How to keep your child’s curiosity alive
Created by Shreiya Aggarwal Gupta Updated on Sep 27, 2018
Well before becoming a mother, I hardly paid any heed to the word ‘curious’. Of course I knew what it meant and all, but that’s it. End of the story! Then I became a MOM (or ‘maman’ as I am fondly called). Suddenly I had this little explorer who was all over the place exploring everything he could lay his hands on. And on things he couldn’t, he found out ways: howling, pointing and crying - to name a few. K is curious. That’s what I would say to anyone who would ask me how my baby was doing. Little did I know what curiosity was back then, but suddenly it dawned on me; it’s the biggest learning tool!
Babies are innately curious. They turn their little heads in the direction of sound and look without flinching at new faces and objects. They are simply curious! And that is why they learn at an exceptional rate during these early years. The sad part, however is that they lose this streak with time. Reason? Well, one is that, not everything is as new and exciting. Second, more alarming one is that we, as parents, do not cultivate and nurture curiosity. We get obsessed with ABCs, mathematics and what-not in our attempt to make them smarter. I am not saying it is not important to learn these concepts, but they will eventually learn these anyway. Don’t forget, they learn language long before they can communicate. How? Just by being curious - about the sounds they hear, their surroundings, environment and everything in between.
Here are some tips to keep your child’s curiosity alive.
Give him ample exposure: Expose him to as many objects, environments, and stimulus as far as possible. Ensure you take your little one every day for an outing. Expose him to the different sounds of nature, people chattering, old aunties and uncles, young children running amok in the park, a muddy puddle, a beautiful flower, a vibrant leaf, stars and moon, cool breeze, little raindrops…anything and everything that is safe for your baby.
Slow down: In everyday rush, we as parents sometimes forget an important lesson—to slow down to smell the roses. Teach your child the same. Let him catch the raindrops in his hands, let him admire a flower on the way to school, let him see a spider build a web...sometimes moving at slow pace is the best teacher.
Involve the child in hobbies that include transformation: Gardening is one such hobby! Let the child plant some tomato seeds in a pot, take care of it, and wait for it to bear fruit. If you can show your toddler a chicken breaking out of an egg, brilliant, else even standing sticks of cut flower in coloured water and waiting for the stalk to absorb colour is a great activity. Point the transformations out to him—how a solid ice cube, melts into water in the sun. Older children can be show the way the moon changes shape.
Make questions into explorations: Give the child a piece of information and let him absorb it and become curious about it—rabbits have really long ears! Let him ask the whys and hows, or an older child can be asked to figure out the answer on his own. Instead of you offering the meaning of a tricky word, ask him to look it up in the dictionary. Get his books/encyclopedias, take children to museums, and look around for answers.
- Keep gadgets out: While we may think the child will find an answer to the question on an I-pad, most experts say that the attention span of the child to any information on a gadget is really limited. They get too distracted by all the sound and light effects and amongst all of this may not really absorb the true point.
So ask them questions, tell them about everyday marvels they see and the world around them. Make them curious and a genius will follow!
| Mar 28, 2016
Thanks Nadini! Glad you found the article informative. But foremost, my apologies for 'oh so late!' revert. Like you said, there is so much to learn from everything around us. I take inspirations from these everyday topics for my Children's Kits (www. facebook. com/curiouscaterpillarss/) and its simply wonderful. Its astounding how much these curious minds can learn from everyday marvels.
| Mar 28, 2016
Hi Mohit! Just went through your article and I must say it gave me quite a foresight. My son, K, is just 3 so I am still spared with those difficult questions. But yes, I do get asked where do babies come from and all. What I learned from my experiences, Kids are sated with most honest simple answers. We do not need to get into nitty-gritty of the matter.
| Jun 01, 2017
very informative.. i engage my baby with me when i work like if i am cooking i ask her to brings vegetables from fridge she follows and at the same time she asks so many questions regarding things that are there in fridge. this helps me to enhance her vocab as well as inculcate manners and how to obey .