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Nice problem solving activities

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by littlemisspractical, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Hi all,
    I just wondered if anyone had some examples of nice 'problem solving' activities for a reception class. I've done the usual 'Teddy Bear's picnic' and sorting activities- just wondered if there were any more as i'm new to reception!
    Thank you
  2. Did you find any good resources for problem solving? I am also new to reception and we have the problem solving topic coming up at the end of term but my mind has gone blank!!
    Thanks x
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The practitioner thinks of a number and gives
    clues eg. my number is bigger than 3. Children
    can also ask questions to help identify the
    unknown number.
    · Place, for example, 6 balls in a bag, tell the
    children how many there are then ask them, for
    example, are there enough for the children in the
    red group to have one each? Ask the children
    how they will find out.
    · It is teddy’s fifth birthday – he has invited 5
    friends to his party. Can the children set the
    party table, put the correct number of candles
    on the cake, find a numbered card that teddy
    may have received last year?
    · Count, for example, 5 counters into a pot, turn
    the pot upside down so that some counters are
    trapped underneath. How can the children tell
    you/find out how many counters are hidden?
    · Number story word problems (these can be reenacted/
    explained during role play). For
    example, Bob the Builder builds 5 houses. Each
    house needs 1 chimney. He has 3 chimneys – how
    many more does he need?
    · Use everyday routines – are there enough
    biscuits, chairs, aprons etc for the number of
    · Make clearing up part of learning – “How can the
    children arrange the bricks in the trolley to make
    sure they go in?” “How many will fit?”
    · Stack boxes with the largest at the bottom, or
    inside one another. Keep a selection of empty
    boxes and tins for children to sort things into.
    · Give children opportunities to estimate – “Will all
    the water from the bottle fit into the beaker?”
    “How many beakers are needed?” Is the rug big
    enough for everyone to fit on?” “Is this sheet of
    wrapping paper large enough to wrap this present
    · When tidying up ask “How many will fit?” eg.
    boxes on the shelf.
    · Estimate number in very large groups. Introduce
    the names of very large numbers eg. hundreds,
    thousands, millions.

    Programme an electrical toy to reach the door.
    · About how many metre rulers do we need to
    measure the hall floor?
    · About how many beads will weigh the same as
    this teddy bear?
    · How many beads will fit in the box? Is there a
    better way to place them so that we get more in?
    · Ask questions such as “How can we measure the
    room?” “How can we find out how heavy this bear
    · “how many jugs of milk will we need for
    everyone’s drink?”
    · At clearing up time ask questions such as “How
    many bricks will fit in this box?” “What is the
    best way to put them in to make sure they fit?”
    · Give children the opportunity to estimate eg.
    “Will all the water from the bottle fit in the
    cup?” “Will all the sand fit in this bucket?”
    · Stack boxes with the largest at the bottom, or
    inside one another.

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