Cultivating Curiosity in Your Child
By Joanna Rada, Marketing and Communication Specialist at New Horizon Academy, the generous sponsor of the Curious George: Let’s Get Curious Exhibit, which is at the museum through Jan. 5
Curiosity is the desire to learn. All babies are born curious and have a natural instinct to explore, discover and learn about the world around them. With so many new things to see, taste, smell and feel, nurturing this curiosity within your child will only help them to learn more. Here are a few simple things you can do with your child to help cultivate their curiosity.
Read your child all different kinds of books. Visit the library and read books about animals, different cultures, serious books, silly books, etc. Books are a gateway into so many different worlds and will surely delight a curious mind!
Let Your Child Try Things on Their Own
This can be hard to do as a parent, but it’s essential for your child to learn how to do new things. For instance, let them try putting on their shoes by themselves, or allow them to try opening a snack before jumping in to help. Your child will use problem-solving skills to try the new task, and you can both celebrate when a new skill is learned.
Play with New Things in Different Ways
Finding miscellaneous things around the home and letting your child play and explore with them is a great way to cultivate curiosity. Find age-appropriate items and allow your child to use the “loose parts” to think outside of the box and let their curiosity be their guide.
Follow the Lead of Your Child
Find things your child enjoys and encourage those natural interests. Does your child love music? Play it for them often, read books about music, sing songs together, or make a homemade musical instrument. A child learns so much more through activities that grab their attention and get their imagination going.
Ask Your Child Open-Ended Questions
Many parents can probably relate to getting those one-word “yes, no, maybe” answers. To really get your child talking and get their wheels turning, ask them open-ended questions like, “Tell me about a time when…” or “What does this make you think of?” Asking these types of questions often leads to much more meaningful conversations and helps your child to explore many possibilities.
By creating an environment in which your child can explore their interests and ideas, your child will develop critical-thinking skills, a love of learning, and will forever be curious! Click here to check out five books that will inspire your children to stay curious.
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