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If you want your child to be smart then it’s important for you to know how to encourage children to ask questions. All those ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ may take some time and effort on your part to answer, but will go a long way in developing intelligence.
There’s no doubt you want your child to be the smartest among his peers. As his primary caregiver, you must encourage him to keep asking questions. There are loads of queries young minds have, whether it’s ‘How does this TV work?’, ‘Why is the sky blue?’, or ‘Where does the light come from?’ Believe that questioning minds are intelligent minds, and that logical and truthful answers will help children understand the world around them.
Kids’ Activities Related to Asking Questions
Importance of Asking Questions
Asking questions means a child is becoming interested in something. He’s trying to figure out things by trying to understand how they work. Some of the skills that he develops while asking questions are:
- Critical thinking and logic building by analysing a situation and framing a question mentally
- Reasoning ability, while trying to understand answers given to his questions, and coming up with answerses himself
- Communication skills, since kids ask questions in different social settings and from different people
- Social skills, as they ask questions from parents, grandparents, friends, and other people
- Relationship-building since they turn to trusted sources for answers
Your Role in Boosting Questioning Skills
A child always turns to a trusted source for getting answers to his questions. It’s important to respond to the questions but avoid the temptation of jumping right in. Let him use his thinking and critical skills to figure out the answer without your help. Once you feel that he’s thought of enough options, give him a simple and correct explanation. A right answer given at this time will not only assure him that he’s come to the right place for getting answers, but will also satisfy his curiosity. This is going to be particularly important once he steps into his teenage years.
How to Encourage Questioning in Children Through Activities
There are many ways in which you can nurture your child’s curiosity and thinking skills. Consider teaching kids how to ask questions with the following suggestions:
- Introduce Them to New Things:
A lot about your child developing a good questioning abilioty depends on you feeding his or her curiosity. Children are by birth curious and wan t to explore everything they can see, hear, smell, taste and touch. So as a parent, it might suffice for you to simply create opportunities for your child to come across new things and experiences. Some of the activities you can consider here are: taking them for a stroll or walk in a new place, engaging them in new activities, etc.
- Keep Time for Free Play
Have you ever observed children when they are left on their own? They are constantly looking at everything around them in wonder. One of the best examples of this is a child that is left along with no toys to play – if you observe log enough, you will find that the child will make up their own toys and play things! They will use utensils, paper, stationery, or engage in make-believe play. These are the times when you can observe the way a child’s mind is working: the more they observe and study their surroundings, the more questions they will ask you about it!
- Read Books with Them:
You might not be able to take your child to Maldives to show them actual dolphins, but a book will allow you to travel without leaving your home. Books offer really good opportunities for you to peak your child’s curiosity by showing them new things through the books. However, it is important to pick good books in order to achieve this goal. Pick books that have a lot of pictures. If your child is old enough, you can buy them a scrapbook too. Pick books on topics that your child is not familiar with. Books will nudge your child to think, and thereby to question.
- Ask Questions
Children see, children do. So the best way to prompt your child to start asking questions, is to ask them questions yourself! Ask them about what they did at school, whether they like their food, what is their favourite toy, etc. Constant communication is the key here, and the more questions you ask them, the more they will want to ask questions themselves.
- Pick The Right Toys
Of course children need toys just for play. But toys that teach children something new are also important for them to learn. Give them such toys and activities that can help them explore, think, and reason. For example, get them involved in art, music, water games, and playing with dough and sand.
- Do Not Dismiss Their Questions:
Don’t get tired of answering obvious questions. They may seem apparent to you, but to your child, they’re the beginning of his learning. If he keeps asking questions, they’ll only continue to expand his knowledge. He’ll gather information, assess it and draw his own conclusions. This not only increases knowledge but also gives him confidence.