3 Tips for Feeding Your Child’s Natural Curiosity
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Every good parent wants the best for their child not only in the here and now, but also in later life. And one of the best possible ways of investing in the future success and well-being of your child is to nurture the natural curiosity.
Education is essential for the development of children (and adults, too), but “education” is not only what happens in school. Ideally, it will become something that your child develops an interest in and appreciation for, and takes up as a personal hobby and pursuit throughout their life.
So, here are a few tips for feeding your child’s natural desire to learn.
Play games with them that have an educational or knowledge-based component
First things first, if your child comes to associated learning and education with struggle, irritation, and boredom, that’s not a great base to build off when it comes to nurturing their natural curiosity.
There are plenty of games that can be played both as a family, or by a child alone, that will have an educational or knowledge-based component, without being overbearing. You should certainly consider taking advantage of these games, and adapting them to your child’s particular interests and circumstances.
If, for example, your child is naturally interested in mathematics, you could use a derivative calculator or similar tool in order to challenge them to solve numerical puzzles, and could then reward correct solutions with a golden star, or similar.
There are also well loved videogames from the past such as the Carmen Sandiego series, which can teach your child about history and geography, all in an adventurous and exciting context.
Wherever possible, introduce them to gripping stories that have an educational component
It’s been said that human beings are naturally “narrative” creatures; in the sense that we all respond very well to compelling stories, and tend to look for ways to incorporate our life experiences into narratives that we can make sense of.
This love of compelling stories is evident when you consider not only the fiction book market, but also the prominence of fictional TV programmes, films, and streaming services like Netflix.
There are many excellent stories out there for children that will have some sort of educational component, often without being explicitly designed for “educational purposes.” For example, good historical fiction can be very informative.
If you can get your child to love learning through stories, there’s a good chance they will keep that interest going throughout their lives.
Give them their own educational materials, so that they can learn more at their own pace
It’s one thing to specifically sit down and teach a child something, or to have an informative discussion with them, but all children beyond a certain age will tend to want at least a bit of time alone.
During these moments spent playing by themselves in their rooms, they may well enjoy looking through child-friendly encyclopedias, maps of the world, or child friendly history books such as the “Horrible Histories” series.
Make sure your child has enough of their own educational materials available, so that they can learn at their own pace, and according to their own interests, when they want.