Curiosity is the mother of invention. The curiosity of knowing the reason for the fall of an apple made Isaac Newton invent the Laws of Motion.
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.”- Bernard Baruch.
Kids are curious by default. It is often seen in an early age behaviour. Kids tend to ask more questions about almost everything they come across. They are driven to seek reasons and knowledge around why’s, how’s and if’s behind everything that interests them.
The ability to ask questions and ask the right questions is important even in adults’ lives. This plays a huge role in how a child’s personality develops and how they grow up. Curiosity can influence the lives of your children in a great manner if channelled in the right direction.
Curiosity among children declines as they are exposed to formal education. There’s no study to back this fact, but it is observant in the behaviour of children. Many adults aren’t as curious as they used to be as kids.
To keep curiosity alive in your kids, here’s a list of activities you can practice with them, see them engaged, and wear the hat of curiosity.
Connect this to that
It’s a really good approach to help them understand different concepts. As they ask you multiple things, keep them in mind, and explain using the things they do. Connect what kids don’t know what they do. This approach can help them make sense of new ideas. The more approachable they feel projects, content or other activities are, the more likely they are to be curious about it.
Follow your child’s interest
It is important to understand what interests your kid the most. Building curiosity in kids gets effective when strategies are around their area of interest. Try and find out what your child is interested in and build curiosity on it. For instance, if your child likes sea animals, you can give her books and show various sea animals’ resources. Doing so, your kid will gain knowledge about things they like and come up with questions backed by knowledge.
Let the kids lead
If the learning is passive it is difficult to be curious, and the kids don’t have any control over their learning process. Allow your child to take the lead. Once you know what interests your child, help them pursue that in whatever ways you can. If they like music, you can enrol them in coaching and if you see them stick to it, buy them the instrument. Similarly, you can cater to their various interests after analyzing their dedication towards it.
Emphasize the process and not just the product
Kids are keen to work on hands-on projects and engage in learning games that require them to spend time exploring things around and about them. While your kids work on projects, ensure that you highlight the process and not just the end product. Question them about the strategies they used and why they picked that route. Ask them if they could’ve done it any other way and why they kept the other one as a second option. All these little details will give you knowledge about your child’s potential and knowledge and encourage children to experiment with their projects. Allocate times for children to share their projects’ intermediate stages and discuss what they plan to do next and why.
Allow time for exploratory play
It is not mandatory to always have a material output from a play session. Sometimes you leave the child to explore and be imaginative. As the saying goes, Curious minds are never bored; you must allow your child to explore their environment once in a while. This allows them to learn how various facets of their environment interact and can be adapted or manipulated. Give them different materials like blocks, sand, pots, and pans, and anything else that can be used to spark their imagination. Please don’t provide any directions or guidelines about what they have to do with the material or what they have to make. Allow them to explore their imagination and create something of their own. You can further indulge in a discussion about the process, the output (if there is), or appreciate their sheer efforts.
What matters the most is that you model the curiosity that you would like to see in your child. Among all the tips I have shared above, this is the primary one that you have to work on. Your kids look up to you and practice as they see. Try new hobbies or learn a new skill. While kids are in their growing age, they often pick their parents’ habits, and if you model this keen learner behaviour, you’ll see your child growing with the same curious learning attitude.