26 Feb Raising Smart and Curious Child
The world is an endless wonder for a curious child.
And while having a curious child means being bombarded with thousands of questions every day, asking these questions is a great way for kids to develop confidence, build critical skills, and interact with their environment.
What is Curiosity?
Curiosity is the desire to learn, understand new things
It is that great pull of gravity that urges us to explore, discover, and figure things out.
Curiosity is something that all babies are born with. This trait starts from as early as infancy.
Newborn babies will follow sounds and shapes with their eyes.
At 6-8 months, babies will start testing out toys by throwing or shaking them.
And as babies grow, so does their curiosity.
Therefore creating an environment that encourages imagination, creativity, and curiosity is important to keep the curiosity alive.
Why Curiosity Matters?
Nurturing your child’s curiosity is one of the most important ways you can help your kids become lifelong learners.
According to a study found in Perspectives in Psychological Science, curiosity is a big part of academic performance. The more curious a child is, the more he learns.
But curiosity is not only limited to the intellectual development of a person, this trait is also linked to creativity and the development of psychological, emotional, and social aspect of an individual.
With these benefits, it’s important to continue to inspire curiosity in your kids to keep them learning and engaged.
Here’s how you can effectively nurture their curious minds:
1. Be Curious
Kids learn best from observing what you do so model the curiosity that you would like to see in your kid.
This means continuing asking questions, trying out new hobbies, learning new skills, trying new recipes, and taking short courses.
It doesn’t matter whether you excel on it or not but showing your kids that you are willing and trying new things will set an example for them to try new things too and never stop learning.
2. Follow Your Child’s Lead
Your kid’s natural curiosity will lead him toward activities and things that interest him.
Find out what these are and encourage them to learn more.
If they are into animals, try visiting a farm, reading books, and watching age-appropriate documentaries.
You can also come up with activities using the toys that they already have like building animals out of Lego blocks or molding clay into animal forms.
Children learn so much more through activities that stimulate their imagination and capture their interest.
3. Encourage Asking Questions
Curiosity leads to more curiosity.
Kids will continuously ask questions and it may take some time and effort on your part to answer everything, but will go a long way in developing their intelligence.
When it seems like the questions are challenging, it’s okay to say that you don’t know the answer.
Don’t make one up.
Instead, use this as an opportunity to discover the answer together.
4. Ask Questions
Chances are your kids fires off thousands of questions a day in your direction, but how many questions do you ask your child?
Parents have a tendency to ask questions that they can definitely answer but try to ask questions that will inspire curiosity.
You can ask questions like, “What do you think will be a good ending for that story?” or “If you were a bird, where would you build your nest?”
These questions will force them to think out of the box and will encourage their imagination and curiosity plus it’s loads of fun.
5.Use an Open-ended Language
Language is one of the most powerful tools for learning and the language that you use has a big impact on whether or not your kids will continue to explore their world. One effective way of doing this is by asking open ended questions with no wrong or right answers.
Doing this has many benefits as they help your kid to:
- Think outside the box
- Recall recent or past events which develops their memory skills
- Think of as many possibilities as they can
The more encouraging and open-ended you are when you talk to them, the more confident they will be in figuring things out and be better equipped in understanding the world around them.
Carve out time during the day to allow your kids to explore their environment and engage their natural curiosity.
Provide them with materials like blocks, sand, paper and anything else that can be used to spark their imaginations.
7. Let Them Make Mistakes
When your kids are faced with a challenging task, your natural inclination is to step in and save the day.
But making mistakes and thinking about how to get past them opens your child’s mind to come up with new ideas to solve their problems.
Related: 10 Tips to Raise a Resilient Child
8. Allow Them to be Bored
While having a set routine of activities helps make the day running smoothly, making small tweaks in your kids’ daily activities like keeping them bored will help their minds wander.
Boredom breeds curiosity and stimulates creativity.
And when their minds wander, they are more likely to come up with new ideas to entertain themselves or come up with solutions to their tasks.
9. Travel to New Places
Shared discovery gives the greatest pleasure so travel with your kids to new places as this is a great way to nurture their natural curiosity.
When kids are exposed to new people and culture, they get to develop a wider world view and open their mind to new ideas and experiences.
10. Nurture a Love for Reading
Reading is one of the best ways to keep your brain active and healthy.
Make reading a part of your daily routine to help stimulate your kids’ imagination and opens their minds to new possibilities and ideas.
Here are some books that we personally love that are guaranteed to foster your kid’s imagination:
Harold and The Purple Crayon
This book by Crockett Johnson shows that anything is possible for Harold with a purple crayon and his vivid imagination.
Zoey and the Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows
With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure Asia Citro’s magical tale will always be a favorite among curious kids. It revolves around an enchanting world with Zoey and Sassafras as they learn to help an injured baby dragon get well.
The Day the Crayons Left
This wildly imaginative book by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers is loads of fun that both adults and kids will surely love. The story will help kids look at their box of crayons in a completely different way.
Kids will always have a huge thirst for knowledge and an unexplained itch to explore the world around them and figure out how things work.
Don’t stop this and continue encouraging their inquisitiveness
Keep in mind that asking questions and discovering possibilities will lead to a lifetime of curiosity.