For the
First Month

Why Do Children Ask, “Why?”
5 Ways to Encourage Your Child’s Curiosity

-Rebecca A. Palacios, Ph.D.

Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016 7:57:13 AM America/Los Angeles

Have you ever wondered why children ask “why” so often? For children, “why” questions help them make sense of the world around them.

What can we do at home to foster children’s questioning abilities and support their learning?

Read below to find out!

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Foster your child’s natural curiosity by allowing him or her to explore content freely on safe learning environments like! To learn more about why is a great choice for discovering and learning, visit:

What can we do at home to foster children’s questioning abilities and support their learning? Here are 5 ways to encourage your child’s curiosity when asking “why”:

  1. Encourage “why” questions! Respond in a supportive way by giving an informative answer or even another “why” question to get your child thinking.

    • If your child asks why it rains, you can say, “Great question! It rains because the clouds have moisture in them, and when they get full, it rains.” Or, you can say, “Great question! Why do you think it rains?”

  2. Ask a lot of “why” questions yourself to show that learning is a lifelong skill.

    • “Why do you think this soup I’m cooking needs water?”

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    Read books to your child that contain many questions.

    • Check out Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman or National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why.

  4. Post a page on the refrigerator or in your child’s room with the answers to “why” questions he or she has asked.

    • You can label it “My List of ‘Why’ Questions” and go over the answers together.

  5. Learn about higher-order questions and why they are important to children’s learning.

    • Higher-order questions encourage asking open-ended questions so that children must use critical thinking to answer, rather than just relaying facts.

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Children’s innate curiosity about the world around them builds concepts, skills, vocabulary, and an understanding of the unknown. Adults can help channel children’s need to know “why” in positive ways to get them learning more about the world around them!

Rebecca A. Palacios, Ph.D., is a Senior Curriculum Advisor for Age of Learning, Inc., the company that produces the website and ABCmouse mobile apps.