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What it is and how to develop abstract thinking (activities)

Thinking is related to all the capacity we have to understand the world in which we operate, and acquire knowledge that makes us functional in our daily lives, as well as act in all the situations we encounter. Depending on the problem or situation we are facing, the brain acts in a specific way to address or solve it. One such way is abstract thinking. According to Piaget, this kind of thinking is acquired after the age of 11.

But what is it?

It refers to the ability to divide or separate a situation or an object into different parts or qualities. This without the need to do it physically. Although it takes info from reality or experiences, it is a process that depends entirely on the imagination. Helping to reaffirm the knowledge that is already available. Allow the child to reason things from different angles and in more detail.

This will also help the child not only in the school environment but also in everyday life. When you begin to analyze everything around you in a more detailed way, you will make deductions, compare, and make interpretations. That is, it will no longer remain in a linear thought that depends on its senses, but will go beyond, which is precisely the most important characteristic of this type of thought. It is the most complex degree of thinking.

Activities to encourage this type of abstract thinking

Here are some options:

1. Where are you going and what will you do?

This activity can be carried out anywhere. Try to observe the people who are in the place. According to the characteristics it presents, such as clothing, behaviors, etc. deduce or make hypotheses about where it goes and what it will do. Always with an endorsement of why you think that.


Man in the park. He repeatedly looks at his watch. He has a suit and portfolio. Review the documents several times. Talk on the phone. His face looks worried. Hypothesis: You will see someone important. Your meeting has to do with the documents in your hand. He’s waiting for someone to arrive and it’s getting late. That is, they will no longer see a man in the park but will analyze him in parts in his quality.

2. Create alternate endings to a story.

Start telling her a story, including small details. Then ask him to continue the story, imagine different endings, taking up the data you gave him.


It’s twelve o’clock in the day and it’s hot. A woman on the subway is wearing an elegant, short, black dress. She doesn’t wear makeup. In his hand, he has a sack and in the other some chocolates. They are wearing a pink label.

First hypothesis: A woman who will see her friend and bring her a gift for her birthday. Surely he will stay late for the sack. They will go to an elegant place to eat for the dress. She doesn’t like to put on makeup.

Second hypothesis: A woman went to a party at night yesterday. He celebrated his birthday. She slept at her friend’s house and no longer put on makeup to go home. They gave him chocolates. He separates them from the sack because maybe he’s worried they’ll melt. Imagine and you can even write those stories afterward so they don’t get lost. Enjoy yourselves.

3. Guess the number series.

This exercise should be done mentally. It’s about figuring out the patterns in the number series and guessing which sign or number follows. This can be very helpful to improve in other types of numerical operations. To make it more dynamic they can use figures and put a specific value on them. This will increase the difficulty. Exercise this skill together.

We hope this information and activities will help stimulate abstract thinking in your little one.

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