Every child in his or her developing years is a very keen learner. Children are curious about almost everything that takes place around them. Whatever they see, hear and smell are all like mysteries waiting to be uncovered. Curiosity is merely their natural desire to learn, explore, discover and understand things, which make them understand the world around them.
A curious child keeps exploring and learning, probably well into his adulthood as well. Hence, supporting your child's natural ability to be curious will help him become certainly a life-long learner. In addition, during the process of discovery, your child has ample chances to develop his creativity and also learn various problem solving skills on his own.
As a parent, you can provide opportunities and ambiance to help nurture your child's curiosity in following ways:
- Expose frequently your child to new knowledge and experience through reading books, listening moral stories, participating in outdoor activities and playing various games.
- Encourage your child to ask question if he has doubts or queries, and help him to finding the answers. Make sure to make your little learner not be afraid of asking and testing out new ideas.
Ways to Encourage Your Child's Curiosity and Learning
There are various ways in which you can encourage your child’s curiosity and learning. Few of them are as follows:
Nature: Take a walk along with your child in the park or a forest. Nature is one of the best schools, as it comprises natural teaching materials for example, plants, insects, flowers, trees, birds, fruits etc. that will set a child's curious mind clicking and desiring to explore them all and consequently learn through them.
Museums, zoos and aquariums: Visiting museums, zoos and aquariums and other such places have also great things like artifacts and creatures, dead or alive, which all can arouse a young child's curiosity and imagination. It is a very interesting way to learn about history and life sciences for children.
Question Games: Encourage your child to play games which offer them to ask a lot of questions. For instance, puzzle games, which comprise a lot of things like, fruits, vegetables, transport etc. this way they will not only learn questions about those things but also try to place them at right places in the puzzle, and hence develop their problem solving, analytical and fine motor skills.
Be Patient and Answer Calmly
While trying to encourage your child's natural ability to see, get curious and question, you may at times find those “why's” and “how's” annoying, particularly when you're busy. You may also feel uneasy answering some questions, or baffled if you don't know how to answer them.
Nevertheless, be careful not to kill his curiosity by shutting him up or brushing aside his questions. Those little out of curiosity questions can be killed very easily with responses, like “don't disturb me” or “don't ask”. Crushing your child's curiosity too often may hamper a very critical early childhood learning process.
There may be a reason behind those never-ending questions, such as trying to seek your attention, or not satisfied fully with the answer provided. Whichever reason it may be, following ways can be tried to handle the different situations and that too in a very positive manner.
- If your child frequently asks the same question, ask if he knows the answer. Your child probably will answer his own question and stop at it. He asks the same question many times as he just wants to have your attention or approval, so be patient.
- If you're busy, tell your child very politely that you will get back to him later. Simply ignoring your child’s questions often lead him to find his own answer in different ways and from different sources that may be misleading.
- Honestly admit if you don't have the answer for the question of your child, and tell him that you'll find out and tell the answer to him later. Always tell it in a proper manner; or your child will never stop asking.
- When dealing with difficult questions, ask for some time to think about it, this allows you to come up with the best age-appropriate response for your child. Don't lie to your child; if he finds out the truth he may not believe in you anymore.
- You can also persuade your child to find answers for himself by going to the library, or by getting help from other family members or school teachers.