Encouraging Curiosity in Child Care
Curiosity is important. It's the cornerstone of being a lifelong learner, and it can drive child care success in many different ways.
As an child care educator, you are in a position to encourage and foster curiosity in your students using various child care strategies. As you take various child care training courses, you will be introduced to a different way to develop the curiosity of the children in your child care classroom.
Here are some tips on how to best encourage curiosity in child care.
Break With Routine
Routine can be essential for children, but flexibility is also important. Consider taking a break from the usual routine once in a while.
Try a new snack, lead a different activity, or switch up your child care teaching format in general.
While it isn’t ideal to change things up too often or to try all of these ideas at once, they can help remind your students that things don't always have to stay the same at child care and beyond the classroom.
It is also important to foster children’s creativity through creation.
Bake or Make Together
If you have access to a kitchen in your child care educational facility, bake cookies or other treats with your students. When students see how something is made, that can encourage them to wonder how other things are made.
This type of thinking can boost children’s curiosity. In addition to baking together, you can also make things together at child care.
Children ask a lot of questions, it is important to encourage this behavior by answering questions in an effective manner.
In the toddler and preschool years, students tend to express their curiosity through questions. Sometimes, children may often ask the same question over and over as a way to gauge the differences in response.
While answering similar questions can feel like a lot of work, ignoring children’s questions can send the message that curiosity is a burden or inconvenience.
Always do your best to answer as many questions as your students have in the child care classroom.
If you don’t know the answer it is a great time to start a new learning investigation and teach children how to search for answers right along with their teacher.
If the circumstances don’t allow you to answer the child’s question immediately, rather than ignore them, acknowledge their feelings. You might try saying something like: “That is a great question! Let’s see if we can figure out our answer tomorrow during small group.”
And while you are answering your children’s questions it is important to ask good questions as well.
Ask Open-Ended Questions
The questions you ask can also help your students embrace their curiosity at child care.
Don't just ask yes-or-no questions or questions that lead the student exactly where you want them to be.
Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow the student to create their own answers.
Curiosity is important, and as an educator, you have the ability to influence the curiosity of the next generation.
One of the best ways to do this is through the promotion of exploration.
Encourage Safe Exploration
For young children, in particular, exploration is how they express curiosity.
This exploration can manifest in many different ways, from the infant who wants to touch everything to the toddler who wants to climb all over a jungle gym.
To foster this type of curiosity, help children find safe ways to explore.
To get started, you might try looking at your classroom’s layout and design, as well as what materials are on hand.
Also, consider creating an outdoor space where children can explore their curiosity in a natural setting.
Finally, teachers can also assist children in their explorations by providing a selection of tools and experiences.
For example, provide small children with safe, multi-sensory toys to play with, and take older children on field trips to new places.
Another incredible way to explore what the world has to offer is to have experts teach your children cool things.
Bring In Experts
To further encourage curiosity and the love of learning consider finding experts in your social network who can talk with your kids at their child care.
For example, if you know a marine biologist, ask that person to stop by and answer the children’s questions about fish.
Or if you know a fireman, see if they can come in and talk about good safety habits they can follow at school and at home.
You may even learn a thing or two yourself.
For more help on encouraging curiosity in child care and classroom management, check out ProSolutions Training’s course on Lesson Planning for Young Children.
Knowing how to prepare effective lesson plans is an essential part of becoming an outstanding educator. Although it may be time-consuming, there are many benefits to writing lesson plans for your child care program or setting.
Well-behaved children, a classroom of meaningful learning, and a stress-free teacher are all benefits of the great lesson plans you will learn to write in this course!
Course Learning Objectives:
After taking this course, you will be able to:
Identify the key elements of a lesson plan.
Describe long- and short-range lesson planning
Recognize how to use themes to develop lesson plans for young children.
To participate in this course click here.