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Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is the Little Thinkers Center?

The Little Thinkers Center is where we help children develop their critical and creative thinking skills. We do this by giving children specific experiential activities that are fun yet challenging enough to build the divergent thinking skills needed to understand the whys behind the problems.

For example, to understand math, it doesn’t matter that you know 2×2 = 4. You have to know WHY 2×2 = 4. That requires concept learning, not content learning. Being able to grasp this type of thinking opens the door to a new world of possibilities. And the tools children gain here will help them tackle challenges academically, socially, and emotionally.

How was the idea born?

Having treated children with severe anxiety disorders for the last 2 decades, it was apparent that many of the triggers came from academic or social challenges. What was disturbing to see was that many of these children didn’t believe in themselves to have the ability to overcome obstacles. They didn’t have the thinking skills necessary to efficiently solve questions from school work, conflicts with peers, or even simple everyday problems.  They lacked the “I can” attitude needed for self-confidence. Thus, when I was pregnant in 2016 with twins, I knew I wanted to have a place where my boys could gain these critical and creative thinking skills. Unfortunately, there aren’t many quality options in Southern California. So, with my training from Dr Harry Wachs and my experience in child development, the Little Thinkers Center was born.

–  Dr. Jenny Yip – Founder of Little Thinkers Center

How will my child benefit by coming to the Little Thinkers Center?

  • Any child will benefit from our enrichment activities at the Little Thinkers Center. As children grow, they are going through integral learning phases and building skills that will help them through life. Our curriculum incorporates thinking games that target various areas such as visual-spatial awareness, auditory learning, critical thinking, social-emotional awareness and more. As these skills are strengthened, an increase in focus, motivation, and self-confidence also come along.
  • Children with specific challenges academically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally will highly benefit from our program as well. After a developmental evaluation, a unique and tailored program can be created for your child according to specific areas that require more attention.

My child struggles at school, but is not diagnosed with anything. Can you still help?

Of course. The reality is that many children struggle academically, socially, or in sports. Whether it’s due to anxiety, perfectionism, stress, or a learning challenge, the most important factor to any successful endeavor is the belief in yourself to tackle obstacles and challenges in life. This is where we come in. At the Little Thinkers Center, we help children acquire the thinking skills that result in higher self-confidence and lower stress, enriching and advancing each child’s learning and development.

What are the "Thinking Games" exactly?

The thinking games were created by Dr Harry Wachs in the spirit of children’s play for its own sake. Play in itself requires thinking, and as Jean Piaget once said, “Play is the Work of Childhood”.  The thinking games are categorized according to different areas of development. And the positive results include: enhanced problem-solving capabilities, stronger academic performance and curiosity, improved social interactions, and most importantly, authentic self-confidence and resiliency. All of this fosters an “I can” attitude that’s needed for self-esteem and the belief in yourself to achieve what you set your mind to.

What ages are the thinking games and activities suitable for?

Our thinking games are most beneficial for children who are past their sensorimotor stage of development.  This occurs around age 2 give or take. Children in the sensorimotor stage are still absorbing so much knowledge through their senses and interactions with their natural environment that it’s best to give them those opportunities to keep exploring. An important point is that our program doesn’t focus on chronological age and instead tailors the thinking games to each child’s developmental level and readiness.

How will the Little Thinkers Center help a child in preschool or grade school?

Every child varies in their strengths and weaknesses and that is something we consider when developing a unique, tailored program for each child. Through the use of our thinking games, we work on enriching every child’s learning. For younger participants in preschool, we help develop their fine and gross motor skills from hand-eye coordination to fine-tuning the use of their pincher finger muscles. This can be helpful as they start holding pencils, buttoning shirts, and tying shoelaces. As children grow older, we continue building movement skills in addition to critical thinking and logic skills that will nurture their grasp of traditional school subjects such as math and science. 

How can teachers and parents benefit from the Little Thinkers Center?

  • As children are in their prime developmental stages, it is important for teachers and parents to know what to do in order to best support their children. Through our workshops, teachers and parents will gain insight into methods that are best suited to nurture healthy cognitive development, while enhancing critical and creative thinking in children.
  • Additionally, thinking games that enhance creative and critical thinking will also be introduced as techniques that can be implemented to enhance children’s capacity to think outside the box for effective problem-solving.

What is the assessment process like, and how do I schedule an appointment?

Before sessions begin, an initial 30min phone consult is scheduled to determine the appropriateness of our program. Following which a 2-hr evaluation will be conducted to assess the child’s developmental level, and identify specific challenges and learning gaps. This evaluation will guide the individually-tailored program for that child. To get started with the initial phone consult, just call or email us, and our Clinical Coordinator will walk you through the process.