Feed their curiosity, don't kill it

Feed their curiosity, don't kill it


Feed their curiosity, don't kill it

We all have some distinct memories of our childhood. And some of the more vivid ones are usually centred around our favourite toys. The most important utility of toys, experts agree, is that they instil creativity and generate curiosity. They help in subconscious learning.

As far as the quality of education goes, India should be at the forefront. With our emphasis on providing our children with a good education and our long history of academic knowledge, India had all the ingredients necessary to excel in educational systems. Where we lack, however, is the execution of the knowledge at hand. Have you ever wondered why many children don’t like to go to school? Where learning should be an exciting prospect, it is increasingly becoming a burden that is forced upon young minds.

Filling the gap

The education we are imparting to our children often is basic and theoretical. Instead of creating a “knowledge Pull” method, we are applying a “knowledge Push” system. And we are seeing the repercussions of this methodology vividly. So, what can we do to fill this gap? How can we learn while having fun? How can we feed the curiosity of a child’s mind rather than killing it?

The most obvious answer is to improve our education system. This very thought is percolating slowly in Indian society, and people have begun to understand the importance of learning and growing through creativity. But establishing this is going to take time. While this change comes about, amongst other facilitators, toys are a useful medium to help a child’s cognitive development.

Toys can be perceived as a friend to accompany, a plaything, a dependent to take care of, a puzzle to solve, a teacher to learn from – the roles that a toy can play are endless. Not only do toys trigger a child’s imagination, they can also be a strong support. Children love making things and building things. Working in a group is also a great way to build social skills and confidence; all this while having fun.

While the usefulness of the right kind of toys cannot be disputed, the ownership of too many is not an ideal scenario. A lesser amount of the right kind of toys is always better than a cluster of too many. Fewer toys ensure wider creativity and help children value what they have better.

While many parents think that their children have too many toys, and a vast majority believe that their children spend enough time playing, experts agree that children learn by playing and toys are the instruments that allow them to discover the world they live in. The concept of responsible and productive playtime is something that needs to be understood by parents as well as by children.

An innovative mix of using toys and other fun methods can support the process of learning. It has been found that flash cards, coloured walls or charts and activity kits not only enhance learning, but also incline the children towards wanting to know more. Working with activity kits also strengthens the bond between the parent and child and creates a combined learning ecosystem. These also improve a child’s capacity to think out of the box — so where he may or may not be good at memorising essays, he would excel in a group project on the basis of thinking innovatively.

Learning through play is extremely important and easy. It is a powerful tool for the children of today. The next time you are stuck indoors on a sultry day, consider making or building something with your child.

(The authors are founders of Curiositi)

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