Hello Parents, before we catch on to the importance of curiosity,
Let me ask you a quick question here,
Are you familiar with the famous Five W’s?
The famous Five W’s mean – Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
According to the principal of the Five W’s a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word. This is all a grown-up analysis of the 5 W’s, isn’t it?
Because the practical application of the 5 W’s that foster critical thinking and curiosity in human beings happens during childhood. We all know how inquisitive children are with all the questions they ask about the things they observe around them. This strong desire to know everything around us is an innate ability of human beings.
William Arthur Ward, an American Writer aptly quoted the most heartfelt meaning of curiosity as following,
“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning!”
So,when a child asks those endless questions about things that interest him or her, it is not just another phase of the childhood. It is the phase that builds the foundation of the important life-skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
These two life skills help children in making decisions according to the situation he or she is in and solve the existing problem or challenge. Thus, kids should develop critical thinking skills to make sound judgments, apply skills to their academic studies, to solve complex problems, and make choices in their life.
That being so, these life skills are not a part of any syllabus or textbooks, it is to be developed by parents and teachers during the stage when the child is the most inquisitive. Parents and teachers both should encourage activities that encourage curiosity in learning.
Considering the present scenario, parents can make use of this time of lockdown which they have got with their kids to inculcate such skills in them, understand the importance of curiosity and encourage them to learn about life through the day to day activities.
Here are a few tips for parents on how to spark curiosity in kids and help them become excellent problem solvers in the future:
One of the most important things parents should take into consideration is to let your kid be a kid. On the other hand, it is completely understandable that the child being curious about exploring everything around can lead to safety concerns, but you can always try to find an alternative to letting your kid explore.
For example, if your kid is curious about what you are cooking, you can give the kid some vegetables or fruits to play with which is a completely harmless way to let the kid explore his or her curiosity.
These types of activities build curiosity and bonding with you in kids as it is important that the child explores the world in an unstructured manner where as a parent you can guide without discouraging or disallowing them.
It is a common misconception that children don’t understand what’s happening around them and we as adults somewhat tend to underestimate their intelligence. That’s actually a very inappropriate attitude. On the contrary, children are excellent observers and they have a good sense of their surroundings than we actually think they have.
For example, if your kid asks you about coronavirus and the pandemic, you can discuss with him or her what a pandemic is and how important personal hygiene is, how to face and overcome such challenges, how to show kindness to people around you and stay united instead of telling some fairy tale about it. Without scaring the kids too much, you can instill good values and habits in your kids when they ask questions about such serious issues.
Introduce books to your kids at an early stage. This surely helps in reducing screen time especially in the current situation when the kids are at home the whole day. Observe what topic interests your kids more. For example; if your kid is curious about plants and nature, you can stock up books on nature so that whenever your kid is curious about plants, you can together look for an answer in the book rather than googling it.
This is one of the best exercises to help you in developing curiosity in kids during lockdown. In addition to this, inculcating the habit of reading books at an early age allows kids to have a better hold on language, vocabulary, communication, and writing skills.
Kids go to school or they play with other kids in their free time and learn a lot about the manners and lifestyle of other kids. Certainly, this makes them curious about other cultures, ethnicity, language, etc. You can start exploring other cultures with your kid right from your home.
For example, cook a different dish from another culture or state at your home and explain to them the importance of that dish, what is the reference of that particular dish in that culture, if any festival is related to it, how was it originated, etc. This exercise will help your kid understand other cultures and the people and eventually develop respect toward others.
You also do this activity by playing various other genres of music at home apart from what you usually hear, thus exposing your child to the world right from your home.
Be on the other side and ask them questions about things that would invoke curiosity and fosters imagination.
Such questions and activities will help them think freely and dive into their imagination to come up with something creative and innovative.
So, here you have, the 5 useful tips to encourage imagination in your kids and understand the importance of curiosity. These exercises and tips will certainly go a long way in playing a major role in shaping your kid’s personality.
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