How Curiosity is the Meta Skill to Thrive in the 21st Century?

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Guest post by the team at Real School

Curiosity the meta-skill to thrive in the 21st century

Curiosity encourages children to be more aware of their surroundings and to think about and solve problems. Children’s vocabulary expands when they use language to explain what they’re thinking, doing, hearing, or feeling as they explore their curiosity. You will aid your child’s development by encouraging their interests.

You should encourage your child’s interests by giving him or her opportunities to investigate. Children at this age enjoy learning about plants and animals, and you can start encouraging your child’s interest by helping him or her interact with nature.

Preschoolers and kindergarteners frequently have active imaginations, and they enjoy exploring their emotions and the world with their curiosity. Curiosity tops the list when it comes to the most important 21st-century learning skills. But why is that? Let’s have a look!

What is curiosity for kids?

Curiosity is a deep desire to learn or understand something new. Curious people often do not “need” the knowledge they seek. They are looking for answers to their questions to learn more. Curious people can actively seek out new challenges and experiences to broaden their horizons.

  • Curiosity is an essential component of 21st-century competencies. It not only leads to understanding, but also to the ability to link disparate pieces of data. It is less critical for parents of inquisitive children to have “correct” responses than it is to provide an atmosphere where questioning  and learning can take place. Such an environment can also be found in the revolutionary curriculum of Real School.
  • Curiosity is a normal human trait that begins the moment we are born. By the time they are three years old, most children are asking questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” or “How are babies made?” Even if it can lead to uncomfortable interactions, curiosity is an important part of our cognitive functioning.
  • You may help children cultivate interests by encouraging them to ask questions, seeking media that stimulates curiosity and assisting them in locating reliable sources of information.

Importance of curiosity in kids for the 21st century

The importance of intellectual curiosity cannot be overstated! We can see this most clearly in the way geniuses behave. Intellectual giants are still inquisitive. Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Richard Feynman, for example, are all fascinating people. Richard Feynman was well-known for his daring exploits, which stemmed from his insatiable curiosity.

But why is curiosity so important? Here are four reasons:

It keeps the mind busy rather than inactive

Curious people are always asking questions and looking for answers. Their minds are always working. Since the mind is like a muscle that gets stronger with continuous use, the mental exercise induced by curiosity strengthens the mind.

It trains the mind to be open to new ideas

When you are curious about something, your mind anticipates and expects new ideas on that subject. You will be able to identify the ideas as they arrive. Ideas may even pass from right in front of you, but you will miss them because your mind is not prepared to recognise them.

It provides access to new environments and opportunities

Curiosity will allow you to see new worlds and possibilities that would otherwise be hidden. They are concealed under the surface of everyday life, and it takes a curious mind to peer beneath it and explore these new worlds and possibilities.

It adds a sense of adventure to your life

Curious people’s lives are anything but routine. There are always new items to pique the interest of the curious individual, as well as new ‘toys’ to play with. Curious people live an exciting life rather than being bored.

It establishes a foundation for long-term success

Take a look back in time. Who were the most influential individuals? They inquired, “Why?” or How can I improve this? Alternatively, how do I solve this issue? Adults that aren’t curious do well, but they aren’t particularly influential either.

Ignore the part about being popular and deduce this: those who ask questions and refuse to embrace the status quo turn, lead, live adventurous lives, and are the happiest. Is it more common for an adult to investigate or to flee if they were a curious child? Can they pursue their goals or strive not to fail? Curiosity may be the deciding factor.

It serves as an antidote to self-indulgence

Curious children are conscious of their surroundings and do not consider themselves to be the center of the universe. Curiosity also motivates children to strive for the next achievement. Curious children, on the other hand, are less likely to be greedy, spoiled, entitled, or materialistic.

