“Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.” 

– Samuel Johnson, Author

Curiosity in children is so important as it helps them nurture interest in learning. And as parents, we should never respond to their curiosity with ignorance and indifference. There is, in fact, more than one way for us to boost their curiosity and encourage them to ask more questions.

Firstly, let’s find out why encouraging curiosity in young minds is so important

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Curiosity is the eagerness to learn and understand new things. Children can be curious about many things—why birds fly and humans walk, why sugar tastes sweet, or why their parents are taller than them… They ask questions because they want to know more. 

In classes, curiosity teaches them to love seeking knowledge and solving problems. It encourages them to broaden their horizons and overcome barriers to gain knowledge. Here are four reasons why curiosity is essential, according to Donald Latumahina, the founder of Life Optimizer.

1) Active minds

Curious people are always asking questions. Therefore, like a muscle, their mind continues to get stronger with every mental exercise.

2) Observant of new ideas

How many ideas have passed through us because we lack curiosity? When we are curious, our minds anticipate new ideas. And this means no more missing out on new ideas because our minds are not prepared to recognise them.

3) Opens up new worlds and possibilities

When we are curious, we tend to question even the minute details. We look beneath the surface of the world to discover possibilities that are normally not visible.

4) Brings excitement

The life of curious people is anything but boring. How can it be boring when new things are emerging and new elements are ready to be explored? Curious people are always ready for a new adventure.

How to encourage curiosity in your child

Untitled 1024 x 576 px 35Now that you understand just how beneficial being curious can be, as parents, there are plenty of ways you can encourage curiosity and love of learning in your child.

1) Encourage giving children experiences, rather than gifts

Do you remember the last time your parents took you to a zoo? How did you react when seeing a lion for the first time? Just like how things we learn with movements tend to stick with us for a long time (read more about movement in learning here), we tend to remember experiences more than we do gifts because memories can last a lifetime. So, if you give your child plenty of memorable learning experiences, they will learn to appreciate and enjoy making new discoveries.

2) Wonder aloud

Another way to encourage curiosity in your child is to wonder aloud. If you are curious about something, say it out loud to your child and show them that it is okay to ask questions. You can start by asking “I wonder why it’s raining?” or maybe when you are spending time outside with your child, you can ask “I wonder why the grass is green?”

3) Ask open-ended questions

The key to asking questions is to use open-ended questions. An open-ended question is a question that cannot be answered with a mere “yes” or “no”. The questions should be phrased with words like “who”, “why”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “how” so that it requires a longer response. This will promote deeper thinking in your child.

4) Show them the world

If you want your child to be curious about the world around them, you must show them the world! When you are free, take them to the museum or the zoo, go camping, or even travel to other places to have them see the wonders of the world. This will help them understand just how fascinating the world is, and simultaneously, increase their curiosity.

5) Don’t limit their play

Children need to play. Unstructured play is a great method for you to help your child develop curiosity and a sense of discovery. Let them play inside or outside the house. You can supervise them but do not limit their play. Let their imagination run wild and see how you can further support them.

Curiosity always opens new doors. With a curious mind, your child can tackle many future obstacles as they are always finding solutions and seeking new knowledge. But to develop a curious mind, you need to start early. Let your child play and explore! And when they start to ask questions, try to initiate a fruitful conversation with your child with back and forth questions.

Gaining new information is not restricted to just reading books and entering classes. Curious children can learn from anything around them. And as parents, it is up to us to keep the flame of their curiosity. Enrol your child in Young Engineers Singapore to have them engage and learn with like-minded curious children. All of our classroom activities are confirmed to ignite their curious minds. For more information about our enrichment programmes, get in touch with us now or email us at admin@youngengineers.sg.