How to encourage the young kids to be curious right in our own backyard

Nathaniel is seen brushing his slippers in this picture.

Every parent should know that their young kids need places and time to explore for the reason that they’re learning best through direct, first hand experiences with the people and objects in the world around them. However, we must as well be careful to ensure that their safety is not sacrificed. Parents need to be supervising for the safety limits of their kids because their curiosity could also lead them into danger.

Young children are so curious in such a way that they would use all of their senses in developing security and confidence as they wonder, explore, discover, and gain knowledge for themselves right in their own backyard or nearby park. Such a concrete learning is a vital foundation for future abstract, symbolic (pencil and paper) learning in books and school.

A child’s curiosity could be spurred or triggered through a variety of experiences indoors and out, whether at home, in the community, or anywhere else. We could take our kids to the nearest zoo, children’s museum, children’s park, or even on a hike at a local forest park. Children may also find the following places to be fun and interesting: TV station, lumberyard, bakery, construction site, airport, factory, and so on.

Introduce the child to the proper use of a magnifying glass as this would help him or her in observing objects in more detail. When we take our child to a garden of flowers, right in our own backyard, and to ask him or her if he or she ever really looked inside a flower is to give him or her such a chance of looking and seeing what’s inside the bud. And it’s all because of your interest.

There are lots of ways in which we could encourage curiosity in our children wherever they are and may be, beginning from such a simple observation and explanation of ordinary things to the more complex ones. Our children would learn a lot from us as much as we would from them. But, as parents, we should learn to take initiatives. We should be making the first move on what could be good for our children.


How would you handle children’s questions when they’re too curious to know about a particular thing

Nathaniel is curious to know why one flower is yellow-orange while the other one is white.

Many parents find it hard to be really attentive and in encouraging their children’s curiosity all the time. This is due to the fact that children are, naturally, very eager to know. But the way we handle their questions should be what matters most.

There are times especially those when being pressed for time that our answers would be “I don’t know, but maybe we could get someone or something who/which could tell us.” Or we could just say, “That’s a really interesting question. We could try googling for it this afternoon or maybe this evening or talk about it in the weekend.”

In handling children’s questions, it is important to consider these things:

  • Try asking curious questions yourself. When you’re on a picnic at the beach together, ask questions such as, “Why do you think the waves always rush to the shore?” Where did the sea gets its water?” Why do you think the sky is blue?”

When you’re asking questions, you’re showing interests in the first place. When you’re asking questions, you’re encouraging them to use their imaginations. When you’re asking questions, you’re actually enriching the way they think.

  • Explain, explain, and explain. Take time to explain what they already know and want to know more about the subject. You should find way to discover what they’re really thinking at their current levels of reasoning. Try building on what they already know or jog their memories by saying, “Remember what we said last time when we tackled about this question?”
  • Help them think through the questions and deduce possible solutions. It is normal for young children to immediately seek a ready-made answer from the nearest adult when they saw something that sparks their curiosity. They probably have an idea or a clue to the answer but just hadn’t taken the time to think it through.

Important: Parents or the other significant adults of their lives don’t have to give all the answers. But they could help their children think through the question and guide them in discovering the answers. Sometimes these kids would be able to find a way to come up with interesting theories and in formulating answers quite well.

We should remember that each time we give our children the opportunity to inquire and explore and if we’re encouraging them to ask questions, that they would continue to observe, wonder, and make speculations and connections throughout life.

Understanding your child’s love affair with the world

Nathaniel enjoys riding a toy cart in a grocery store.

Between the age of eighteen months and three years old, your child’s compulsion to explore reaches its peak. It is also during this time that his exploratory impulse begins the process of differentiation which is the first step towards becoming a self, distinct from his parents. His ability to take this step depends a lot on how he was strongly attached to anything or anyone.

That is why the importance of making your child to have successfully maintained connection with you should never be ignored or belittled, as this will serve as the basic elements that fuel his interests in exploring and connecting with the world around him. Some parents may come to view it as the age of aggression while the child-rearing folklore calls this particular stage of a baby’s life as the “terrible twos.” Parents during this stage will have to practice letting go but yet, not letting go too much.

In order to protect your child from danger or physical harm and to increase the comfort of the parents, boundaries should be set. The secure child, to give it a best mental picture, emerges from the parent’s cocoon. Your child still wants you to be around, so that if he ever needs to, he can come rushing back for safety.

Attachment is one of the essential elements of a person’s being. Throughout life, there is a great need for every person to belong to someone or something. A more mature or evolved form of the attachment bond can be seen later in a person’s life.

If the toddler feels so secure in the presence of his parents, he can wander away to explore the world. One of the things he may discover through such a stage of exploration is the power of words. During this exploration stage, what a child requires most is a parent who can provide support and encouragement.

Once a parent provides support, safety, and structure, he or she affirms his or her child’s impulse to explore during this stage. To provide safety means providing physical and emotional safety at all times. A parent should see to it that he or she is communicating clear boundaries and, while giving his or her child the opportunity to explore, also guide him away from dangerous objects.

Giving support could mean that a parent is supporting his or her child’s urge to explore his environment. He or she should be saying a “yes” as often as possible while, at the same time, preserving structure and values. A parent must be consistently warm and available which is to take time to allow the child to satisfy his curiosity and share it.

In providing a structure, parents should look for opportunities to help the child to learn about himself and his environment. Parents should be using clear instructions and to avoid as much as they can and as much as possible the absolutes and abstractions. A parent must focus on what his or her child has done correctly rather than on what he does incorrectly.