Parenting Connection: How to develop curiosity in your child’s brain

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to develop curiosity in your child’s brain.

Child development experts with Michigan State University say, the more curious a child is the more they learn. They point to research showing the brain becoming a fast-moving information gathering tool when curiosity is sparked, that also helps them retain what they learned better. For example, another study out of California found that when kids were asked a question that peaked their curiosity, they were better at learning and remembering that information, including about topics normally considered boring or difficult.

Kendra Moyses, a child development expert at MSU says, parents need to find ways to promote curiosity early on.

“I think being able to find the things that spark your child’s enjoyment helps them be more curious. For example, if a child is interested in dinosaurs, then being able to have conversations about that and ask questions like, ‘why do you they are not around anymore?’ Then being able to tap into that imagination and creative side is really important for young children.”

Experts at MSU’s extension offer these suggestions for nurturing curiosity:
*Encourage natural interests. Learn what your kids like and them give them lots of different ways to enjoy it.
*Wonder aloud. This will help your kids hear from you what it means to be curious.
*Provide open-ended materials. For example, things like blocks, sand, and art supplies give them a chance to use their curiosity when playing.
*Use open-ended questions. This stimulates their curiosity to provide an answer.

Experts say, when kids are curious they stay engaged and that’s a big deal when it comes to learning anything.

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