It encourages perseverance

You will give up if you are unable to think of alternative solutions. A “burning curiosity” is an insatiable desire to know why, what, and how something works. A curious child is driven to learn more and will not stop until they do. Continue to respond to their incessant questions. This perseverance may also be referred to as resilience. Curiosity aids a child’s perseverance as he or she must attempt several times to succeed. The personal trainers at Real School foster this curiosity and encourage them to do better.

How can you cultivate curiosity in your child?

Curiosity is what motivates us to learn new things, so it is important in the educational process. There are ways to keep us curious as adults, but it is also important to foster curiosity in children from an early age. Many children are naturally curious, and they are always eager to explore and learn new things.

However, there will always be more than one child who hasn’t mastered this instinct to the same extent, and it is the responsibility of parents and educators to recognize this problem and assist them in cultivating their curiosity. Here are 9 fun ways to pique your child’s interest that many parents overlook:

  1. Shake up their daily routine

While it is vital for children to have a routine, minor changes in their daily routines will encourage their brains to think in new ways, which will pique their interest. It may be as easy as switching out their regular bar of soap for foam soap and allowing them to experiment with the new texture before deciding which they prefer.

2. Astound them

Positive surprises can help to pique a child’s interest. You might leave a good morning note under their pillow, plan a snack treasure hunt, or invite someone they like to lunch and keep them in the dark until the loved one arrives.

3. Bake a cake together

The cake is a favourite among children. However, not everyone knows how to bake a cake. For a kid, seeing the whole process of making a cake – from the ingredients to the finished product – can be amazing. And doing it themselves will stimulate all of their senses: hearing instructions, seeing the transformation and colours, feeling unusual textures, smelling the cake as it bakes, and finally eating it!

4. Be ready to respond to their inquiries

Children are always asking questions, which can be difficult to respond to at times. To give them a positive answer, you must first understand why they are asking the question. “Why do you have to go to work?” they ask, because they want to spend more time with you. Understanding what they are saying can help you address their concerns.

5. Encourage kids to ask (even) more questions

Curiosity breeds curiosity. When your child asks, “Why does it rain?” you can describe the rain cycle to them, and at the end of your explanation, you can discuss the different types of water without going into detail. If they are interested, it could pique their interest enough for them to want to learn more about the topic. This is because we cannot be curious about anything if we know nothing about it, but once we learn a little about it, our interest is piqued. Encourage them to ask more questions!

6. Be the one to ask them

You can pick your kids’ brains and make them think of various potential solutions to a problem or matter by asking them questions. Always remember to request a justification from them. Be prepared to hear a variety of interesting responses.

7. Take your kids to a restaurant with a diverse menu

Curiosity may be sparked by learning about new cultures. Local cuisine is also a great way to learn about a new culture’s tastes, customs, and traditions. Take your children to a delicious meal in a traditional Japanese, Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, or Spanish restaurant, whatever you think they would like.

8. Pay attention to their hobbies

We all have different passions, and research shows that we are only motivated to learn new things when we are passionate about them. As a parent, you can see what your child enjoys and dislikes, so concentrate on encouraging his interest in the subjects he enjoys. Based on their hobbies and interests, you can enroll them into skill development online classes by Real School.

9. Let your kid be a kid

It can be difficult as a parent to let your children do whatever they want. They often veer towards doing uncomfortable things. But as long as their new idea isn’t risky, it is best to let them go their way and discover the world. Toddlers develop the ability to do things on their own at a certain age, and it is suggested that you let them try. Reprimanding them with “that’s not how you should do it” will make them lose interest. Allowing them to make mistakes and learning from those, is a safer option.

Conclusion

With youngsters, asking questions and sparking their thinking processes is a simple task. Talk to them and ask them simple questions to get them to reflect on what they are going through. When you walk on the grass, how does it feel? Can you know what your cat is saying? And babies who are unable to form a complete sentence can understand action words such as feel and hear.

You can expand a child’s imagination and thinking abilities while also encouraging their ingenuity and independence by posing deliberate questions. Children who often experience curiosity and wonder and act on these feelings to explore their environment do better in school, in relationships, and at work, and grow up to be intelligent, imaginative, and fulfilled people, according to scientific evidence.

