How to boost curiosity in kids?
I’m sure you all must have read my last post on curiosity and how I’m bombarded with zillions of questions. That’s what childhood is about and that’s how curiosity takes the shape of knowledge. This quote by legend Albert Einstein, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing”, resonates with me today. The more questions my child does looking at the surroundings or the activities undertaken, the more he learns. It can be easily deferred that the more curious a child is, the more he learns. If this inquisitiveness is given the right nurturing, it can help kids become learner’s throughout.
Just think for a moment, who are the nurturers of curiosity in kids? Either, we parents or teachers, right? Though kids are naturally curious, it depends a lot on us to help them seek right answers. We need to look upon the activities that elevates their interests. Baby A has a sort of insatiable curiosity when it comes to vehicles and robots. He is always in a mode to know how do these things work, what are various parts responsible, how they are made and so on. At this age we have to give him these mechanical learnings in a simplistic manner. And it is amazing to see the knowledge retained by him. Age 3+ is the right time to nurture a child’s curiosity, well in a subtle way.
Did you know that Curiosity is one of eight core abilities (Curiosity, Empathy, Resilience, Self-awareness, Creativity, Integrity, resourcefulness, sociability) which is must for kids to be successful?
5 Tips to Boost a child’s Curiosity :
1. Answer the questions rightly, basis your child’s development :
Well answering rightly is the key. The questions posed by kids are quite precarious and we need to answer them keeping in mind the child’s development. What matters here more is the type of answers you give. Never give answers as ” Its because I’m saying” or “Things are this way only”. Stop doing that right away, you’re adding a speed breaker to your child’s budding mind. You can rather counter question them, as, What do you think could be the reason? Let kids use their grey matter sometimes and pop up with the answers? It would not be correct most of the times, that’s the fun. But this provokes kids to use their imaginations and come up with their own answers. You always have the time to explain them the right facts.
I’ve often used this quizzing method and baby A has always responded with some quirky answers and he feels so excited to tell me his thoughts.
At times, even I don’t have answers to my child’s question, and we have many such days. Once he questioned me, mama how many teeth a shark has? Quite perplexed, I informed him that we need to take the help of “Google” and we together browsed to find the right answer!
2. Read, Quizz :
And once we found out that a shark can have as many as 3000 rows of teeth, next we thought to enhance our knowledge base. Well, he had never counted is own teeth before. He did that excitedly and we built a small story around our teeth. The next day we got a small story book around Dental health as well. Interesting, informative and basis his age. That was a perfect achievement.
So, the point here is you should have “curiosity toolkit” ready. Pick up the objects your kids are curious about, plan stories, read them from the library, engage in some art and craft. While reading together, keep on quizzing kids, as in “what do you think would have happened after this, or Who is going to help them” or more so. Quizzing and putting across open ended questions broadens up a child’s horizon and gives them a pause to think and imagine.
3. Promote Natural Interests :
Observe! Very keenly see and find out the natural interests that your child shows. Look upon the things that fascinates him. Start the learning curve from there, rather than doing it randomly.
Encourage natural interests. Children learn so much more through activities that capture their attention and imaginations. Capture those signs, ready up their tool kit, find related books and there you go. Try to give them the dose of practical experience’s. Children retain more what they actually see.
I remember, once Baby A was quite fascinated with Earthworms from his book. He started wiggling like the worms. What next, we took our sheets, colours, magnifying lens and went for the nature walk in the garden. Looking out for bugs, insects was quite a fun for us. And yes we followed it with reading story as well.
4. Stimulating Environment :
Babies are always curious about their surroundings. As they grow, kids want an answer to all what they see. Hence, we need to have a stimulating environment. Kids are enticed with colours, pictures, new objects. You can improve upon sensory development by keeping sense stimulating things. Try changing one or two things around the house in a week, Shuffle up their Toy inventory, try changing some routines. Opt for experiential walks and tours. While you are doing these changes, keep on interacting with children about the differences they observe and their interests. While in garden, try asking your child, which all colours does this butterfly has or how many rose shrubs can they spot.
5. Free Play time :
Lego has a booklet with set of instructions to come up with a defined art. Did you give your child the set without any instruction and allowed him to come up with his own creativity? Well, I do that only and I get various objects as Gun, Traffic light, a Rocket and what not. It is must for us to leave kids juggling up with their play. Be it simply running, or leaving kids with clay or lego, kids ought to have their “Free Play” time everyday in a completely unstructured manner.
It not just helps in their creativity, but also allows them a chance to entertain themselves. They need to explore various plays from different things. Let kids play, this time boosts their Creativity and Curiosity as well.
Well, these are some activities which over the time I have learnt with my curious child. Each one of these points needs to be clubbed and then worked upon to boost up a child’s curiosity. I would like to know from my readers, how do you boost your child’s curiosity?