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!

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/

Children's author Isabel Thomas joins Whizz Pop Bang team

Children’s author Isabel Thomas joins the Whizz Pop Bang team!

Isabel Thomas joins the WPB team

We’re excited and proud to announce we have children’s author and science writer Isabel Thomas joining the Whizz Pop Bang team! Author of shortlisted book ‘How to Change the World’ and ‘Self-Destructing Science’ Isabel will be writing features on science topics in Whizz Pop Bang.

A big warm welcome to Isabel, we’re thrilled to have you as part of the editorial team and can’t wait to get cracking (btw that’s a clue for the next issue which features Isabel’s first article) and you’ll be needing one of these… can you guess the topics we’re uncovering in issue 13?

magnifying glass

Happy experimenting everyone 🙂

 

butterfly garden kit

Minibeast photography competition

The results are in from our minibeast competition (issue 11, June) and we have five winners to announce!

Firstly we want to say thank you to all of you who entered. We had over 75 entries of awesome minibeast photos. We now have spiders, bees, butterflies, caterpillars, beetles, slugs, ladybirds, snails, dragonflies, centipedes and moths all crawling around on the Whizz Pop Bang office wall 🙂

Without further ado here are our lucky winners and their prize-winning photos…

Isla Gibbs, age 10:

Whizz Pop Bang minibeast competition winner Isla

James Grant, age 7:

Whizz Pop Bang minibeast competition winner

Khadeejah Hussain, age 5:

Whizz Pop Bang minibeast competition winner

Megan Whitfield, age 10:

Whizz Pop Bang minibeast competition winner

Pippa Pang, age 6:

Whizz Pop Bang minibeast competition winner

Congratulations to our five winners, your butterfly garden kits are on the way! If you didn’t win and you’d really like a butterfly garden kit they are available from insectlore.co.uk

Enjoy the sunshine and the minibeasts in your garden or park, and remember to handle all minibeasts very carefully and be aware that some might sting.

Whizz Pop Bang at The Guardian Small Business Showcase Awards

The Guardian Small Business Showcase Awards

On Thursday 7th July we took Whizz Pop Bang to London for the Guardian Small Business Showcase Awards evening, as finalists in the home business innovation category for 2016. The event was held upstairs at The Lighterman Bar in London’s redeveloped King Cross area, a fitting venue for start-ups and new businesses to be celebrating growth and ingenuity. As soon as we arrived we could feel the energy and buzzing enthusiasm from the entrepreneurs and small business owners selected from thousands, down to just 18 businesses across six categories.

Whizz Pop Bang was a finalist in the home business innovation category along with Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel and Spice Kitchen.

The winner that night was Longcroft, who after six years in business now have franchises across the UK for cat-lovers wanting to work from home. Congratulations to the team at Longcroft, we wish you every success and it was great to meet you.

Despite not winning, we are so proud to have been shortlisted as finalists in less than a year of setting up Whizz Pop Bang. So, here’s to the future of awesomely amazing science for kids!

https://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/gallery/2016/jul/08/guardian-small-business-showcase-awards-2016-in-pictures