QPL Early Learning Services aim to give parents and caregivers the tools to raise children who love reading and learning! We are now offering families Higher Order Thinking (H.O.T) Activities that can be completed together in your home.

Unlock your child's potential and imagination today through reading and creative problem solving—find out how below!

What Is H.O.T?

H.O.T. stands for Higher Order Thinking and relates to the thinking skills used to go beyond memorizing facts. These thinking skills help us reason, think critically, and problem-solve. Playing in a way that involves problem-solving, collaborating, designing, and making is the key to H.O.T. skill development. Our H.O.T. programs are designed to challenge children to push themselves while making sure that the whole family is supported.

What H.O.T Is Not

H.O.T is NOT a craft activity—even though you will see what seems like craft supplies. The focus of this activity is on the child’s process and how they think through the challenge. Families should focus on how their child got their answer to the challenge, not the quality of the product at the end. There are some examples here of how children answered different challenges, but keep in mind that their answer today can be different than tomorrow. H.O.T. does not have directions so you and your child can be creative!

How Do I Engage with H.O.T?

Our H.O.T. activities provide families with supplies and guiding questions to help in building higher order thinking skills in young children. These activities are a combination of stories that will delight your children, art/building supplies to support a play activity, and questions for caregivers to ask their child after the play activity is finished.

It is important for your child's development that caregivers really allow the child to direct the activity. This is not about a perfect craft project, but about the process of making something that will solve a problem or answer a question. You will not see glue or tape in your activity bag. This allows you and your child to play again and again. Keep that in mind!

Each of the activities is designed to be done in 30 minutes. This is to maximize the attention span of young children, but don’t worry if this takes longer or if your child loses interest. Let the activities be guided by them, and know that you are building skills that they will use for a lifetime.

 

Here is an example of an H.O.T Activity where the children had the same response with different physical interpretations.

Example 1

Example 2

Topic: Water

Question: Create something that appears after it rains.

Response: A rainbow

Topic: Water

Question: Create something that appears after it rains.

Response: A rainbow

HOTexample1a

HOTexample2a

1. What are the materials you used?
Colored paper

2. Can you explain what you created?
I have all the colors. Yellow, green, blue, pink, brown, black, red, orange, and purple.

3. Does the rain affect what you created?
Yes, the rainbow will melt in the rain.

4. What would the result be if there was no rain?
There is no rainbow because you need rain and sun to make a rainbow.

5. How would you improve on what you created?
I would use the shapes and glue to create a rainbow.

1. What are the materials you used?
Foam sheet, shapes, and pipe cleaners.

2. Can you explain what you created?
A rainbow. I used all different kinds of colors. Purple, pink, white and more white shapes.

3. Does the rain affect what you created?
Yes, it will create another rainbow.

4. What would the result be if there was no rain?
No one would see the rainbow.

5. How would you improve on what you created?
I would take different color pipe cleaners and foam sheets and make a better rainbow.

 

Here is the same topic with a different question, where the children had different responses and physical interpretations.

Example 1

Example 2

Topic: Water

Question: How do you use water in your home? Create something that shows how you use water.

Response: A sink

Topic: Water

Question: How do you use water in your home? Create something that shows how you use water.

Response: A toy boat can be put in the water and it swims.

HOTexample1b

HOTexample2b

1. What are the materials you used?
Pipe cleaners, and the shapes, and the popsicle stick.

2. Can you explain what you created?
A sink. The shape and pipe cleaner is where the water comes out. The popsicle stick is where you turn the sink on.

3. How would you make better what you created?
I would use glitter to show where the water comes out.

4. What would happen if you did not have (created item)? Explain.
You can't wash the dishes, cups, water bottles, Tupperware. That is bad because you would drink from a dirty cup and eat from dirty dishes.

5. How would you improve on what you created?
I would use more pipe cleaners and shapes and popsicle sticks to make a better sink.

1. What are the materials you used?
I used the hat shape and one of the spaghettis (points to pipe cleaners) and sticks and more shapes. And I used more sticks to put on the shapes. And I made a hula hoop that you put water in.

2. Can you explain what you created?
I made the hula hoop that you put in the water that sends water back down where the water is.

3. How would you make better what you created?
I would put this (pipe cleaner) around and around so that it doesn't fall.

4. What would happen if you did not have (created item)? Explain.
I can't hold my boat. I need to put this on my boat so my boat don't fall.

5. How would you improve on what you created?
I would make it real so I could play with it.