“There aren’t seven wonders of the world, in the eyes of a child. There are seven million”, it is said. The phrase says it all. Fives and sixes are clean slates, blessed with imaginary powers that run wild, all through the day. Their world is replete with curiosity, and their learning has no boundaries. It then becomes imperative that we channelize their inquisitiveness productively, as they endeavor to cross the fence between concrete and abstract experiences, and empower them in developing their key cognitive skills, early on.
Does curiosity really help children blossom?
It is said, a child’s curiosity about the world around it, also aids in building concepts, thinking & reasoning skills, vocabulary, creativity, independence and understanding of the unknown, within the child (now that’s an impressive list). And parents can play an instrumental role in channeling their curiosity, so that they help foster learning in a positive way.
Children who are taught to be curious and encouraged to think about things at an early age are better equipped to understand the world around them, and relate this new information to past or present experiences, suggest many studies.
To be good at the attributes discussed above, children must believe that being curious and asking questions is fun and should inherently want to be good at it. Parents and carers have the power to make that happen.
Well…. the task ahead is daunting and calls for real commitment
Nurturing a child’s curiosity is sheer hard work. Experts believe, if their inquiries are ignored, their desire to know gradually gets stunted. It is suggested that the best way for parents to encourage children’s curiosity is to stay curious themselves. But that’s easier said than done. As people get older, they have a tendency to fall back on what they already know, but curiosity is like a muscle: it atrophies without use. To keep it strong, adults may have to adopt the perspective of young children, and remain intensely conscious of what they don’t know.
6 simple tips to encourage children to ask questions
Read on to find out what could be done at home to foster children’s questioning abilities and support their learning:
Create a Safe Ambience
While it can be challenging at times to keep up with children’s questions, create an environment where children feel safe in asking questions and be curious. Encourage children to ask questions in many environments, including home, school, spiritual centers, around people, at events, and during confusing situations.
It will be a great idea for you to ask a lot of questions yourself, just to demonstrate that learning is a lifelong affair. For instance, you may ask your child, questions like, “why do you think the dough I am making needs water?”
Read Books Together
Read a lot of books to your child, which answer many day-to-day queries, and gives them an insight into everyday things.
Value your Child’s Queries
Post many multi-coloured post-its in their room, with answers to questions they might have asked you in the past, but you failed to answer, due to paucity of time or patience. This will send them the message that their queries are being valued and that their thoughts are not being brushed aside.
Inspire Children to Ask Higher-Order Questions
Encourage children to answer higher-order questions that will get them to put on their thinking caps and put to use their critical thinking skills, rather than just relaying the facts.
Introduce Complex Thoughts Creatively
Curious children ask a staggering 73 questions every day, half of which parents struggle to answer, according to a study. Using educational and visual aids such as toys and animated videos, can help to soften the difficulty of introducing trickier subjects. Expressing complex thoughts and ideas through familiar items can often help children’s understanding.
Our parting words:
A child’s courage to ask questions and our readiness to answer them, matter a great deal to the future, ahead of us. At beGalileo, we take pride in nurturing a curious mind and in inculcating the habit of asking questions, without any apprehension. By doing this, we are helping our children to expand their view of the world, and to gather knowledge, that will eventually make the world a better place to inhabit.