Young children are naturally curious. It is how they learn as they explore and absorb the world around them and their place in it. Their imaginations are active, their willingness to listen and observe keep them in tune with their environment, and their dedication to repetition in order to learn is high.
All the while they are increasing their vocabulary, challenging their abilities, and learning how to move through this world. Encouraging this natural curiosity during childhood doesn’t take much on our part but there are a few things we can do to guide our kids through innately learning.
Give Them Opportunities To Explore
We can direct our children towards learning opportunities by engaging them in their surroundings. Encourage their curiosity by giving them occasions to learn more, such as in a forest by naming the trees and plants, or in the zoo by pointing out the animals. When at home, read books that parallel these excursions.
Provide Unstructured Play
Guiding our kids to play with no boundaries creates exploration. This kind of free play encourages not only increased imagination but movement and how far their capabilities can stretch. It nurtures their sense of discovery and allows them to practise the skills they have been working on. Unstructured play can be daunting for parents as we naturally lean towards protecting and guiding them but giving them this freedom will help them to recognise their capabilities and use their imagination more.
Answer All Of The Whys
Their curious nature leads to a multitude of questions. Why, after why, after why, our kids will continually ask for more knowledge. It can, of course, be tedious when the questions are never-ending, but engaging them on their level of curiosity encourages them to learn more, be more active, and naturally gravitate towards their natural interests and skills.
Recognise Their Individuality
Every child learns on their own level and at their own pace. Recognise where they are in their learning and how their curiosity develops so that they progress in a way that nurtures their development. Be aware of whether their curiosity is leading them in a different direction or if they are taking risks which they are not ready for.
Let Them Lead
Follow your child’s cues in how they want to learn and explore. Let them lead as they explore their world. How we would naturally guide them in learning is not always what they need or, more importantly, what they are interested in at that time. By allowing them to focus their play and learning time, they will be more inquisitive and more naturally inclined to engage with an unexpected learning opportunity.