School readiness - curiosity

How can I help my child learn?

Build on your child’s interests and curiosity about the world around them by asking questions and trying out new ideas. Being curious is important for learning so here are some ways you can encourage your child to be curious before school starts - and throughout their life.

Here are some ways you can encourage your child to be curious before school starts - and beyond.

 

1. Lead by example.

Children learn how to behave from adults in their lives, including their parents and carers. Show them what curiosity looks like yourself by being interested in the things around you. When your child asks questions, you don’t always have to explain straight away. Encourage them to come up with their own ideas first so that they can still feel confident even when they’re unsure about things. You can encourage them by asking what they think and wondering aloud. For example, “I wonder why that ice lolly melted?”

 

2. Follow your child’s interests.

Children learn best when they’re relaxed and having fun. Try to build on the things your child enjoys and encourage them to explore different ways of doing things and working things out. So, if they enjoy painting give them lots of different things to paint with and on, and try new things. For example, “What might happen if we mix the red and green paint? Let’s try it out...” When children see learning as a good thing, it makes them less likely to worry or give up when they face challenges in school.

 

3. Become ‘scientists’ together.

Encourage your child to get into the habit of guessing what might happen next and then testing out their ideas, just like a scientist. For example, “Which things will float in the bath? Let’s put the things we think will float in a pile and then we’ll test them.” Thinking ahead in this way helps children consider the different things that might happen and what they can do about it.

 

4. Let them get things wrong!

Allow your child to make mistakes and let them know that we all make them from time to time. We learn from our mistakes so try not to step in to solve all of their problems too soon - but be there to help them figure it out! Feeling able to tackle problems and challenges, and being able to ask for help when we need it is an important skill for wellbeing.

 

5. Encourage them to explore.

Young children are much more likely to enjoy, remember and learn things if they have tried or discovered them themselves. Give your child lots of opportunities to play without planning anything. For example, you could give them some safe, everyday objects (like pots and pans, boxes, sand and water) and see how they want to play with them. It’s impossible to plan out everything that happens in our lives so giving children the tools to cope with new things is important.

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Helpful links

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