We have entered the stage of QUESTIONS. If I am honest, we’ve been at that stage for awhile now. And I am constantly stumped — why is the sky blue, but HOW does the touch lamp actually work, and how many volcanos are there in the world?
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Thank goodness for Google. But half of the time I reply with “What do you think?” The theories kids come up with are so creative. Just thinking through the answer to these kinds of questions fosters more curiosity and critical thinking.
This holiday season I am thinking about gifts that will stimulate and satisfy the most curious minds. These gifts are aimed at ages 5 through 7 approximately.
For pre-readers, I like books with great illustrations that are interesting enough to entertain and help circumvent screen-time, which tends to go up this time of year. Each of these books is on different topics, but they have a few things in common. They can be great as read-alouds but are just as entertaining for kids to study on their own, they are full of amazing illustrations, and not only do they answer some of our kid’s questions — but even better, they stimulate more questions.
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Games are great gifts because really you are giving an experience — a fun family game night, yet it is still something you can wrap and put under the tree. These games stretch kid’s imagination and their critical thinking.
Nothing quite captivates curious kids than when given a challenge or a project to solve. Hands-on activities that involve planning, trial and error, and critical thinking are the most engaging. All of these are things that help stimulate kids to get started on an afternoon of strategic problem-solving!
Of course, all kids love getting toys as well. Some toys will stimulate more curiosity than others. Toys that enhance pretend play is one of the best activities for the development of curiosity, creativity, and pro-social behavior. These toys range a bit, but the one thing they have in common is that they create a setting for pretend play and imagination!
I hope you and your little curious minds have an imaginative and creative holiday!