills mentioned above. Read further to find out our top picks for problem-solving activities that your toddler will love!

5 Simple Problem Solving Activities for Your Toddlers’ Thinking Skills

As parents, there are such wonderful moments when you see your child grow from a baby to an adult with the right set of skills to prepare them for the world. It is always a welcome idea to guide them every step of the way and see them develop through different ages. As they enter their toddler years, provide them with the toys, visual aids, and all other sensory materials they need to perform these problem-solving skills. And of course, the most important part is to make sure that they have fun when doing these activities. After all, learning through play is the best way to engage your little ones!

Pattern Blocks

Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers -
Photo from Pickle Bums

Pattern blocks, also known as tangrams, are colorful blocks that come in different shapes and sizes. Your child will see it as another set of toys to have fun with. However, as you guide them into following certain shapes and color patterns, they will begin to see the challenge of creating wonderful images out of these pattern blocks.

You can print plenty of patterns online for this activity. Or, you can add a personal touch and do DIY patterns using the blocks or drawing them on a clean piece of paper.

You can also allow your child to explore their imagination by asking them to freestyle and just create whatever they want from the pattern blocks. Ask them to describe their creation after, and listen to them excitedly share with you how these tangrams turn into dinosaurs, houses, or their favorite animal.

Plus, if you need some quiet time to do something at home, giving your child these pattern blocks can keep them quiet for hours as they focus on creating images from their deepest imaginations.

Playing peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek

Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers - Playing Peek-A-Boo Or Hide-And-Seek
Photo from Early Impact Learning

It brings delight to see your baby look at you magically when you play peek-a-boo with them. They really do believe that you disappeared for a second. Such is the beauty of innocent eyes!

And while we casually play peek-a-boo with kids without thinking about it, it is also a skill-developing activity. And, as they grow older, they reach the next level of hide-and-seek.

This activity helps your child understand the concept of object permanence – that an object still exists even when they are hidden from view.

There are many ways you can play peek-a-boo or hide-and-seek with your toddler. There is the classic hiding behind your own hands and then reappearing a few seconds later. You can also use an object like a toy and hide it from view to start while eventually making it reappear.

As they grow older, you can ask them to search for the objects themselves. Of course, you should vary the level of difficulty as they grow. As they are only starting to play the game, make sure that you hide the objects at easy-to-find places first. Then, you can progress to a more difficult hiding place when you see that they are now understanding the concept of the game.

Then, you can once again take it to the next level by having them play hide-and-seek with their friends. You can also check out these hide-and-seek variations so you can keep the game interesting for your kids and their friends.


Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers - Storytelling
Photo from Concept Marketing

Storytelling as a problem-solving activity for toddlers is self-explanatory. It touches on the creativity, analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and communication skills of your toddler.

There are pictures to enhance the visual comprehension of your child. Words and concepts can help them talk more clearly and understand better. Storytelling may already be a basic activity in a household with a toddler.

This is especially important in a time and age of digital screens where so many parents use mobile devices and the TV to keep their children busy. While they should understand the concept of modern gadgets since it is a part of their generation, encouraging them to love books remains essential as well.

When you consistently read them a story, there will come a time when they begin creating stories of their own. Then, they start to read on their own while developing cognitive skills important to grow into a more well-minded child.

Board Games

Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers - Board Games
Photo from NYTimes

Board games are literal representations of learn-through-play activities. They are designed like games, but there are plenty of skills that a child can develop with every board game they try.

There are plenty of board games available that you can try with your toddlers. Check out this list of board games for kids and choose the ones you think your child may love to play.

Matching Objects and Letters

Problem Solving Activities For Toddlers - Matching Objects And Letters
Photo from KiDorzo

Matching objects and letters is a fun and easy way to help your child learn to recognize colors and shapes. This will later develop into recognizing objects and letters.

You can buy pairs of toys and different objects for them to match, or you can also opt for preschool printables where your little ones can match drawings or letters with lines.

Whichever way you prefer this activity with your child, it is a great way to help your child grow into an intelligent kid through visual learning.


“Problem-solving” may be a difficult-sounding word, and parents can sometimes put off doing these exercises for their kids, thinking that it is too early to be solving problems. Hopefully, after reading through this list, you can see that it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Plus, there are plenty of problem-solving activities that can fit the level and preferences of your children. All it takes is for us, as parents, to find the right tools and activities to make learning fun and effective for our little ones.

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