LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents know that children are naturally curious. Unfortunately for many children, as they grow, their curiosity is dulled instead of sharpened. They depend on outside influences—TVs, computers, video games, and yes, parents—to keep them engaged and entertained. Yet it doesn't have to be that way—and Victoria Ryan O'Toole says summer is a great time to help kids develop an active interest in the world around them.
"The fact that school's out doesn't mean that learning has to stop," says O'Toole, creator of the Molly Moccasins story, game, and activity book series for children (www.mollymoccasins.com). "In fact, over the next few months, asking questions and developing a healthy imagination can be more fun than ever."
Helping children strengthen their "curiosity muscles" is a wonderful gift because it enables them to continually learn, grow, and question the world they live in and sets them up for a successful future.
This year, O'Toole urges parents not to let their children spend the long, sunny days of summer in front of a television or computer screen. Once you begin to help your kids "see" all of the interesting questions that can be found in everyday life, they'll soon begin to ask them naturally.
Here, O'Toole shares curiosity-enhancing questions you might ask and explore with your child during 11 common summer scenarios, as well as a few Molly Moccasins titles that complement each activity.
- What does a plant need to grow?
- Why do plants have roots?
- What do worms, bees, and other insects do in a garden?
Fishing/visiting an aquarium.
- How do they breathe underwater?
- Can all fish live in the same type of water?
- What kind of gear do you need to go fishing?
- Why is it harder to breathe the higher you go?
- What is the longest hiking trail in the world and how long does it take to complete?
- What items are good to have with you on a hike?
- What are the different swimming strokes?
- How deep is the deep end of the pool? The shallow end?
- What animals or other creatures can swim?
- What bugs come out at night?
- Why do we need bugs?
- What animals or creatures eat bugs?
- Why do cakes rise?
- What do "tbsp" and "tsp" stand for?
- Why is it important to use the correct measurements in the recipe?
- What can you use to build a tent?
- What do you need to bring with you when camping?
- Can you imagine or create a space to camp in? (Use white sheets to get the feeling of being in the Arctic, or find the fluffiest pillows in your house to help you imagine that you are floating among the clouds!)
Setting up a lemonade stand.
- How do you make lemonade?
- What do we need for the stand? (Poster, chairs, cups, money jar, table, etc.)
- How much does one cup cost?
Looking at clouds and stargazing.
- What are the different types of clouds?
- What are stars?
- What is a constellation? Which ones can you find?
Exploring family history.
- What did your great-grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc. do for a living?
- Where did they live?
- What is the origin of your last name?
Going to the zoo.
- What's your favorite animal? What does it eat?
- Why do animals live in different habitats?
- What is the baby version of a ______ called? (e.g., lion: cub)
"No matter where you live, the world around you is bursting with questions to be asked and information to be learned," O'Toole says. "You just have to keep your eyes open so that you see opportunities to ask them! This summer, you may be surprised by how much fun you have in the process!"
About Victoria Ryan O'Toole:
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SOURCE Victoria Ryan O’Toole