Ask any expert on child development and they will tell you that one of the most important things in early childhood is to talk to your children. And we fully embrace that in our home. We use any opportunity to strike up a conversation. Sometimes it becomes interesting, other times it just fizzles out. We read books, we make up stories and songs, we make observations during our activities, and we wonder out loud. The language we use with our kids is so important. There is a lot in the words we say or do not say. So in this post we invite you to reflect on this and we ask you the following question, have you wondered with your kid today?
As parents, we sometimes feel we have to know all the answers to all the questions. Reality check… we don’t! So what if we can transmit that to our kids too? That they don’t have to know everything. That the joy is in the discovery, the process, rather than the result. This is why wondering out loud with your kids is so great. We are engaging in conversation with them, and we are teaching them that it is ok to have our own ideas, whether they are right or wrong.
Benefits of wondering out loud with your kids
By starting a conversation with “I wonder why/how/what…” and following it up with “what do you think?” we:
- give our kids an understanding that their thoughts are valuable too and that they have a right to their own ideas
- foster imagination, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills
- communicate in a way that doesn’t involve right or wrong, avoiding judgement and frustration
- can continue a conversation and discover together, avoiding a conversation cut short by the correct answer
- make thinking visible, allowing our kids to better understand thought processes and how it works
- help develop their curiosity and encourage lifelong learners
So if you stumbled across this post today, take some time to reflect on this thought and try to incorporate some wonder into your day. You will love hearing your little ones start using this and wondering out loud too. And you will notice how much learning can be behind one simple thought. Follow that thought with your kids and see what you discover together!
A few suggestions to get going:
- what snails eat (nature study)
- where the people on the train are going (geography)
- how many fish are in the lake (math)
- if it is also raining at grandma’s today (weather)
- what will happen if I mix water and cornstarch (experiment)
- if that will sink or float (physics)
Fun activities to follow up and continue wondering:
- Simple Science Project For Kids: Float or Sink
- Milk The Cow STEM Challenge: Can You Mimic Nature?
- Fun Color Experiment For Toddlers Who Love A Good Mess
More on the topic of talking to your kids in this interesting video by expert Edward Melhuish: