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Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Ways to Develop Your Child's Curiosity!

A very important part of childhood is the awareness of the five senses in the body. As children learn to observe their surroundings, they begin to both identify and distinguish between sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and sensations. They develop a sense of curiosity about themselves and the world around them, and this in turn helps them understand their own selves. In fact, curiosity also fosters a feeling of learning, which can prove to be of great help in the future.

Parents may often feel irritated while answering the numerous questions children come up with. But it is necessary to understand that for a child, everything around him/ her is new, and hence exciting. This latent inquisitiveness of children leaves them awestruck at almost everything they look at.

Children are naturally curious from early infancy. From the tender age of eight months, a child’s brain starts posing questions. Physical activities stimulate the curiosity in children, and since they are naturally curious about their surroundings, they explore their environment mostly while playing. In fact, the latest medical trends in child development encourage parents to foster the sense of curiosity among kids.

According to noted pediatrician and author Thomas Berry Brazelton, “As a child becomes more adept at handling their body, their hands become freer, more exciting, and more available for learning”.

How can you develop your child’s curiosity?

1. Games and other physical activities are perhaps the best way to inculcate curiosity among children. They are basically inquisitive about their toys and belongings. Hence, parents must develop interesting play activities that will help your child to quench his/her curiosity. Science toys can be a good tool to develop curiosity in the infant brain.

2. Parents should encourage children to explore their natural surroundings. This external exploration paves the way for introspection which in turn inspires curiosity.

3. Children should be encouraged to ask questions. As we all know, having answers to questions is the first step towards satiating the basic thirst for knowledge.

4. Kids should be encouraged to look for answers to their questions. This will give them more confidence and also enhance their understanding of things around them.

5. Parents must teach children to be good observers. Keen observation is the perfect complement for a curious mind. Parents should also help to improve their child’s attention span. Higher level of attention leads to enhanced degrees of curiosity.

It’s good to be curious!

• Curiosity broadens the child’s mind. A broader mind helps in a holistic development of the child.

• A curious child is always actively seeking answers. This curiosity propels them towards unraveling the mysteries of daily life.

• Curiosity makes children good receptors, and capable of grasping new concepts easily. Thus, curiosity enhances a child’s potential to learn.

Curiosity plays a pivotal role in the mental and intellectual improvement of a child. A child’s inquisitiveness leads to valuable exploration, and exploration is the key to learning. Curiosity should never be suppressed or else it can have an adverse impact on a child’s early development. As John Holt says, "Children do not need to be made to learn" since they are already born with what Einstein called "the holy curiosity of inquiry". So encourage the curious side of your children and watch them grow into knowledgeable and mature individuals!

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