Social & Emotional Development

11 Tips to Encourage Curiosity in Kids

By: Michael Kress
Man and toddler looking at birdhouse together.
2 minutes to read
For All Ages
Critical Thinking
Social Emotional

A curious child is one who loves to learn and relishes the chance to expand their horizons. Here are 11 ways to imbue your child with curiosity.

1. Muse out loud. 

Let your kids regularly hear what your own curiosity sounds like. Ask lots of questions—about anything, really, whether they’re addressed to a person or just rhetorical.

2. Investigate their queries. 

Have your kids asked how something works or why something is the way it is? Head together to Google, or your local library, and help them find the answer.

3. Ask them lots of questions. 

Spur your kids’ thinking and inspire them to wonder about the world around them.

4. Never tire of your kids’ questions.

 The incessant “Whys?” can be exhausting, but relish them and answer them enthusiastically.

5. But don’t provide the answers (at least not immediately). 

Let your kids hypothesize, mull and investigate to find their own answers, with your help and guidance.

6. Praise their effort, not the results. 

Focusing on the process and not the answer has many benefits, like encouraging your kids to explore and pursue their own interests and feel confident seeking information on their own.

7. Talk about the world around you. 

Observe, comment on and question the phenomena you encounter that make you curious.

8. Challenge them. 

Charge your kids with thinking through—and researching—the answers to your questions.

9. Make reading an interactive activity. 

Stop in the middle of a story to ask your kids what they think will happen next or what they would do if they were that character.

10. Encourage their passions. 

Focus discussion, joint projects and family activities around the topics that interest your children. Do they love sports? Provide books about athletes, discuss the physics of a ball hitting a bat, calculate how far they can throw the Frisbee and so on.

11. Try new things together.

 Seek out opportunities to expand your horizons as a family, whether it’s new experiences, new friendships, new games, new activities or new foods.

Our Kindness Collection is designed to help you nurture kindness and empathy while encouraging kids to grow into their best selves: Curious, Creative, Caring and Confident.

Author Michael Kress
By: Michael Kress

Michael Kress is the managing director of content strategy at Teach for America, a longtime writer and editor on parenting issues, and the father of three girls.