Being curious stimulates a drive to explore and discover, which in turn helps a child’s learning at school as they’re more likely to be motivated to learn, rather than see it as a chore.
But what about the summer holidays that are coming up? How can parents keep children inquisitive during this time? Take a look at our five strategies to help encourage a natural curiosity to learn.
Build on Their Interests
Children are at their most curious when they’re doing an activity that best captures their focus and imagination, so why not encourage them to pursue their natural interests?
For instance, is your child into baking? Build on this interest and bake with them. You could go and take out books from the library or look online together for recipes to make to develop their interest further. Through building on your child’s natural interests, this will help their desire to keep learning and succeeding.
Pay a Visit to the Library
By encouraging children to pop down to their local library and maybe even get involved with a story time session there if they have one, they’ll have access to a wide range of books that can help develop their sense of wonder and imagination. It’ll also be fantastic for helping children want to read and become better readers too.
Even if you don’t have a local library, by giving children access to books at home, you can increase their motivation to read and explore a story. Through reading with them and talking about the story, as well as asking them what they think will happen next, this active participation boosts understanding, keeps reading fun and encourages their curiosity.
Try and Ask Open-Ended Questions
If you’re not sure, open-ended questions are questions where the answer isn’t correct or incorrect, and can’t be responded with just ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Questions that start with ‘What do you think to…’ or ‘How do you think it does that?’ are all open-ended questions. So why do we suggest these? Well, these questions encourage your child to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Asking them these should help them remain curious because it’ll make children excited to learn and find out more.
Similarly in this way, give children open-ended activities where they have to find out how something works and be the guide to help develop their curiosity too.
Try Not to Give Rewards
The reason why this is a strategy is because when we give children a reward for achieving something, this can actually destabilise the learning process when they get involved in an activity and place the focus on the reward. When we don’t give rewards, children may be able to act more on their natural curiosity rather than focusing on achieving something, so it might be a good idea to let them explore without the incentive.
Show Them That Mistakes Are Okay
Teaching children about how to handle failures and letting them know they should try again is a great way to make sure they’re maintaining their inquisitive minds. So by showing children that making mistakes is okay, they’ll know that being experimental and getting it wrong from time to time is fine. This should also encourage their determination to keep trying and exploring.
Do you have any other ways you inspire curiosity in children? Let us know – tweet us @EducationCity.