Children are born curious and encouraging curiosity in children, a parental responsibility. They are intrigued by the smallest speck of dirt found around them and are always up discovering things in their surroundings. Nurturing your child’s curiosity is a very important way to help her become a lifelong learner.
Have you ever noticed how your newborn follows sounds, faces and interesting objects with his eyes? Or how a 9-month-old shakes a rattle and puts it into her mouth to see what the object can do? Or how much a 2-year-old loves the idea of a mars rover. A common factor at play in all these scenarios is curiosity!
Why is encouraging curiosity in children important
Stimulating a child’s curiosity positively enables them to continually learn, grow and question the world they live in. It is also noted that encouraging curiosity helps a child to nurture a healthy imagination making them creative. Research has shown that when children question and examine what is around them, they do better at school, in relationships and at work. Also it has been noted that children who are curious are more open to new experiences and more comfortable dealing with anxiety and obstacles making them resilient in life.
Pediatric Research (journal), April 2018
Curious children are better able to grasp basic math and reading. It is important for higher academic achievement.
Here are 5 ways to encourage curiosity in children
- Answer your child’s questions:
It is indeed a challenging task to answer all the questions asked by your child. However, responding to her queries in a nonchalant way is also not ideal for her development. Instead try and answer all your child’s queries by engaging her in discussion. This will broaden your child’s knowledge horizon and help her to put her thinking caps on. When too busy to answer the query, explain to your child that you will get back to her and make the effort to do the same. Children love sincerity.
2. Model curiosity:
Your child learns best by observing what you do. Hence, make sure to role model positive behavior and help in encouraging curiosity. Make note of raising questions that can serve as a learning point for your child as you go about doing your day’s chores. For example, while taking a walk outside, you can ask “Why does the rainbow appear after the heavy downpour?”, “Why do we see moon at night?” discuss and brainstorm with your child about all the possible answers and sit down with some books to do research to give the correct reasons.
3. Let your child pursue her lead:
Encouraging natural interests of your child will automatically generate curiosity in them. Children learn much more through activities that capture their attention and concentration. So, if your child likes playing guitar, encourage her by going through online tutoring or enrolling her for music classes.
4. Visit new places:
Visiting new places such foreign countries, native states, or even a new park or museum in your neighborhood introduces your child to world of new experiences as a way of encouraging curiosity. This will give your child a chance to experience new cultures and get exposed to a different environment and learn to get adjusted to it.
5. Encourage open-ended activities in your child’s play:
Ordinary play things such as boxes, blocks, water, clay or any art material, can be used imaginatively. Do not instruct your child what to do with the material. Instead, let your child’s curiosity be her guide while she plays.
Children become more curious when they feel that they have a strong support system. Therfore, make them comfortable in their curiosity.