“Do frogs have friends?” “Are there more trees than buildings?” “Why do I have to eat three times a day?” According to a recent study, our children ask around 73 questions each day. Exhausting... So what’s going on in their heads that makes them so endlessly curious?
Inside the growing mind
As soon as our kids can get about by themselves, they are constantly encountering new things. In the toddler stage, they will reenact a lot of what they see us do, in order to try and figure things out.
However, as they grow and develop, they often can’t simply figure stuff out by copying what they’ve seen adults do, or poking about. That’s when they turn to us. By asking a specific question they can get targeted information exactly when they need it. If they do not get the information that they need (this bit might sound familiar) then they will continue to ask more questions until they solve the problem in their head and can move on.
So, is curiosity important?
By asking us specific questions, kids are piecing together information in order to further their knowledge and make sense of the world. The same goes for trying things out (and getting them wrong). Kids are gradually developing the key skills they need to further their knowledge and understanding.
By nurturing curiosity in kids now, we’re encouraging behaviours that can lead to great things in the future. Einstein, among many others, put his success down to his ‘passionately curious’ nature.
Ways to encourage curiosity
Growing up in a digital age, our children have more access to information than ever before. Though this does have its challenges, it also means kids can access loads of information about all aspects of the world like never before. Finding a way for kids to access content (that you know is appropriate) is a great way to fuel their drive to discover. You never know that facts they might come out with.
By trying things out and getting stuff wrong, we all learn a thing or two. Finding ways to encourage kids to cook, create and experiment is another really good way of maintaining curiosity.
And lastly, as tiring as it can be sometimes, remember how important it is for kids to keep questioning things. Try to stay enthusiastic when answering their 72nd question of the day.