They simply need to be encouraged to experiment while still being allowed space and freedom to do so. You can enroll them in project-based learning classes that can be found in Real School.

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*This is a sponsored guest post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

46 comments

  1. I agree curiosity is an essential skill to thrive in the 21 st century . I really liked all the suggestions shared by you. by putting some extra efforts, parents can raise curious kids, who will defiantly have a bright future with great problem solving skills.

  2. Curiosity is really very important and I believe it can help kid’s brain to develop in bright and great problem solver. It is the mother of inventions; I loved the detailed post!!

  3. These are some very important points. Curiosity is the mother of all discoveries and questions and definitely improve their imagination and ingenuity.

  4. I have got a curious munchkin. he is always upto something. 🙂 As you said we need to provide them suitable environment to let their curiosity blossom.

  5. A curious mind of kids craves for information and it is upon us to feed relevant and right one to them. Different activities done together and encouraging them to learn is indeed helpful.

  6. These are some nice ways to pique the curiosity in kids. I especially like the baking and restaurant idea.

  7. I am so impressed by your in-depth research Noor. Personally too I have yearned to keep the curiosity of my son alive. I have always encouraged him and have gone from pillar to post in getting him the best answers

  8. Handling the curiosity of our little one’s is way better than the hollering them to stay away from gadgets. Well said curiosity in the mind shows that the mind is on the active mode instead of being idle which is the best thing .

  9. Its indeed important for an element called curiosity in kids. As curiosity is one and only one thing that will push the child to do more, to learn more and to experiment with new things. Its indeed a great post.

  10. I agree curiosity in kids can be very interesting. Like my son,who is 4, enjoys leaning about how things work from planes to cars and even submarines and keeps talking about them to everyone and he learns all this from youtube and some netflix videos. I feel so delighted to see how curious he is to know about all this. Likewise my daughter likes to learn and know all about diy and how to reuse things around her for her doll house. Her imagination really astounds me.

  11. I have second hand information from my neighbor who says that her first kid(daughter) is very calm and not curious about anything when compared to the second. She actually blames herself for that. She recollects how her daughter was a curious kid at the start and used to keep asking questions but the daughter never received any response from her instead just said this is the way it is rather than encouraging her to ask more questions
    This changed the personality of her daughter completely and she regrets it. She learnt the hard way and now she answers each and every question her second kid asks. Parenting is not easy. People learn with experiences.
    But thanks to you, young parents can equip themselves beforehand.

    Thank you so much!

  12. I never thought of curiosity as a meta skill. Thanks for the post. I have three kids and hence it was difficult for me when they used ti ado many many questions. But your post is an eye-opener.

  13. Love your ideas for keeping curiosity alive. it is amazing how technology has added so much to us, yet, going back to the basics is the way to find the balance.

  14. Curiosity is common in human but sometimes it lands up getting wrong knowledge or taking up wrong path. Like, I have seen so many influencers being curious to grab and try products but without correct knowledge they tend to share across wrong knowledge only because they were curious to try brand and talk about it. But on other hand few people are curious to learn more and share right knowledge when they are aware of it

    1. Interesting perspective, but the curiosity mentioned in this post is specific to the cognitive development of children, not adults. Thank you for stopping by.

  15. Curious kids definitely get more success in life . I really liked all the suggestions by you , thanks for this wonderful post.

  16. Curiosity is what fuels development and learning, and is the fulcrum on which rests most of the legendary as well as ordinary achievements of mankind.

  17. Truly curiousity is a very essential factor in a child’s overall development. These are important factors that we, as parents should keep in mind.

  18. I have a Why-boy at home and kids are by default curious. We must encourage the curiosity and nurture it.

  19. Totally agree with you on the importance of curiosity and encouraging a questioning mindset in our kids. Reminded me of a post I wrote last year on encouraging children to question.

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