How to nurture curious and inquisitive young minds

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” 
Professor Stephen Hawking

Why are curiosity and inquisitiveness important?

The confidence to question is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. The ability to answer questions comes further down the list – it’s that sense of wonder that is such an important building block. 

This skill isn’t only important for scientists, either – it’s vital for navigating the wide world. Knowing how to question, for example, if a news story can be trusted, whether a politician’s promise can be believed, how to find out how something works, and so on, is crucial for us all. 

We’re all born with an innate curiosity. First words soon form first questions: “Why shoes? Why breakfast? Why moon?” Let’s be honest, this isn’t always adorable – but reframing the ‘why’ phase as ‘a wonderful first glimpse into an enquiring young mind,’ might help us appreciate it more! Who knows what great questions our children may ask throughout their lives – and what incredible answers they might be driven to find. 

So how can we encourage this curiosity and help to shape the next generation of inventors, engineers, medics, educators, change makers and more?

1. Question everything

Children are little sponges, so sharing your own enquiring mind with your curious children can encourage their own questions. 

On a journey, you might wonder: 

“Where does that road lead?”

“What will that new building look like when it’s finished?” 

“How does gritting the road stop us from slipping?” 

While cooking lunch, you could ask: 

“Will turning the heat up make this cook faster?”

“How do these food scraps turn into compost?”  

At bedtime, read the start of a story, then prompt: 

“What happens next?” 

Who knows what other questions, lively debate or answers you’ll inspire (and, let’s be realistic, the occasional “Shhhhh mum/dad!” is inevitable too!)

2. Foster a “give it a try”

Answers aren’t the aim of this game: it’s the confidence to speak out when something has got you wondering. Helping your child to understand that you don’t have to know or understand everything, but instead that the process of learning itself can be exciting and rewarding. Add the word “yet” onto the end of frustrated cries of “I don’t know how,” “I don’t understand” and “I can’t do it” to turn defeat into the start of a voyage of curiosity.

3. Celebrate mistakes

Getting things wrong can be annoying and hard for any of us to handle, but mistakes can also be funny, informative and surprising. Did you know that Play-doh, Saccharin sweetener and the microwave were all the result of accidental discoveries? Help your child to understand why something hasn’t worked as expected, get excited about any surprising results, then work out how you can vary the process to get a different outcome next time!

4. Add a little Whizz Pop Bang!

Picking up the latest issue of Whizz Pop Bang is enough to awaken anyone’s curiosity, so surprise your scientist-in-the making by setting up a lab in your kitchen and getting stuck in to some experiments. Need more inspiration? Click here to take a look inside the Planetary Adventures issue where you can find out how to cook potato planets, craft a solar system model and read an interview with a Martian (aka someone who has lived in an environment set up to mimic Mars!)

Mission: Awaken curiosity accomplished!

Poster inviting kids to try cricket pasta at Nord Anglia School Dubai

Cricket pasta tasting with kids and teachers in Dubai

Did you know Whizz Pop Bang whizzes around the world to kids in many different countries? Yep, we have readers in Australia, America, Germany, New Zealand, Holland and Dubai (please let us know if you read it in another country and we’ve missed you out!). Kids learning English as a second language love reading Whizz Pop Bang because it’s fun and easy to read. Expat kids love reading it because it’s not easy to get hold of English magazines in some countries.

Now what’s all this about crickets in pasta? Well here at Whizz Pop Bang we actively encourage kids to be open-minded and to try new things, and with the need to find more sustainable sources of protein to feed our growing population, we’ve been giving kids the opportunity to try eating insects. Check out these super mini scientists at a school in Dubai trying a food of the future – cricket pasta!

Made by Bugsolutely in Thailand, cricket pasta is a genius way to include sustainable protein in a quick and easy meal. Cook it and serve with pesto, with a tomato sauce or a creamy sauce and you have a nutritious meal and one that doesn’t require any additional protein.

Were your kids involved in a Whizz Pop Bang cricket pasta tasting? Let us know what they thought in the comments box below, or email hello@whizzpopbang.com. If you’d like to subscribe to Whizz Pop Bang THE awesome science magazine for kids just click here.

Whizz Pop Bang round logo

Mission Impossible? 53 Science experiment for kids for the summer holidays!

Bundle of six Whizz Pop Bang science magazines

KIDS: STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN!!
Your inner curiosity and brain cells are calling you…

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to groom yourself like a cat, to drain the rain, to feel the force and to alter your sense of touch. Taking it to the next level, your mission is to make your own fake blood, loop the loop and snore louder than your Dad without going to sleep. Then it gets tricky: could you grow your own stalactites and stalagmites? Could you lift your Mum off the ground? Could you move water with fire? 

How is this possible? For 6-11 year olds across the globe it is possible with science magazine WHIZZ POP BANG!

Buy now and put your child to the test – can they become world class mini scientists? Six copies for £20, free delivery and not a screen in sight: https://whizzpopbang.com/shop/all/