As most parents probably know, kids are naturally curious. But did you know that there are ways you can help your child develop their curiosity and creativity?
In this 3-part series, experts at StudyDog share 3 ways to boost your child’s curiosity.
Part 1: Ask them great questions.
Help them wonder. Get them to think critically. Don’t just tell them things. You can even ask questions in response to their questions. For example:
Child: “How do I draw a dog?”
Adult: “That’s a really great question, [child's name]! Where do you think we should start? What’s the first part of the dog we should draw? Then what? Let’s try it! We can always try again if we mess up.”
If they start to do something wrong (and it’s not dangerous), let them! Then say (for example):
Adult: “Hmm… It looks like something’s wrong. Do you think anything is missing? Can we fix it? What should we do differently next time?”
If your child is having fun, keep going!
Adult: “You put a lot of thought into your drawing — great work! But I wonder if that’s the only way to draw a dog. What do you think? Is that the only way? Or might there be other ways?”
Discussions like this teach your child to test, iterate, and try again. It shows them that some questions have more than one answer — and that’s okay!
Here are some other sample dialogues a parent could have with their child. Chances are you will not have an identical conversation. But reading through them will help you think of questions to ask your own child.
Adult: “[Child's name], where do you think the bike will go faster? The dirt, or the sidewalk?
Child: “The dirt!”
Adult: “What makes you think that?”
Adult: “Interesting! Let’s test it to see if you’re right!”
(then, after testing)
Adult: “So what happened? Where did the bike go faster? Why do you think it worked that way?”
The focus here isn’t on telling your child the right answer. It’s about exploring, learning and understanding.
Another benefit to these discussions is that you might end up thinking differently, too! Here is a story one StudyDog parent shared recently:
StudyDog Student: “I want to look for caterpillars!”
StudyDog Parent: “Catepillars? Cool! Where do you look when you want to find a caterpillar?”
Studydog Student: “The air!”
Most people would expect the “right” answer to be, “The ground!” But here’s what happens in many places in the spring:
Maybe that’s what the child meant. And that would be such an interesting interpretation of the question!
But maybe she was saying caterpillars but thinking about butterflies. The best way see into the child’s mind is by asking — not telling.
So be there to guide, but not always lead, the discussion. We know you want your child to learn all they can… but sometimes it’s best for you to step back and let them do the talking.
Parents: What’s the greatest question your child has ever asked you? What’s the greatest question you’ve ever asked your child?