Exploration tips and advice
The more curious a toddler is, the more they learn, so nurturing your toddler’s curiosity is one of the most important ways you can help them become a lifelong learner.
Give your toddler the chance to experiment
Experimentation helps develop physical skills such as muscle development, strength and co-ordination.
It also helps develop neurological behaviours such as cause and effect, reasoning and logic. Toddlers spend one-fifth of their waking hours in focused gazing, building curiosity and awareness of their surroundings. Pictures on the wall and normal family activities are naturally fascinating to a toddler. Give your toddler safe toys and objects to explore which will help them in learning the difference between different objects.
The best way you can accommodate a toddlers experimentation needs is to follow their lead and allow them to practice things in a safe environment.
Take it outside
Outside play allows toddlers to explore their environment and learn about something different from their indoor experiences. Take a walk outside and wonder aloud about the trees, the sky, and the stars. Also let your child see you pursuing interests of your own this will engage interest in discovery and education.
Climbing trees, picking flowers and playing in the grass are all important activities for happy and healthy development in kids.
Use every moment as a teaching opportunity
Encourage your toddler to ask questions about how or why things work in a certain way, this will nurture their curiosity and their intelligence.
No such thing as too much activity
Between the ages of 12 and 36 months, toddlers are constantly active. The National Association for Sports and Physical Education (NASPE) guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of structured, adult-led physical activity and at least 60 minutes of unstructured free play each day.
As a general rule, a toddler should not be inactive for more than an hour a day (besides when napping).
Always create a safe environment
Experimenting, learning and exploring are all important activities for your toddler, but should be done under your constant supervision. Supervising your toddler’s exploration will fortify the bond between you both as your toddler knows they can go off and explore but come back to you if they are needed.
Allow Time for Open-Ended Activities
Unlike some toys that are designed to be used a certain way, materials like boxes, blocks, water, sand, pots and pans and any art material, can be used imaginatively to explore or even as activities and games for your toddler. Do not tell your toddler what to do with these materials, how to do it or what it should look like in the end. Let your toddler explore, discover and build curiosity by educating themselves and you being their guide.
Encourage Natural Interests
Toddlers learn so much more through exploring and engaging in activities that capture their attention and imaginations. If they like music, play it to them often, make and play instruments, and dance together.
If bugs are their thing, give them a shovel and a net, and find books on bugs and read to them.
Answer Questions Simply and According to Your Child's Development
You will answer a question about where babies come from much differently if your child is 3 or 13. And, no matter the child's age, always ask them first what their thoughts are before answering. This will give them the confidence to discover through education and train their little minds to help their engagement to explore learning and build curiosity on the topic.