Ask the Expert; Books, Games and Questions that support development

November 06, 2013


                                                  SO MANY QUESTIONS, SO FEW ANSWERS
                                                                        ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Hi Motherburg Readers,
This post is about something simultaneously endearing and maddening in young children. No, it’s not the amount of artwork they bring home daily from school or daycare or how quickly they grow out of their clothes. It’s about their curiosity and building time and opportunities to ask and answer questions each day.

According to Zero to Three, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families: “Babies are born learners, with a natural curiosity to figure out how the world works.  Curiosity is the desire to learn.  It is an eagerness to explore, discover and figure things out.  The more curious a child is, the more he learns. Nurturing your child’s curiosity is one of the most important ways you can help her become a lifelong learner.


  • Listen to your child and follow their interests. My now 2-year-old niece is almost always on the move. She walks about, finding toys, playing and asking, “What’s that?” or “What you doing?” By answering these questions, parents and caregivers are expanding their information about the world and showing that their child’s questions (however repetitive they might be) are important.
  • Talk about your own experiences. If you return home from work or the grocery store, share one thing that happened. Show your child your metro card or newspaper. Show them a food item from your grocery bag. Have them guess what happened next or what other food you purchased. Real life scenarios for young children often lead them to think and make connections. These thoughts later develop into play and questions. Give your child time to wonder and ask.

Here are some children’s books to support question development:

Wordless Picture Books:

The Red Balloon by A. Lamorisse,

Do You Want to Be My Friend? By Eric Carle,

I See by Rachel Isadora

Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day

Inquisitive Picture Books

On No! by Candace Fleming

When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger

Where are Maisy’s Friends? By Lucy Cousins

Where’s My Teddy? By Jez Alborough 

Science Books:

Down Comes the Rain by Franklyn Mansfield Branley,

What’s Up What’s Down by Barbara Bash,

Growing Like Me by Anne Rockwell,

Why? By Catherine Ripley

Here are some activities and games to build questions too:

Question Routines: At bedtime, talk to your children about highlights from their day. With very young children ask and answer the questions out loud (Who did you see?... Grandma visited today. She had big sunglasses on). With older children, ask them what they liked best about the day, what they didn’t like, what they’d like to do tomorrow, what they think they will dream about, etc.

Popular Games:


Hi Ho Cherry-O

Memory Games:

Don’t Spill the Beans

Barnyard Bingo

Uno Moo 


Online games:

As you finish this blog post, think about what questions you might ask your little ones next and try in simple ways to encourage curiosity throughout your child’s day. Thanks, as always, for reading this post! Till next time, take care. Vanessa

Vanessa D’Auria is a licensed speech-language pathologist providing home-based services Brooklyn, Queens and Midtown. For more information about Vanessa, visit or to ask speech/language questions, email directly at



Top Photo Source

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.