Pursue a Child’s Natural Curiosity

Children are naturally curious. That’s good. They learn by asking lots of questions. By the age of three, the curiosity begins to challenge what is seen and heard. Often a parent tires of answering the never-ending steam of questions. Why is the sky blue? Where does the sun sleep? Why do I have to take a bath? Where does God live?

Children are Investigators by Nature

They are investigators by nature who want to learn about everything they see around them. When you support your children’s natural desire to explore the world in which they live, you are helping them develop a scientific mind.

Pursue a Child’s Natural Curiosity

The exploring can go both ways. One way is for a parent to take the lead. Introduce a topic: Would you like to know how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly?

Be prepared to follow up on what you bring up. Answers to most questions can be found in story books or a few minutes spent on the internet. Pictures play an important role. Live exhibits and experiments are even better since youngsters are excellent visual learners. Is there a nearby butterfly garden to visit? Or, do you know an expert on the subject? Arrange to pay them a visit.

Engage the Child’s Curiosity in Hands-on Ways

Growing up we had Monarch Butterfly caterpillars in our pastures. I liked to put a few in a mason jar with holes poked in the lid and a stalk of Milkweed. Over the next couple days, I’d watch an amazing metamorphosis begin to take place. Patience is required since this rebirth takes almost a month from start to finish. The caterpillar attaches upside down to the milkweed and the body becomes wrapped in a green chrysalis. Days pass and color changes begin to show as the cocoon ages. When the wing colors could be seen through the pupa, time was drawing near. The cocoon/pupa becomes translucent. The day finally comes when a struggle to breakthrough begins. The once caterpillar had become a beautiful Monarch butterfly. This is the best part. I was so excited to see that butterfly emerge! In a couple hours it’s wings are dry and the beautiful butterfly flies away.

Pursue a Child’s Natural Curiosity

Second, and perhaps most often, the child’s natural curiosity naturally ushers in the discovery of facts for our curious boys and girls. Listen carefully and pick up on clues that emerge from their questions. You will easily find plenty of “curious” things to talk about. For instance, one of my granddaughters loved seeing Ladybugs. She’d hold them in her hands. So her parents took the concept further with a trip to the local library to get books that would satisfy her curiosity and answer her questions with facts. Did you know ladybugs smell with their feet and antennae? Parents learn new things, too.

Parent and Child Curious Together

Quick answers could keep a child from learning how to find answers for him/herself. Explore ways to satisfy curiosity together. Frustration isn’t what you aim for. Learning is. it’s healthy for the child to engage in the process, too. In that way, they learn how to investigate their interests and gain problem solving skills.

Some Ideas to Pursue with the Curious Child

  1. Visit a science museum, zoo, or aquarium
  2. Take a nature walks but bring along a bag to carry back found treasures
  3. Buy, or save up for, a good microscope
  4. Watch documentary shows about animals, birds, ocean life, etc.
  5. Collect coins or postage stamps from around the world
  6. Eat at ethnic restaurants to learn about other cultures
  7. Draw pictures and write about new discoveries your child makes