7 Ways to Stimulate Curiosity and Creativity in your Child
"Wouldn't' it be just wonderful to travel on the air?" – The Giblet
Children are naturally curious. They want to know everything about the world around them. When we allow children to be curious and creative and explore their world, we encourage their development and well-being. Curious children are likelier to learn and retain information, stay involved, and do better in school.
Supporting a child's development is always a balancing act: how much structure, how much freedom; when to step in, when to step back; when to show, when to tell, when to ask, and when to listen. The main challenge is not how to "teach" creativity or curiosity to your child but how to create an environment where those two things will take root, grow, and flourish.
Let's look at seven ways you can stimulate and encourage your child's curiosity and creativity:
- Encourage Open-minded play: Open-minded play can take on many forms. Provide your child with materials that allow them to create and explore. LEGOs and building blocks are great for this method. Have your child assemble a few bricks and pass them to a friend or sibling to add more. Pretty soon, they have new ideas for things they want to build.
- Ask open-ended questions: We have all been asked the classic question, "but why is the sky blue?" at some point. Like most, you are tempted to give a quick reason and move on. Children don't learn by simply being told. Using questioning language empowers your child's curiosity. Instead of asking simple yes or no questions, prompt your child's curiosity with questions that encourage them to think and problem-solve. Some conversation starters include:
- Read and tell stories: Reading stories like Toofer & The Giblet can inspire your child's imagination and curiosity about the world. Books can take us on faraway adventures to worlds we have never seen. They give glimpses into cultures that may otherwise never be experienced.
Tell your stories. Have friends and family tell your child stories. Every person on the beautiful planet has a story to tell. Children are naturally curious about things they can't see or understand. So, as they ask Grandma about her childhood, their imaginations run wild.
- Explore the world: Travel. Go camping. Go to a museum. Show your child other cultures. Encourage them to ask questions about what they see. Ask them those open-ended questions to prompt conversation.
- Foster a growth mindset: Encourage your child to view mistakes and challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.
- Limit screen time: Giving your child your phone, iPad, or other devices is easy to keep them busy. Screens can limit your child's creativity and curiosity. Encourage activities like reading, drawing, or playing outside.
- Provide opportunities for hands-on learning: Learn by doing. Give your child opportunities to do things. Let them help you bake a cake, cook dinner, plant a flower garden, or make a volcano in the kitchen. With each of these seemingly simple tasks, curiosity can be sparked. Ask the questions to spark the conversation. "How do you think a cake rises?" "What do you think will happen to the flower seeds once planted?" "What happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar?" (Hint-that one makes a mess!)
Every child is unique. What works for one child may not work for another. Supporting creativity and curiosity doesn't have to be a complicated activity. Those daily tasks that are often considered chores for adults are actually exciting and interesting learning experiences for your children. Curiosity and creativity will always open doors and lead to new, exciting paths full of adventure and learning.
Are you ready to join Toofer & The Giblet on their adventures? Visit www.tooferandthegiblet.com to get your copy today!