Curiosity is a strong desire to know or learn something and based on this I think we can all agree that we want to create curious children with an innate desire to learn but I feel we have, as with lots of things in the early years, decided what curiosity means for the children.
Children are individuals with hugely differing interests, therefore, their desires to know or learn something will vary immensely so who are we to decide what curiosity means to them? We can all say we follow the children’s interests but they are only followed within the remit of what we provide. If we only provide ‘curiosities’ from car boot sales and furniture that looks like it is from our grans house then that’s all we are providing for them to be curious about. Same goes for if we only provide colourful, plastic resources, if we only provide plastic resources we are still allowing for curiosity but within the remit of those plastic resources.
I do not argue the fact that authentic resources, loose parts and open-ended resources provide more engagement than typical ‘toys’ but why have we decided that curiosity looks a certain way and is from a certain era? Why can’t we see the curiosity in items that don’t fit ‘the look’?
As you know by now, I’m not a huge fan of china dogs but I can see that for some children these might provide curiosity (I mean everything does to some extent) but I can also see that some children will find plastic dogs curious, however, we have become accustomed to thinking it’s only curious if it is from a certain era! Furthermore, I would suggest that both these resources are fairly closed ended so why is one more curious than the other?
Anyway, my point is that we need to move away from ‘the look’ and strip back the fluff and go back to seeing that many items/experiences create curiosity; they don’t need to look or fit a certain aesthetic!
Lets stop our idea of ‘curiosity‘ from killing the early years.