Children are inherently curious and this is how they learn; watching, thinking, exploring, asking questions and finding out for themselves. We are all born curious.
The world is an endless source of wonder to your child – Where does the sun disappear at night? Why are some oceans blue, and some green? How do bridges bear so much weight? Where are the clouds going? Why is it raining? What happens to the sun at night are a few of the questions I have been asked by the Dalmatians this week when I've been outside with them!
Here at Mucky Pups we believe that the best way to encourage children to learn is to offer real, cosy and homely environments with real objects that inspire that sense of curiosity. This curiosity inspires the children to find out more, explore more, try out their thinking more and question more.
If children are engaged with their environment then the learning comes naturally and from the children. Just think about how much they have with a cardboard box rather than the toy or present inside. A cardboard box can be anything! A pirate ship, a house, a cave, a den, a car, a train even a castle. It can be whatever your imagination wants it to be and can take you wherever your imagination takes you and it is our job as parents, carers and key workers to inspire that curiosity and develop it.
Curiosity is important, it is how we learn and so even if the endless questions can be annoying, they are a great attribute for your child to have and something that should be encouraged...although I know the endless why is hard sometimes, especially when you're tired or in a rush. This curiosity could result in them being the next Steve Jobs or Alan Sugar! Now there's a thought!
Steve Jobs says
“The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.”
Curiosity can decline with age and more formal education so now is the time to truly develop that Awe and Wonder and curiosity in them.
To be curious though we all need to feel safe to ask the questions that others may feel is silly and developing those strong, caring and empathetic relationships here is key! You can always voice what you think the questions they want to ask. Each child will have different interest and therefore be curious about different things. It may be nature, weather, dinosaurs, trains, building, books, technology, food or animals.
Here are some ways for you to help develop that curiosity:
1. Encourage your child’s interests.
Find out your child’s interests, and explore them together. Answer their questions and if you don't know...find out together!
2. Answer questions with enthusiasm.
Respond to your child’s questions thoughtfully. If you don’t know the answer, seek out answers together from the Internet, books or experts. Help them feel comfortable with feelings of not knowing something, and also help them realize the excitement of resolving uncertainty.
3. Redirect interests.
If your child enjoys playing with water, instead of saying ‘Don’t’ when she throws a cup of water, give her some water and containers, and allow her to play in an area which can be messed up. Show her acceptable ways of learning.
4. Give children a safe routine.
“Young children thrive on a calm, orderly family life with regular mealtimes and bedtime routines. Since children cannot tell time, the routine is their clock. When children’s lives are stressful, they respond by playing and exploring less.
6. Choose play materials intelligently.
Think open ended real objects that can inspire that curiosity in your children.
Though video game consoles may be a rage, kids need play materials they can manipulate. Blocks, boxes, puzzles, water, and art materials – these can be an immense source of fun and learning for your child.
7. Allow children to collect things.
Encourage children to collect seashells, miniature cars, sports-related items or pebbles.
8. Provide them with tools for exploration.
Give them magnets, bucket, magnifying glass, measuring tape, sand, clay, water and measuring cups for their investigations.