This Core Skill is all about a child’s ability to think about and make sense of the world around them. This includes observing, investigating, imitating, and thinking critically.

Educators can support these skills by providing opportunities for children to explore, experiment, and solve problems.

Children exploring direct in a small group

Topic by Topic

Explore ways you can support young children's thinking skills
Young boy and teacher pretending to use fake binoculars

Imitation and Symbolic Representation

Model and scaffold the use of symbols, props, and roles – all foundational pieces of pretend play.

Young child exploring wind chimes

Active Exploration

Help children explore, investigate, and be curious about the world around them.

Young boy blowing cotton ball with a straw


Encourage children to observe, analyze, experiment, and make predictions.

A teacher explaining her thoughts about an instrument to a toddler


Support the thinking process by encouraging children to explain, discuss, and justify their ideas.

Boy trying to piece blocks together

Problem-Solving with Tasks

Give children the right amount of challenge and support to solve problems on their own.