Monday 3 August 2020

(AD) How to Raise an Inquisitive Child

An inquisitive child is a child who is curious, questioning, and hungry for knowledge. They are children who go out into the world actively seeking more information about anything and everything that they encounter. This is an extremely valuable personality trait and you might think that it’s something a child is born with but in fact, it can be nurtured and grown when a child is presented with the right sort of opportunities.

Child using a monoscope

Children are natural seekers of knowledge

They’re born with that attribute because it’s essential for survival!

Babies first display it when they begin to put objects to their mouth to explore. What is this? Can it be eaten? Is it good? Is it bad? Toddlers begin to voraciously search for learning opportunities as soon as they are mobile. They climb, reach, grab and taste things as often as they possibly can in their quest for more information.

This trait is often quashed as parents make concerted efforts to keep their child safe from harm. Of course, we cannot allow toddlers to climb and run at will, so we must bring them back to safety or remove dangerous objects from their hands – but we should try to do it with calmness and a short explanation as to why they shouldn’t do that.

Presenting small children with learning opportunities

It’s vital that small children be presented with situations in which they are free to explore and learn at will. This doesn’t always mean visiting the playground or soft play centre.

Even at home there are opportunities for free exploration. Parsons Green, a prep school in West London, recognises that how a child learns is as important as what a child learns. A good idea is to provide your child with a curiosity box – this is a simple container which you fill with new and interesting items on a regular basis. Exchanging the items for new ones after each play session.

Here are some ideas for a child aged 4 and under. Be aware that children will need items which are safe and which cannot be swallowed.

  • Pine cones
  • Keys
  • Cardboard tube
  • Soft, transparent fabric scrap
  • Scraps of velvet or wool
  • Small carved figurines made from wood or other unbreakable material
  • Plastic spring

The list is endless!

Another good learning opportunity is messy play. Spread a plastic mat out in the garden or even on your kitchen floor and provide some trays of sand and water or washable paint and paper. Allow your child to experiment and freely learn about all the different substances without fear of getting dirty.

Garden play is another great idea. Building a small ‘kitchen’ out of an old cabinet in which a plastic basin is incorporated will give your child ample opportunity to enjoy making mud pies. How to help older children become more inquisitive

Older children can benefit from visits to local museums and places of interest. Discuss with them the features of any interesting buildings, ask them questions which make them think.

This allows them to realise that their thoughts and opinions matter. If your child has a special interest, consider helping them to put together a website or blog on the subject. They will need to undertake research and find images themselves which will not only add to their confidence but also result in a real achievement.

Until next time,
Jada x


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