Children tend to have a natural sense of curiosity.
They want to know how to explore the world around them, and they’re almost always eager to learn. But, in this world of ever-changing technology, that natural curiosity is being threatened.
It’s estimated that more than 50% of kids in the U.S. have a smartphone by the time they’re 11. While there are plenty of pros associated with kids and technology, it can hinder their desire to explore their world and learn things without “Googling” them.
So, what can you do to foster curiosity in kids? It starts with a basic understanding of how important it really is. Children need to be able to play to grow and learn, especially at a young age. Once you grasp the importance of natural curiosity, you can take effective steps to encourage it in your children.
Not sure how to do that, or how to peel your kids away from their electronics and get them into more hands-on activities? Let’s cover a few tips and ideas.
Find the Right Hobbies
There’s no better way to foster curiosity in kids than to encourage them to try different things. They just might find a hobby that sticks with them forever. If you want to make the most of those hobbies, start one together that incorporates multiple subjects. For example, metal detecting is the perfect hobby for a child who is into electronics and is eager to use any type of tech device. Metal detecting teaches multiple things, including:
Plus, you’ll be able to talk about whatever you happen to dig up. It’s a fantastic way to fuel your child’s imagination and get them interested in whatever they find when you’re going on your hunting adventures.
Cooking is another great hobby that involves multiple subjects. If your child is interested in food, get them involved in the kitchen. Cooking involves science and math, but it’s also a great (and delicious!) way to teach about geography and world history.
Pay attention to what your children enjoy or interests that they already have. When you’re able to get them involved in hobbies that fuel those interests, they’re more likely to stick with them and learn more.
Get Them Outside
Spending time outside is one of the best ways to promote instant curiosity in kids because there’s so much to explore.
The best part about fostering creativity outside is that you can use everything nature already has to offer. Simply going on a nature walk can be a fun way to get started. Point out different plants and trees, and talk to your kids about any distinguishing features they might have. Do the same if you spot small animals or even bugs. Most kids love learning about nature, and when they’re seeing things up-close, they’re more likely to retain the information they’re given.
You can further foster their curiosity by trying different activities outside, like leaf or flower stamping, painting rocks, or trying sun print art. If you’re trying to get your older children interested in spending time outdoors, try things like maple tree tapping. It will help them to learn where their favorite pancake topping comes from, and the science behind it.
Being outside boosts energy, reduces stress, and can improve your mood. Those benefits are the same for children of all ages, too. So, make sure to spend time with your kids outdoors as often as possible. Not only will it foster curiosity, but it will improve their physical and mental health, too.
Ask Questions That Spark Creativity
Curiosity is about more than just hands-on projects and activities. Curious kids ask questions, and they want to be able to figure things out on their own. But, they might need a little help, at first.
So, always encourage your children to ask questions whenever they’re interested in something. They should also ask for help when they don’t understand something or need to learn how something works.
For example, if you’ve just completed a craft or project together, don’t be afraid to start asking them questions to spark their curiosity. Ask them what they think you can do with leftover supplies like PVC pipe. Not only will it encourage them to come up with creative answers, but they’ll feel more comfortable asking you questions in return, like:
- How does PVC work?
- What’s it made of?
- What other tools do we need?
- How do those tools work?
One question and answer will often snowball into many more. So, start asking, and be ready to answer.
Fostering curiosity in kids can actually be a fun experience for you as an adult. Keep these ideas in mind to get your kids to think outside the box, ask creative questions, and encourage exploration every day. You don’t have to push or force your kids to be curious. Let it come naturally with encouragement, and you might be surprised at how eager your kids are to learn and explore.