9 Ways To Foster Curiosity in Kids
When I became a parent there was so many things I didn't know, so many things I didn't know that I didn't know; and a few things that I had on my list of must-do's. One of those things was to work every day at instilling a love of learning, but more importantly curiosity in my child (now children). I know that curiosity is the bedrock of learning and discovery. And raising curious kids can lead to a lifelong love of learning and discovery.
Children are naturally curious, but as they grow older, their sense of wonder and inquisitiveness can sometimes become dampened by the pressures of school, peers, and other distractions, so now as my little ones become medium and big ones, it is forefront in my mind. Below are 9 simple ways that we can foster and nurture our kids curiosity (and learning).
9 Ways to help keep your child's natural curiosity alive and thriving.
1. Read books and tell stories
If you know me, you know this is always my simplest (and favourite) go to. Reading and storytelling are wonderful ways to engage your child's imagination and curiosity. Encourage your child to ask questions about the characters, the plot, and the world depicted in the stories, and encourage them to imagine and explore new ideas and scenarios. I love books and think they bring worlds and lives to us that can literally change us. See more in the Books collection here.
2. Make time for unstructured play
Unstructured play allows children to use their imagination, explore new ideas, and work through things they are learning and experiencing. Giving them time alone, with siblings or friends - indoors and out, or engage in activities that allow them to learn at their own pace. See more in the Pretend Play collections here.
3. Provide opportunities for self-expression
Encouraging your child to express themselves creatively, through art, writing, music, dress-ups, can help to foster their sense of curiosity and build confidence, encouraging them to explore new ideas and perspectives in fun ways. See more in the Getting Creative collection here.
4. Explore new places
Get out into the community and further afield with your little ones to explore the world around them and learn new things in a hands-on, interactive ways. Whether it's a visit to a local museum, a nature preserve, wild life centre, planetarium, or a science centre, field trips can help to spark your child's interest in the world and deepen their sense of curiosity. See more in the Outdoor play collection here.
5. Ask open-ended questions
I catch myself, regularly, asking questions with yes/no answers. When I catch myself doing it, which is mainly when I am either stressed or tired, I try and switch out of it. I know that asking my kids great questions and getting them to think critically will help them develop problem-solving skills and a desire to learn more. Afterall - challenge equals discovery.
6. Seek out positive role models.
Children are influenced by the people they interact with, so it's important to help your kids discover people who value learning and exploration. This could be a family member, a documentary maker, teacher, or past explorers. These positive role models can inspire your child and help to reinforce the importance of curiosity and learning.
7. Encourage a growth mindset.
This is a big one. I wish I knew more about this when I was younger, but better late than never. A growth mindset means helping your child understand that their abilities and intelligence can grow and change with effort and hard work and that failing at something is integral to the learning process. When your child experiences setbacks or failures, help them see these as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than as permanent limitations. Whenever something goes awry at our place, the questions we are ask - "what did you learn?" and "what can you do better next time?"
8. Encourage exploration and experimentation.
Encouraging your child to explore and experiment with the world around them. It can be as simple as letting them play with toys, building blocks, puzzles, water marbles, leaves, flowers or other materials in their own way, or as complex as setting up a home science lab for them to conduct experiments. See more in the Puzzles and Games section here.
9. Celebrate their achievements.
Celebrating your child's achievements can help to build their confidence and encourage them to continue exploring and learning. This could be a positive comment on a school project or task; art work they did, a congratulatory message on a completed task, or a special outing to celebrate their success. We love a family dinner to celebrate! See more in the
Most of this is as relevant for adults as it is for kids. Curiosity, discovery, challenge, learning, exploration - these are all things that contribute to a healthy, active, thriving mind. Why not designate this weekend two days of questions, curiosity and discovery (and fun, of course).
If you need some more inspiration check out our Getting Curious Collection
Here are some of our top picks :
What do ideas become? Big things, brave things, smart things, silly things....Everything you see around you was once an idea. So what will become of your idea?
The books from Kobi Yamada explore themes with you and your kids that are so important, and are written so well.
An adorable woodland themed adventure kit with a waterproof mat and bag
Head out on a forest adventure with this great set for kids.
Stomp your feet and clap your hands. It's musical play time. A set of three musical instruments including a tambourine, maracas and castanet. Beautifully illustrated with colourful animals, these instruments are sure to be a hit and add a splash of fun colour to any mini band.
Love these books. So many inspirational people to learn about, so many stories!
Mudpuppy award-winning puzzles for kids that will keep your kids busy and having fun – doing what they love to do as well as challenging and developing their minds imagination. I love this range! So many options for all age groups.
Writing is a great way express oneself in a safe space. Great for drawing, visual diary, keeping notes or a gratitude journal. Check out the great range of Djeco journals for boys and girls.