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Why curiosity is good for your kids

Education Toys Read On Get On
Education toys at a nursery in Lancashire

If you’ve ever found yourself stumped by a tricky question from your inquisitive kid you’re not alone.

A new poll by Read.On Get On. – a campaign to get all children reading well – shows that young kids ask up to eight questions a day, half of which parents admit they don’t know the answer to.

Top tricky questions

Of the 1,100 UK parents surveyed, half said that questions about life events, like the arrival of a new brother or sister, were the most challenging.

Science questions were also rated as tricky, with a quarter of respondents finding questions such as “Why is the sky blue?” and “How many stars are there in the sky?” difficult to answer.

Inquisitive kids

But while tricky questions from your little one can be trying, a report by Read On. Get On – which is a coalition of leading charities, teachers, parents and businesses – suggests that asking lots of “why?” questions is a key stage in language development, which is vital for getting children ready to learn how to read when they enter the classroom.

“Studies find that if children don’t have strong language skills at age five they can get left behind when they start school and struggle with learning to read,” says speech and language therapist Kate Freeman.

“That’s why it’s so important for adults to chat with children to help them develop the essential language skills needed to be ready to read when they enter the classroom.”

Story Starters

To help kids develop those important skills, Read On. Get On. – in partnership with Ladybird –  is launching a free nationwide giveaway of ‘Story Starters‘ – activities that get you and your family chatting with your kids.

These fun, easy and free interactive stories feature some well-known faces including Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and Topsy & Tim. You can read them on your phone and download them. That means you can do them wherever you are, whether it’s at home, on the bus or in the doctor’s waiting room.

On the Read On. Get On. website you can find links to lots of other exciting resources to help your child develop their language and literacy skills.


  •  “My children ask questions all the time and I find it fascinating as they puzzle over things we adults don’t. Recently my six-year-old asked when we were out in a cafe: ‘Why do girl’s toilets have a picture of a person with a skirt on? Girls wear trousers all the time and in Scotland boys wear skirts.'” Kate Garraway, TV presenter
  • “My eldest is fascinated by science – he always wanted to know what the moon is made of, how gravity works (he once had a tantrum when he was about two because I ‘wouldn’t switch gravity off!’). My youngest is very imaginative. He always asks ‘Are we alive or is this a dream?’ which is really above my paygrade, philosophically speaking.” Lauren Laverne, DJ
  • “Some days, I think my son Fred must ask over 100 questions…thanks goodness for Google! ‘How do Robins tell Santa if we’ve been good? They can’t talk.’ ‘If a lion and a rhino had a fight, who would win?’ ‘What comes after a trillion, killion?'” Jo Joyner, Actress 

What’s the best question your kid has asked you?

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