8 Curiosity Developing Activities For Preschoolers

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Keeping kids interested in learning can be an uphill task if they are not curious about it. A good education can become possible when kids are drawn towards the methods of learning. This interest is developed if they have ample cognition of the world around.

Also, the ways to reach the answer need to be engaging or collaborative in nature. Giving mental nudges or encouraging kids to ask questions are some of the ways teachers try to bring all kids on the same page. Apart from these usual tactics, you can employ a few easy activities. Let’s explore in this post curiosity activities for preschoolers that can be used to make the environment at class or home conducive to deeper learning.

Simple activities to encourage curiosity in preschoolers

Not all kids are outgoing enough to voice their thoughts. Sometimes, teaching interventions make whole communication unidirectional (teacher to children) only. It mostly happens when preschoolers are too shy, afraid of sounding stupid, or are plain disinterested. Safely put, curiosity in any child may tend to remain hidden due to behavioral, learning issues, or due to the impact of external factors. To tackle all these challenges, we enlist here a few creative ways that encourage kids to be exploratory and adequately curious.

1. Do a leisure activity together

Curiosity in children needs to be nurtured. It also requires proper addressing otherwise kids tend to stray from meaningful learning. This can be done when you adopt a welcoming stance to kids’ queries. It can be done systematically by making leisure activity hours more collaborative. Leaving child alone to figure things on their own may not drive their thinking in a constructive direction. But, you can participate in several activities, playing with dough or sand, watching movies, etc. Ask questions about what they learned or thought about the act to find their interest.

2. Design classroom sessions in different environments

Following a routine is good, but breaking it is also necessary. Our brain needs a variety of stimulants to stay curious and innovative. Breaking from routine brings those unfamiliar conditions which reignite the interest that tends to fade away due to monotony. So, instead of a board-and-desk environment, take kids out in a garden. They may show different levels of activity and curiosity on exposure to changed routines. Other routine breakers are:

  • Organizing a round-table set-up to enable better communication
  • Changing interventions of teaching
  • Visit to library, museum, public park, etc.
  • Playing with manipulatives instead of giving books to read
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3. Question hour in class

This activity is very important to channelize kids’ thoughts to a systematic pattern of thinking. Curious children may bombard you with several questions as they grow up, such as, “Why the sky is blue?” “Why are there different colors in the rainbow?” “Where does the sun go at night?” Such questions may seem irrelevant but actually are mirrors of the observant nature of the child. If addressed correctly, the child may stay affirmed on the exploratory path and become capable of thinking like an innovator.

4. Organize informal quizzes

At times, kids feel overwhelmed by the intelligence of grown-ups and don’t gather the courage to ask questions. It mostly happens when parents or teachers act like infallibles. This disrupts kids’ creative thinking. This situation can be rectified if you organize informal quizzes. Include questions related to working of things they see around, or how mommy prepares food, or what happens when the guests are invited over dinner. Such quizzes drive kids’ minds to be more observant and boost their memory recall too.

5. Create things with items of their choice

Letting children explore what they like is a practical way of developing curiosity in kids. Have color pencils, games, dolls, coins, or anything safer for them spread in front of them. Kids can be asked to create a model or picture using these items. Mostly, kids are effortlessly drawn to things that interest them. This activity helps understand the kids’ aptitude towards various items of interest, which can be further exploited to instill deeper curiosity.

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6. Give hypothetical situations to solve

Almost every preschooler gets to read stories. Now, give an interesting twist to it and create ‘what if’ situations. It improves thinking capacity and makes kids curious about exploring possibilities. Even in real-life settings, you can create alternative possibilities to pick and find the final outcome. This may drive kids to reason with logic instead of following things blindly.

7. Ask to explain a scene or a picture

A child is to be taught not only to be curious but also how to use this quality constructively. This can be done by helping children increase their concentration and observation skills. A simple way to accomplish this may include giving the child a scene or picture to explain. Ask about the characteristics of people, objects, animals, etc. It hints at the perceptive abilities of a child and also teaches kids to become curious.

8. Make family tree or friends list

Children’s environment is a major determiner of their curiosity level. When you give them projects like making a family tree or friends list, you drive them to learn about their support system. By enriching this activity with questions related to traits of family members or friends, you teach children to be aware of their feelings, comfort zone, and observation abilities. It may help children build more experiences and be socially intelligent in the long run.

Have you ever thought about what benefits these curiosity activities bring to preschoolers? Here are a few listed for your understanding.

Benefits of encouraging curiosity

Curiosity development is crucial for tapping the highest potential of inquisitive brains of children. According to an exploratory study done by Jamie J. Jirout in 2020, curiosity acts as a primer for several skills that a child needs to develop at the preschooler stage. Only repeating what is taught is not the sign of intelligence; questioning and reasoning, too, are. Encouraging curiosity is, therefore, quite important as it delivers benefits, such as:

  • Development of scientific enquiry
  • Zeal to explore new ideas and ability to question existing ones
  • Feeling of motivation to do better, be different and understand things more deeply
  • Effortless and more prolific approach towards exploration
  • Achievement of enhanced clarity in conceptual learning
  • Moves to acquiring basic life-skills of survival, staying happy, being social, and development of sense of judgment
  • Helps develop IQ and enhances learning abilities
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Drawing the line between curiosity and undue inquisitiveness – a challenge

Curiosity development is important and there should be ample activities for doing so, but it does come with various challenges. Teachers and parents cannot control the flow of a child’s thoughts. Thus, there is an undeniable need to have a structured, disciplined approach while encouraging curiosity. Some of the ways curiosity activities challenge teachers or parents are:

  • Outcomes cannot be measured objectively; hence relevance comes under scanner in many cases
  • Limited time and pressure of completing curriculum hits the quality of curiosity activities
  • Sometimes, paying individual attention to each student proves impossible. So, 100% results become rather difficult
  • Children tend to stray away and pretend to think and explore only to impress authorities and peers around

Wrapping Up,

Curiosity is an important virtue; some have it in-born, others acquire it with practice and encouragement. To keep the majority of children at the same level, structured activities are proposed for curiosity development. Activities are not meant only for classroom sessions and should be incorporated in normal, practical life, but without stressing upon beyond sensible limits. Make it a point to include teamwork or collaboration as other indispensable elements!

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