Flexible Problem Solving


Flexibility is the ability to adapt to new situations. This is particularly important between the preschool and school age because children in this age range are exposed to a number of changing contexts, such as:

  • Unfamiliar words for which they have to figure out the meaning
  • Objects s/he has never seen before and need to figure out what they are for
  • Problems and questions in school and home (What is the teacher asking? How do you put this together? Is that man nice? Will that girl share her toy? Where is that box of cookies that daddy bought? etc.)

These contexts are constantly changing and are unpredictable, and require the child to shift his/her attention. By the time children enter school they can understand thousands of words, know the use of many objects and can follow simple instructions. How does this ability to adapt to different situations develop?