Children are naturally curious, but giving them ample opportunities to explore their environment and ask questions is important for their development. Image Credit: Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

Studies have shown, time and again, that nurturing one unexpected trait in children leads to confident, successful adults. It’s not discipline, resilience or drive, although they’re important too. It’s something far simpler: curiosity.

Click start to play today’s Word Search, as we learn how curiosity causes young people to ‘explore’ other avenues of learning.

After interviewing 70 parents, whose children grew up to be highly successful adults, American author Margot Machol Bisnow, who wrote the parenting book, Raising an Entrepreneur, found a common thread in all their answers. Their children were all incredibly curious – they didn’t just want to know things, but also wanted to know how to change them, to see if they could make them work better.

It's a trait you can also find among world renowned inventors and innovators. For instance, both American business magnate Warren Buffet and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have been known to say that lifelong learning is crucial to success. They’re known to be voracious readers, always ready to learn from books and people about a diverse range of topics – even when they have massive organisations to run.

That kind of dedication to learning begins when you’re small. According to US-based health care company Mayo Clinic’s website, children are naturally curious, but giving them opportunities to explore their environment and ask questions is important for their development. Here are a few tips on how to nurture and develop children’s curiosity, according to Mayo Clinic:

1. Let them see the world

Take them with you when you are travelling, so that they are exposed to new, unfamiliar cultures and locations. Locally, go camping, or on weekend trips to landmarks and natural sites, all the while encouraging them by answering questions and pointing out interesting aspects of the environment.

2. Spend time together

Whether you’re baking a cake together, going for a stroll in the neighbourhood park, or just reading a new storybook on the couch, spending time together as a family is sometimes all the encouragement your child needs to let loose all their questions and observations.

3. Request experiences rather than gifts

Children remember experiences more than tangible gifts. So, when their birthday or a special occasion rolls around, encourage close relatives to swap out packaged gifts for experiences, like an art class or a boat ride. The excitement your child will feel when planning for the trip, along with the memories he/she will return with, can last a lifetime.

4. Wonder aloud

If your walk around the neighbourhood seems quieter than usual, perhaps it’s time to boost your child’s natural curiosity with some questions of your own. You could ask out loud, “I wonder why the leaves on the trees are green”, or “I wonder where all the rabbits live”, or basically anything to spark their imagination, and rouse their interest.

5. Prompt thinking

Don’t feel obliged to immediately answer your child’s question by racking your brain for facts you studied back in school. Instead, when they ask a question, prompt them by asking for their thoughts first, before answering. Allowing them to hash out an answer on their own helps develop their cognitive thinking and problem-solving skills.

How do you encourage your child’s curiosity? Play today’s Word Search and let us know at