Would it surprise you to know kids ask more than 300 questions a day? Certainly, there is enough time in a day for that many. I don’t know why anyone would ever dispute this number, they just haven’t been around a toddler or preschooler recently.
Not just why questions but where and what and how: Where do the bugs go? What happens to the tree when the leaves fall off—does it die? How does a tree sleep standing up?
Seasonal changes can really encourage lots of questions. Parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators can ask questions too and give children models to copy: Is it warm today like the summer? What’s happened to the berries on the bush? Of course, we might have to answer them. We can also model our own wondering, such as: I wonder if there is something under this rock? Or, hmm, are the leaves different or the same?
For a play-of-the-day, perhaps you and your child could go on a wonder walk outside. Collect a few nature treasures to bring home and look at some more. Inside, kids might want to hold a magnifying glass and wander around for a few minutes looking at things. As we watch and listen to kids, they will give us clues to what they wonder about.
The first part of the word question, is quest, as in a journey or search. Maybe a question is a journey of the mind, searching for answers. 300 of them a day means kids minds travel a long way. The writer Thomas Berger said, “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” How many will your child ask today?
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