Think about how boring it would be if our sense of curiosity is taken away from us for just a day.
BORING! And boredom kills fun. Tell our kids ‘no playing, no reading, no fun for a day’ it will kill them to imagine.
In life, we ask questions every day. We are all amazing wonderers. What is happening there? Is there anything wrong? I wonder what’s inside the box.
It’s ok to be so curious, because with the desire of wanting to know more it will lead us to explore and eventually learn new things. However, curiosity doesn’t necessarily hit every kid. Some kids are just quiet, afraid/shy to ask or to express outwardly.
Which inventors/scientists weren’t curious?
Importance of Curiosity in Kids
1. Cultivates active mind
Curiosity prepares our little brain for learning. While we may be annoyed by kids who have endless ‘whys’ to ask, it is not necessarily a bad thing that they are always so curious. It means that their brain is ready to receive information and acquire knowledge. It means that particular something has intrigued them as if it has waken up their sleepy brain into ready-mode.
According to a study by Charan Ranganath and colleagues, curiosity helps kids to remember even the most boring information. The higher level of curiosity and the more active the brain is, the higher level of engagement will occur. For example, when the school teacher teaches multiplication (Opstopus thinks the process of learning this was extremely boring), she uses the children’s toys to pique their interest & curiosity. According to the research, when the children are curious to find out what it’s all about, they tend to successfully understand the concept quicker. The kids are also generally more motivated to learn.
2. Recalls information better
The study also found that if children learn when they are most curious it will help them to recall certain information better. Using the example above, learners are more likely to recall events that happen before / after they are learning about the multiplication if it had been preceded by an interesting and stimulating questions (their toys). If they could remember the things that happen before (eg. what they ate for snack) and after (eg. what they did for science class) the lesson, they are not surprisingly more likely to remember how they find the answers through multiplication (method).
3. Inspires to be observant
New ideas come up quite often in our life, they are around us all the time. When we are curious, our little brain is ready to link new ideas with that particular something that we are so curious about. With curiosity, ideas are immediately absorbed and thought about so they won’t pass by unrecognized because our mind is anticipating them. It’s as if our brain is ‘making friends’ with new concepts and making that ‘social network’ bigger and bigger. While ideas are like the ‘friends’ we make, our knowledge is like the ‘social network’ that grows when we keep making friends.
4. Sparks persistence
Kids will show more perseverance when they constantly have strong desire to know/learn something. The moment they acquire new knowledge, it feels pleasant already. Their attitude towards learning becomes more positive & rewarding. Just like playing makes kids happy so they want to play more, if learning gives them the same feeling, obviously they will focus better, learn better, and gain more eventually. Kids who enjoy learning tend to explore things more deeply, work harder, and be more successful in school and in life.
The infographic below is inspired by Dr. Bruce Duncan Perry and it shows that all learning cycle starts with curiosity. Watch this space closely for more updates (like programs & learning products) in the coming weeks!