By Nicole Irving
Children naturally become very curious at the age of 4, asking questions over and over a thousand times a day, driving most parents batty! Although it may get tiresome, this behavior is healthy and exactly what they are supposed to be doing at this age. By using books and nature to quench her curiosity, dealing with your 4-year-old’s questions becomes a little more fun!
Have a little one curious about animals? Try getting a simple betta fish. Have him help feed it and change its water.
How does your garden grow? Have your kiddo pick out her very own packet of flower seeds and a small pot. Help her plant and water it. She will be amazed when her plant starts to sprout!
Florida is abundant with little lizards — or mini dinosaurs to the imaginative mind. Help him catch a lizard (safely) and place it in a safe plastic container with some leaves. Have him study it, name it and release it back into the wild. Then do it again!
Our backyards are full of wonderful, colorful birds. For a small investment, get a bird feeder, and take time during the morning (breakfast time) and night (dinner time) to sit outside with her and watch all the birds come to eat. Talk about the different varieties and colors, and have her give them special names. For a variety of birds, try getting different types of food.
Curiosity Can Create a Bond
Never discourage your little ones from asking questions. Even at this young age, they trust in you, so if they feel that you listen to them, they will be more apt to confide in you later.
Always tell the truth on an age-appropriate level. Children remember everything and will most likely repeat your answer to someone. Make sure it is the right answer.
Help them seek the answers by showing them how to use the library, teaching safe internet practices and modeling how to ask adults (with supervision), like a librarian, for help. This will help them learn to seek answers on their own.
The “Curious George” series is great for questioning minds. This little monkey sure does get into trouble with his curiosity, but he always learns a great lesson in the end!