Solution Wheel: A Simple Way To Help Kids Solve Problems

a playful way to solve problems Encourage Play.jpg

Very early in my career, a colleague shared a resource with me that I have found incredibly helpful. It’s called a Solution Wheel. When kids are having a conflict, sometimes they don’t always know what to do. In the moment, they can’t remember things that they can do to help work through a problem. Using a solution wheel is a great resource to help them figure out different ways to solve a problem.

One of the reasons I do like this lesson is because it’s working on solving problems AND you can also make it a crafts project. Yay!!

What you'll need:

Step One:

Have the kids pick a color of construction paper they want to use, then cut out the solution wheel and an arrow.

Step Two:

Glue the arrow to the bottom of the piece of construction paper, having the bottom of the arrow line up with the bottom of the construction paper.

Step Three:

Connect the solution wheel to the construction paper using a metal brad so it can spin.

Now it’s ready to use!

NOTE: Let the kids know this is not a type of wheel that you just spin and try the solution you land on. You turn it until you find a solution you want to try.

When I used it as a lesson, I had several different scenarios that I used to help kids see the solution wheel in action. Here are a couple of examples:

Two kids are arguing over which game to play at recess. What could you do?

You could...

  • Share and take turns
  • Talk it out
  • Make a deal
  •  

You are getting frustrated with your little brother’s behavior.

You could...

  • Walk away
  • Ignore it
  • Tell them to stop

 

I’ve used this in school settings and in social group settings, and kids have responded well to it. I always explain it’s another resource to use when you’re having a hard time working through a problem. In my office at school, I even had a large version of this hanging on my wall. I would always be very clear in stating that this is not going to solve every problem all the time, but it was a good place to start.

You can always make your own wheel with your own solutions. I made a free printable for you to download and use at school or at home. Give it a try today!

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