Answer: As hungry as they can be, and more! No, we are not joking or saying it vaguely. A child’s curiosity is genuinely limitless. What we need to understand is not the “how much”, but the why. What is the nature of this curiosity that drives them to do things that look deliberate or dangerous?
They do it to learn. That’s it.
Not “learn” like learning a subject. Their curiosity makes them explore adventures that in turn help them explore their own senses and abilities. So, instead of thinking “Today, I’ll practise high jump”, they set out on a challenging and exciting adventure - “Today, I will jump across that bush in the park.”
That is how children learn everything - in the form of adventures. Their first step, first jump, first catch and their first time swimming - all of these are a result of their in-born curiosity. This curiosity is Nature’s way of making sure the child wants to learn how to be a full-fledged adult, and was essential when human beings were still wild.
Thus, this form of curiosity is completely natural, and necessary for growing children. Even our ancestors acknowledged and cherished this. According to myth, when Hanuman was a child, he jumped and flew towards the sun to eat it because he thought it was a fruit, and had to be restrained. There are several stories of the baby Krishna and his fearless antics as a child.
However, somewhere along the way, we have come to misunderstand a child’s curiosity. Today’s practices aim at making children obey, and their curiosity is smothered to make role model children. But what we don’t understand is that smothering their curiosity also affects their development as a growing child. Their curiosity is the key to releasing their potential as all-round individual thinkers, with logic, compassion and empathy.So, the next time you see a child asking a lot of questions, understand that they’re not bored or being annoying; they really, really want to know.