When children are very young, they ask the craziest questions: Can snails hear music? How do voices get through the telephone? Are all ladybugs girls? Even if we don’t know some of the answers, it’s important that kids keep asking question. After all, that’s how they learn!

But as they get older, some kids start feeling embarrassed about asking questions. As the parent, you can help your child by letting him know that being curious — in and out of school — is not just OK, it’s great. Here are a few ways to keep your child asking questions and learning every day.

  1. Learn together

    Try your best to answer whatever question your child asks. If you don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to say so: “I’m not sure why the sky is blue. Let’s find out!” Use these moments to discover something new and show your child that you’re still learning, too. (Read more about the power of curiosity.)

  2. Explore as a team

    Look up anything you don’t know. If you don’t know a word or can’t remember a date or name, pull out a dictionary or do some online research. Look at any question as an exciting mystery or treasure hunt: We will find out the answer!

  3. Figure things out together

    If you have a project around the house — like setting up your new cell phone (Many kids are a whiz at this!) or putting together a new toy — ask your child to help. Review the instructions ahead of time, and let your child read the steps as you go. This shows kids that a can-do attitude goes a long way toward learning something new.

  4. Talk about the importance of mistakes

    Some kids don’t like to try new things — or ask questions — because they’re afraid of getting something wrong. Talk about it (And even laugh about it!) when you make a mistake or are confused by something. This will help your child remember that everybody makes mistakes before getting it right. Research shows that helping kids see the benefits of mistakes helps them learn.