Curiosity is the desire to learn. It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out. Children are naturally curious and seem to want to know everything about the world around them. Curious children are more likely to learn and retain information, and stay involved and do better in school .Nurturing your child’s curiosity is one of the most important ways you can help her become a lifelong learner.
According to cognitive scientist and researcher Elizabeth Bonawitz, curiosity is innate in all humans — a sensation much like hunger or thirst. “Curiosity acts as a kind of filter you put over the world to help the mind decide what information to attend to,” she says. “It’s a physiological response that helps drive action and decision-making to support learning.”
Here are some tips to nurture and develop a child’s curiosity:
- Allow your child to make mistakes
Let kids make mistakes, experience disappointment and rejection early on in their lives. Failures are the best teachers. They can figure out how to get out of such situations on their own. Do not provide them with direct answers to their problems but show them guidelines and pathways to figure out solutions on their own.
- Unstructured play
Unstructured play provokes a sense of discovery in the kids. By giving them time to play , one is allowing them to use and practice their curiosity and imagination. A child can make their own rules for any game he would like to play, and as a parent one shouldn’t expect to make sense of the child’s play. Giving them a free hand opens up their imagination to what any structured play could be.
- Don’t discourage things that are unique or different
Let them try out things that are unique or different. It’ll only expose them to the pros and cons of what it brings. This can turn into a wonderful learning experience for the child as well.
- Expose them to new things
Exposure at the right age can go a long way. Go to a children’s museum, to the park, or to the zoo. Traveling , visiting to places or even reading books can provide so much exposure to a kid. Always be looking for new things to expose your child to. The entire experience can make them learn more about people, cultures, and the real world. During the weekend, take a field trip to the library or your local bookstore. Exposing your children to books at an early age will lead her to grow up to be a curious person.
- Ask open-ended questions.
Always ask open ended questions. That engages them in an active inquiry rather than them spitting out routine knowledge. You can also ask them their own views/knowledge on something before answering their questions.
- Follow your child’s interest
Let your child follow something he’s passionate about and build curiosity on it. Make them figure out ways to finish something they’re eager to achieve. That’ll teach them how accomplish things in a structured manner Do more activities revolving around their interest. Show interest in what they’re trying to achieve. That only motivates them to work harder towards their goal.
- Banish “boring.”
When something becomes boring, you don’t want your child to perceive that boredom is okay. So, when he feels disinterested, encourage him to find something interesting, even if it’s something within the boring activity — to make it more attractive.
- Let your kid be a kid
Let them be their age. Children often want to do things that we adults perceive as inconvenient. But as long as their latest idea isn’t dangerous, it is better to let them explore the world their own way. Curious children are receptive to new information, making them open-minded persons since they are kids.
- Focus on the Process, Not the Outcome
It’s not the destination but the journey. Don’t focus too much on the results but on how they get wherever they want to be. Many parents are too achievement-oriented and focused on the future. It’s an easy trap to fall into. if you place too much emphasis on the goals, the child may loose interest in the entire process of learning.