Children love asking questions. It’s natural because they want to know and understand everything in their surrounding. The questions sometimes make us overwhelmed, because we have to be ready with the answer. If we don’t know the answer or how to respond the questions, we sometimes make things up (especially when we are already late or there are things we have to do at the moment) which is actually it’s not a wise thing to do. It is so because the answer we give for the first time is usually last. So, if we give the wrong answer, it will have to be corrected in the future which is more difficult to do than giving the right one in the first place.
If we don’t know the answer of our children’s question, just say we don’t know. Don’t be ashamed with it. Yet, we have to say that we’re going to figure it out by doing some actions. Involve our children in the actions. Therefore, they’ll know the process of getting answer of their questions. Here are the actions we and our children can do:
- Find information from reliable sources such as books, dictionary, encyclopedia, reliable website, movies or videos, etc. Show and teach our children how to find out or look for the information from the sources. For example, if we look from dictionary, teach them how to use the dictionary. Choose the dictionary suitable with their age and match with their ability. If our children have only known the alphabet, let them to open based on the alphabet only. Then, we read the meaning of the word for them and explain it using their language level. This activity will make them learning how to use dictionary. As their ability developed, they will be able to use the dictionary by themselves later on. We can take them to the library, too. So, they will know that library is a place they can visit to get the sources they need.
- Go outing to places like zoo, museum or doing outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, cycling, etc. Doing activities will give more stimulation as children not only get information from readings or videos only, but from their own experience as well. The activities also will enable them to do observation, take photos, practice skill, do experiments, etc. To make them excited and stimulated, do pretend play. Ask them to imagine that they are in a mission to figure out something. Provide the necessary tools to make them more excited, such as :
- Create activities journal or wall magazine after we find information and go outing. Ask our children to make drawing, writing (If they can do it already. Four years old children can write the title of the activities. This can be a good practice for writing), pasting the photo they took or any creation our children want to make (Let them to share their ideas). It’s better if we make the creation as well. This will stimulate children more to follow what we do than if we just ask them to do so.
- Put the creation on a board, just like at school. So, everybody at home can see it. Encourage our children to talk and explain about the creation they have done. Ask them to share with other family, like grandparents or friends. This will give them the sense of confident after creating something.
- Appreciate what they have done. This will make them feeling happy and proud. The feelings will make them creating even more.
So, next time our children ask a lot of questions, let ask them to do actions as above (The activity doesn’t always have to be done at the moment our children ask the questions, if we can’t do it at that time. Yet, set the time to do the activities and inform it to our children). By doing that, their questions will be answered, basic ability to do research (which will be very useful in elementary school) will be achieved, and their creativity will be stimulated. That’s how to turn the curiosity into creativity. 🙂