They say that curiosity killed the cat, but without curiosity we wouldn’t have the world as we know it today. PsychCentral defined curiosity as “a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something,” and having the urge to discover is crucial for the human experience.
The ability to ask good questions and learn from others allows for innovation and building empathy between people of different backgrounds. Since curiosity is such a defining human trait, it’s important to encourage kids to learn about the world they’re living in and explore the topics that pique their interest.. Here are a few ways that you can help kids develop a strong sense of curiosity:
If your child is old enough to speak sentences, chances are that they’re already asking questions. Even if you’re not a rocket scientist or a bird expert, author Andrea Beaty recommends “celebrating the question” anyway by writing down the question and finding out the answer. Have conversations with your child by asking them how they feel about the thing they’re curious about, or why they’re curious about it. This helps your child develop their critical thinking skills and give you both a chance to bond.
Give Opportunities to Explore
In order to get your kid asking more questions, take them to new places where they can freely explore. Hiking trails are great places for your child to learn about nature, for instance. Museums can spark curiosity about a variety of subjects. A local park allows children to freely discover and interact with their environment with low risk.
Even though it might be difficult to get kids to sit for long periods of time, books not only share values and life lessons but also curiosity about new places. Kids might want to learn more about the main character’s career and passions, for instance. If the story takes place in a real city or country, the kid might want to explore that place. Reading books can spark a desire to learn topics like art, science, and technology.
Play is well-known to spark creativity and improve cognitive function in kids (and even adults!). Playtime is a great, low-pressure environment where you can help your child be curious, whether it’s understanding how a certain toy works or how animals live and behave in real life.
The world benefits from the innovations that stem from curious minds, and so it’s worth encouraging younger generations to be curious. When you indulge your child’s curious mind, you also create opportunities for both of you to learn and strengthen your relationship together.