Igniting Curiosity

Ooh it’s a mystery…

One of our wonderful teachers, Heather came to the centre with a mystery bag and this got all the children (and even the teachers) curious and excited to see what was inside. We know that Heather enjoys nature and the outdoors, so we tried to guess what it was by asking questions like “Is it an insect?”, “Is it still alive?” & “Is it an animal?”, but Heather wasn’t giving anything away. 😊

After our tummies were full from morning tea, we noticed Heather setting up a green trough with some paper, followed by the contents of her mystery bag. “What do you think it is?”, she asked the children. “It’s a shrimp” said Angela, “It’s a crab” said Iris and many other children agreed.

It’s from the sea…

After smelling our fingers, we all agreed on one thing – it came from the sea. The children went into exploration mode, looking deeper into the trough and examining its contents. They fanned out its tail to see how it would move in the water. They explored its antenna and the little hairs covering its body by running their hands over it. They spoke about the hard shell – flipping it over to see where its stomach was and explored its eyes.


“It’s a Crayfish”, Heather explained. For some children this was the first time they had been up close to a crayfish and it was wonderful to see how much time and attention they put into examining its body and coming up with theories about what the crayfish does and why it may need a particular feature to live and survive.

Our tamariki wanted to know more – so we found a video clip that showed a crayfish swimming in its habitat. This provoked even more discussions around the function of its body to support how it moves and lives in the water.

Further exploration…


Later in the afternoon, some children took their inquiry a step further - by attempting to draw and replicate the crayfish and what they had seen. The medium of Art is a powerful form children can use to communicate their ideas, thoughts & understanding and was the perfect way to confirm and represent the discoveries they had made.

This spontaneous and intentional learning interaction links to the Exploration Strand in the Te Whariki curriculum which talks about children being able to develop

“curiosity and the ability to inquire into, research, explore, generate and modify working theories about the natural, social, physical, spiritual and human-made worlds”.

At Buckle My Shoe, a big part of our philosophy is about supporting children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder. The world around us is full of amazing things and from a child’s perspective – things look even bigger and better! By supporting these interactions with open ended questions, children become confident critical thinkers and explorers, creating a foundation of curiosity for future experiences.


“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning” according to William Arthur Ward (the writer) and that’s perfectly true! Our goal as teachers is to help our little learners develop an intrinsic desire to learn more about the world around them – helping them be better prepared for life! 😊