Children learn through hands-on experiences and are endlessly curious. Here are some ways you can help your young child nurture their natural curiosity and become keen lifelong learners.
Encourage inquisitiveness and answer appropriately
Parents of young children know how often they ask why something happens, or what it is. Answer questions as honestly as you can give your child’s age. You can also help your child build upon this natural curiosity by encouraging them to find the answer or work through the problem where possible.
Ask open-ended questions
As adults, we know how a conversation can lead us to different ideas and perspectives, and this is very true in children as well. For example, instead of asking “Did you have a good day at preschool today?” you might ask, “What was your favorite thing about preschool today?” By following this line of conversation, you’ll learn more about your child while also allowing them to work through their own interests and thoughts.
Follow your child’s interests
If your child seems interested in a particular question, idea, or activity, let them take the lead. Allowing them to pursue their own curiosity will show them that their imagination and interests are valid.
Prioritize open-ended play
Because children learn through hands-on experiences, allow your child opportunities to explore through play. You can create a sensory bin or table with a variety of materials and textures, or find other activities where your child’s imagination takes over.
Model curious behavior
Let your child see you trying new things and being receptive to new ideas. Whether it’s a new hobby, a different kind of food, or an activity you’ve always been curious about, you’ll set an example. Your child will see that being curious about the world around them can lead to interesting new things.