We’ve been discussing higher-level thinking skills and how to help our children develop them. On Monday I published a word list that suggests several challenge activities you could work into your child’s formal academic assignments, but in our Friday Fun posts I’ve also suggested a number of hands-on activities that can give your kiddos real-life analytical practice.

Here are four more:

Alike/Different Puzzles

If you’re like me, you remember these from Highlights magazine for children, but they’re available for every age group now–even adults! And you can find many (like this one from All Kids Network) by Googling “Spot the difference printable.”


A collection of any kind is an invitation to examine, identify, classify, subdivide, and categorize–all skills related to analysis.

Compare and Contrast Books to Movies

When you complete a reading assignment for literature, check to see if there’s a movie version available. There may be more than one! Watch these, then let your students compare and contrast, pointing out the differences in each. BONUS: as they begin to make value judgments about the benefits and disadvantages of each, they’ll be bridging into the next level of higher thinking–evaluation.

Nutrition Practicum

As you teach nutrition (on any level from elementary to high school), invite your children to investigate the nutritional content of fruits and vegetables, distinguish their beneficial qualities, and note how the nutrients relate to their color.

Now click back to the previous Monday Motivator post and see how many of the key words we’ve used today! Once you get the hang of it, developing opportunities to practice analysis is fun and easy. 🙂