Children are very inquisitive little beings. The ‘but why’ question comes to mind as an example of their always active minds trying to learn more. As frustrating as those questions can sometimes be, encouraging this form of questioning is a very important educational tool. Exploring possible answers and sometimes even sending the question right back to the child (why do you think?) creates a strong foundation for education.
In addition, asking your children simple open ended questions about everyday subjects they are interested in can help to expand their mind by actively thinking about all the possible answers. It can lead to deeper conversations and a higher understanding of the subject. Often times when we give a quick answer to a question or just explain something to our children it can close off their minds because the answer has easily appeared, no thinking required. Asking thought provoking questions helps
our children to expand upon normal everyday ideas and concepts.
Some examples of everyday question that can easily pop up:
1. Weather questions- Why do you think it snows in the winter and not in the summer?
2. Questions about how things work- Why do we need to put gas in the car?
3. Questions about our bodies- Why do our bodies need sleep? What types of food are good for our bodies to eat? Why?
4. Questions about nature- How do the trees get leaves in the spring?
5. Questions about everyday errands- Where does the food come from in the grocery store?
These simple questions are examples of how to begin to expand your children’s minds. It might lead to an interesting conversation and go in a direction you could not have imagined! You and your child might take off on an educational adventure spurred by a single question! What questions have you asked your children that have spurred great thinking and conversations?
Written by Nicole Rowley