Problem Solved

What you need:

What you do:

  1. Bring your sealed jar with you.
  2. Try opening the jar, but show your child that it is hard to open.
  3. Ask your child, "What can I do to solve this problem?"
  4. Show the video "Piper."
  5. After watching together, ask, "What was the problem in this movie? How did the bird solve the problem? What did they need to find a solution?"
  6. Review and write the following problem-solving steps on the half sheet of posterboard (or whiteboard) and include images.
    1. Identify the problem.
    2. Look at what has already been tried for solutions.
    3. Think of new ways to solve the problem.
    4. Try it out!
  7. Explain that sometimes solving problems takes time and patience and that deep breathing can help us to stay calm.
  8. Guide your child to take three deep breaths into their belly.
  9. Ask them to repeat after you (in their mind): "When I am faced with a problem I try my best."
  10. Ask them to take a few more deep breaths.
  11. Ask, "What do you notice? How do you feel?"
  12. Share an example from your own life where you had to solve a problem and, in order to really solve it, you had to remain calm.
  13. Now explain that you will be working on a Tangram which is a Chinese puzzle that helps to build math and problem-solving skills. You may use your own Tangram puzzle boards or print out
  14. Have your child use seven Tangram shapes to make one large shape on the puzzle board.
  15. Remind them to go slow, feel their breath, use the problem-solving steps, and stay with it, even if it gets challenging!
  16. Share that they may use the tools from earlier when working on their Tangrams (deep breathing and positive words) to help them when they are faced with a challenge or problem.
  17. Have them share what they learned about problem solving with a family member and place the posterboard with problem-solving steps in a prominent place as a reminder.

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