Nurturing curiosity in babies helps give them the tools to become lifelong learners. Babies are born with a natural curiosity and helping them discover and figure things out is wonderful to be a part of. A newborn that starts following sounds or focuses on objects with their eyes is already showing an interest in learning. Older babies that start putting toys or other things in their mouths do that to see what the object can do. These are just some of the examples of babies and their innate curiosity about the world around them. Here are some tips on how to safely nurture curiosity in babies.
#1: Take them with you.
Walk outside, talk out loud to them about the things that you see – trees, the sky, flowers, birds. Your reassuring voice calms them and encourages them to follow your lead. In addition, use the resources that you have around you. Take your baby to infant story time at the library. Let them experience new environments with you as you take them on errands or other places with you. All of these things are stimulating for a baby or young child’s brain.
#2: Take note of your child’s interests.
As your baby begins to grow, there will be certain things that capture their imaginations or attention. For example, does your baby respond to music? Make music together, dance together, or let the baby play instruments by pushing buttons or hitting a drum with their hands. When you introduce your child to something and they react positively, go with the flow and give them the opportunity to dig into that to see if it is something they will enjoy as they continue to grow.
#3: Encourage questions and answers.
Once your baby becomes a toddler and begins forming words, the questions will come. Kids ask thousands upon thousands of questions during their childhood, so be patient. Answer questions in a simple and clear way, according to your child’s development. For example, you will need to explain things differently to a two-year-old than you would an 11-year-old. If you don’t have the answer, be honest and then try to find out the answer. Praise them for asking the question and do what you can to find the answer together.
Curiosity is something that should be cherished. It can serve as a wonderful guide to learning, and nurturing it is a beautiful thing.