By Nupur Jain
As a parent, our job is to provide experiences to children which encourage curiosity, which is the life force that motivates us to explore new things. It is extremely important that we keep their natural curiosity alive.
Let us imagine that you have taken your child camping and they look up at the stars in wonder. Address the child’s curiosity about the shiny objects in the night sky, making them active seekers of knowledge, rather than passive listeners. Share their excitement and embark on a journey of exploration, and observation together.
So how do we achieve this? Parents can read books together with their children. Or, visit the planetarium to look at the stars and moon. What we ultimately need to do is build the spirit of enquiry in our children, to get up and be excited to find answers. We need to make the child confident in taking the journey from curiosity to exploration, and from ideation to finally, execution.
This is the groundwork you should be setting, for when your child grows up, they might need new ideas to build a successful venture, or solve a life problem. When that happens, they can use the confidence these activities have built, to take them to the next step with a directed sense of purpose. Children who do not have the temperament for curiosity tend to abandon projects. As an adult, in order to be able to achieve goals, the drive to execute and the scientific temperament to explore has to be exercised.
Give them time to sit and ponder, and try to figure out what they observed. Work with them to find answers to their questions. Let the child explore and form their ideas. Reading books, travelling, play-time, simple science experiments, and letting them create their own stories, are some of the best ways to reach a child’s mind, and unlock curiosity. Why these simple steps work, is for the following reasons:
· Playtime activities are used to build the physical health of a child. With some creativity, we can incorporate a lot of developmental milestones like hand eye coordination and brain development.
· Simple science experiments introduced from the early formative years encourage observational power and a lot of animated discussions. They also help inculcate scientific temper in the child.
· Art and crafts are great ways to put ideas into reality. And while they are having fun, they also learn important skill sets.
· Stories are inherently engaging and can be retained for a longer period of time. Do you remember how as children, stories from the Ramayana and short stories by Enid Blyton fired up your imagination? Like simple science experiments, an interactive storytelling session can also help the child learn new words within a short time frame.
Following these simple steps will not only help the child grow with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, they also help in the development of other skills that help them grow into confident adults, able to tackle anything that life throws their way.
(The writer is founder and concept designer at Applied Science and Engineering Club.)