Albert Einstein once said: ‘I have not special talents, I’m only passionately curious.’ One of the greatest scientists of all time shares that trait with all three year old kids. They want to discover and explore and know how the world works. A preschooler’s desire to learn can lead him into all sorts of trouble which his parents may find difficult to handle. Here are some strategies to encourage curiosity while keeping your sanity:
- Answer questions – Three year olds can ask the strangest questions. When she was a preschooler, my daughter used to ask the most thought provoking questions when we put her to bed: ‘Mom, what will happen if the earth spins really fast?’ When your child asks you questions about how things work, take a moment and give some answers.
- Find out – If your toddler asks you something that you are not sure about, look it up together. Turn to non-fiction picture books, a child’s encyclopedia or Google it with your child on your lap. Show him images and diagrams so she can understand difficult concepts.
- Expose your child to a variety of people, experiences and subjects – Do not underestimate your child’s ability to make sense of his world. Good art, music, museums and carefully prepared food is not only for adults – teach your child at a young age how to appreciate the efforts of great artists. The works of great minds stir great thoughts that help develop brains.
- Provide a sensory rich environment – Children learn best through their senses. Give your child enough opportunities to engage with things that he can feel, hear, see, smell and move upon. Limit screen time and let him interact with his environment.
- Go on nature walks – Whether you live in the city or country, allow your child to interact with nature. Feel trees, observe bugs, listen to water gurgling in a stream.
A love for learning is one of the best gifts a parent can give a child. Encourage your child’s curiosity even it means a little more time spent discussing something or cleaning up an experiment.