Top Tips to Inspire Curiosity in Your Child
All children are born curious, as they are trying to make sense of the world around them from the very beginning. As they begin to learn and grow, they start to explore. Whether that is unraveling the toilet paper or emptying the contents of the kitchen cupboards onto the floor, they are investigating the world and beginning to figure things out.
A curious child is willing and able to continually grow, learn and question. And as they develop their imagination and sense of creativity, those steps put them on the road to acquiring what they need to become successful adults.
Research has shown that when you explore and satisfy your curiosity, your brain floods your body with dopamine, the chemical which makes you feel good. This means our brains are rewarding us for learning, and not only that, but curiosity helps you to remember what you are learning.
Play is one of the best ways for children to learn and grow. It helps them to develop motor skills (such as sitting, standing, walking, running, and jumping), problem-solving, and positive social interaction.
Curious children not only ask questions (so many questions!), but they also try to find the answers. And when children are curious, they’re much more likely to stay engaged.
Here are some simple but effective ways to encourage curiosity.
Wonder aloud. When we say aloud, “I wonder why it’s snowing,” we are modeling what curiosity means.
Encourage their natural interests. If your child is interested in drawing, for example, give them lots of different opportunities to draw and create spaces for them to engage in these favorite activities safely on their own (for example, by leaving crayons and paper on the table).
Use open-ended questions. Stimulate your child’s curiosity with ‘who, what, when, where, why, and how’ questions, and always ask your child their thoughts before answering the question yourself.
Redirect versus discourage. Give your child an opportunity to explore their interests safely. If they like to pour water out of a cup, sit them on a tile floor or give them similar items to play with outside (or in the bathtub!).
Have flexible material available. When we give children items like blocks or crayons to play with, we allow them to use their curiosity. Many store-bought toys can only be used in one way and offer fewer possibilities. (That’s why your child may love the box the toy came in more than the toy itself!)
In today’s competitive world, innovation is a highly prized skill: and a child without curiosity may not be an adult who innovates at school, college, or work. So instead of thinking of it as a risky quality, think of it as vital for success.
Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
So, take some time to encourage your child to wander down some new paths. Who knows where it might lead them?