“Mom! Why is the earth round? “ “Dad! What is the colour of water? Is it really true that our body is 75% water??” All these are simple questions raised by curious children. They are never happy with simple one word answers.
At what age curiosity comes in a child?
Kids are naturally very inquisitive. Babies are born curious. They
discover a whole new world! A baby, who starts to crawl, is on all
fours exploring the unexplored. Everything is very new to the baby. A
baby tries to touch and feel every object. Have you ever noticed
babies going behind small ants and trying to take the ants in their
hands? They are amazed at those tiny creatures going around and
want to know what they are. And here we see the seeds of curiosity
being sown right in the infancy stage of a child.
. A toddler throws his play things on the floor just to see what happens.
. A three year old imitates her mother and pretend plays all the work her mother does.
Here it is a child’s natural curiosity that drives them to seek, experiment and learn. As the child grows, his scope increases manifold. Parents and caretakers alike teach a lot of things to children, right from letters to numbers, good / bad habits, nature, things around us and countless other topics.
Small children between the age group of 1 ½ years to 6 years are very receptive to information and their grasping power is unimaginable. The more you expose them to information, the more they absorb. Here curiosity is the catalyst to the learning process. Learning happens by the trial and error methods and practice
methods. Small children are a curious lot and they experiment, touch, feel, break, assemble and do all possible things until their curiosity is satiated.
Curiosity at the school level
The child at the school level is armed with more of bookish knowledge and information. But the natural curiosity of a child takes a back seat somewhere. Many a time, kids are not given the freedom to express themselves at the school stage. Sometimes, they are
snubbed by peers or by the teachers themselves as they are in a rush to complete the portions. As a result the natural inquisitiveness present in kids slowly fades away.
Nurture your child’s curiosity
Curiosity should be aroused and nurtured in kids of all ages and the onus is on parents and caretakers. One of the best outcomes of this nurture is self-learning in children. They remember more of what they learn and also learn at a deeper level. Kids become more confident and learning takes a smooth route, which helps them have a bright future.
Encourage curiosity in your child by following some very simple and
useful tips listed below.
. Listen and pay attention to what your kid speaks.
. Encourage your child’s natural interests.
. Do not give direct answers to their questions. Lead them to the answers.
. Have a healthy discussion with your kids.
. Encourage questioning and give open ended answers. This stimulates them to ask for more information.
. When your child is stuck with an activity, do not discourage. Instead redirect in the right path.
. Have a session for open ended activities. Do not give instructions
to the children. Let the natural curiosity take over and allow them
to explore and discover different ways of using the given material.
. Teach them to observe and learn.
. Provide a stimulating environment for the child.
Illustration of an ideal conversation between a parent and child:
A rainbow appears in the sky and 4 year old Tina sees it for the first
time in her life and is pretty excited about it.
Tina: “Mom!! You know something? I saw magic in the sky!”
Mom:” Oh! Really?? Sounds very interesting. Tell me more about
Tina: “I saw different colours in the sky.”
Mom: “Okay. That’s really nice. Go on. “
Tina: “I saw Red, Yellow, Orange, Blue and Green colours.”
Mom: “Did you see them scattered in the sky? “
Tina: “What is scattered?”
Mom: “It’s a new word for you. It means spread out”
Tina: “Oh! Ok”
Mom: “Or did you see all the colours at one place?”
Tina: “I remember seeing something like this in my picture book.”
Mom: “Get your book. We shall see it once again.”
Tina: “Okay, Mom. “
Mom: “Now, show me the picture in your book.”
Tina: “See! Here it is. Isn’t it beautiful? What is it called?”
Mom: “Yes indeed. It is very beautiful. It is called a rainbow. There are seven colours in a rainbow altogether. A rainbow is a semicircle band of seven colours. Let’s go outside and see if we can identify all the seven colours.”
In the above illustration, Tina’s mother knows that it is a rainbow that Tina was speaking about. The parent here encourages the child to speak and with the aid of open ended questioning, new vocabulary is introduced effortlessly. Curiosity to know more about
what a rainbow is, prompts the child to ask many questions.
“Tap the natural curiosity of a child, as the future belongs to the curious!”