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Top Strategies To Improve Non-Verbal Reasoning In Children

Top Strategies To Improve Non-Verbal Reasoning In Children

Non-verbal reasoning is the kind of thinking that uses no words and involves looking at a problem or challenge and “seeing” the possible answers, understanding the concepts involved, and arriving at the correct solution. Essentially, it is a visual problem-solving technique like doing a Rubik’s Cube where one must “see it”. Logical thinking activities require a more visual brain for tackling things like reading graphs, building models, or finding your way around new places or buildings. Diagramming, measuring, and gathering data also belong in this category.

Poor non-verbal reasoning in childhood is a concern, given that it can lead to having a harder time with subjects like Math. Skills such as spatial reasoning is important for learners because Math problems require children to be able to visually represent concepts, form mental models, and understand how things fit together. Problems in analytical reasoning can be highly frustrating for children with non-verbal cognitive challenges.

Signs of non-verbal reasoning problems

  • Preference for letters and reading and writing over numbers and Math
  • Having a harder time learning to do Math problems
  • Difficulties in Math, especially when it comes to grasping relationships between abstract concepts, variables, shapes, variables, and more like those found in geometry and algebra problems.
  • Struggling and getting stuck when building things like Legos or model planes
  • Preference for verbal activities like plays than logical thinking ones such as science experiments

What parents can do to solve this

Building on the strengths of their child is the best way parents can help them overcome their issues with non-verbal reasoning. This means that if they are better with words, let them explore them even further and, better yet, pair them with visuals. This is what psychologists refer to as pairing, and it can significantly help children develop their visual skills while further improving their verbal skills.

In terms of ways to help children with poor non-verbal skills, here are some things parents can try at home.

1. Talk things out

People with poor non-verbal intelligence or visual processing may find that talking through things step by step is the best way to understand new information or solve math problems effectively. For instance, parents can list a series of steps for their children or talk them through said steps of a math problem. In this way, they can leverage words to learn how to get better at solving visual problems.

2. Provide context

Telling stories for non-verbal images helps bring meaning to them. For instance, when viewing a map, parents could come up with stories about the events in its various regions. These tales should ideally be about situations they remember or things they have prior knowledge of. Incorporate sights, sounds, and feelings into them to enable the child to put context into graphical or visual representations.

3. Find the meaning

Playing to your little one’s strengths can mean many things, such as assigning meanings to all information they get via the pictorial form. For instance, tell them how certain numbers can relate to real-life objects in scenarios. Take the equation “3 – 2 = 1” for example. Parents could let their children imagine a playground with three swings and ask how many are available to sit on after two of their friends are already playing among them.


Non-verbal reasoning is something we use a lot in our daily lives, from solving logical reasoning problems and discerning patterns to deciding what comes next in a given sequence. Children struggling with these reasoning skills may have a harder time with Math, Science, Art, Geography, and more.

To better improve your little one’s non-verbal reasoning skills, consider enrolling them in a Math enrichment program in Singapore today! At The Brain Academia Singapore, we are committed to helping your child break through all their cognitive roadblocks to reach their full potential. We are a decorated learning enrichment centre that is steadfast in empowering the younger generation to better achieve success by developing their cognitive abilities. To learn more about our team of qualified cognitive therapists and personalised cognitive training programs, fill out this form today and get your child started on their journey to improvement with us!