My four-year-old son’s endless questions used to intimidate me.
“How does a rocket work?”
“What does a piston look like?”
“Where are those ants going?”
Being someone’s ambassador to the universe can be a lot of pressure.
Sometimes just getting through the day with two young boys is challenging. Add in estimating the speed of a 747, the number of spokes on a bicycle wheel, and the life expectancy of the average hamster, and I just could. Not. Keep. Up. So, we came up with this simple solution to help when kids are full of questions!
More Than Just Facts
Running Google searches and reading passages aloud from Wikipedia provided technically correct information, but it didn’t feel meaningful.
More than just providing facts, I wanted to support my son’s natural curiosity, to encourage him to find his own answers.
I started writing his questions down on scraps of paper, promising to come back to them later. After I finish the laundry. After I make dinner. After I nurse the baby.
Wait, where did that paper go?
That’s when we got the idea to create our Book of Questions.
We love making books at our house, so my son was super excited to get out our supplies and get to work.
What You Need to Create Your Own Book of Questions
- Colored cardstock
- White printer paper
- Scissors and glue (optional)
- Kid with a billion questions
We kept our book construction simple.
Folding the cardstock and printer paper in half, stapling the whole thing together, then adding a contrasting color for our title. If you’d like to get a little fancy and make a book with a sewn binding, check out this great post from The Artful Parent: http://artfulparent.com/2015/04/diy-art-journals-for-kids-with-drawing-prompts.html
How it Works
Each page has one question and one answer, plus space for a drawing or photo. Whenever I’m stumped, I jot his question down in the book, and we come back to it later, usually when the baby is napping.
Why It Works
The book has become a great tool for our family. Writing my son’s questions in a safe place lets him know that I care about his thoughts. Displaying the book on the shelf in the living room reminds us to come back to it frequently to brainstorm possible research routes. Should we ask an expert? Visit the library? Look online?
Having one place where he can collect knowledge about the topics that inspire him has been a way for my son to take some ownership of his education. He frequently asks to sit and read through the entire book, helping him process the ideas.
These days I am feeling less like a human encyclopedia and more like a member of an important research team.
I’m enjoying learning about everything from train engines, to deep sea creatures. And I love that we’re on this journey of discovery together.