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Your child's questions

The world is a fascinating place for a four year old

Now that your child is four, you will undoubtedly be aware that their curiosity knows no bounds! They are interested in everything from why the sky's blue, to how the fridge stays cold.

A questioning nature is undoubtedly a positive attribute and most of the time children ask questions in order to learn, as Arnold Edinborough said "Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly." Likewise, Albert Einstein said "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

However, sometimes it can feel like they're just playing up, particularly when you're short of time. The seemingly endless chorus of ‘Why?' when you're under pressure with 101 things to do can be tricky to handle.

What's this all about?

Asking questions is a sign that your child is devoping his/her intellect. Rather than simply accepting that things just ‘are', they're beginning to question in an effort to better understand how the world works.

According to child educational psychologist Simon Cusworth, "...something called ‘individuation' occurs, when they begin to become aware of themselves as individuals, and to see the gap between how the world is and how they want it to be".

This breeds questions like ‘why is the grass green?', and indeed much tougher questions like ‘what is colour made of?'. It also leads to questions which challenge your authority e.g. ‘why can't I have some chocolate?'; and ‘why do I have to go to bed?'.

How should you handle it?

Well the good news is that you shouldn't feel like you have to have all of the answers. Telling your child that you're not sure will help them to understand that no one knows everything. This may also reassure them that it's ok for them not to know everything too. It's also a great chance to teach your child how to find out things for themselves. Good resources include an encyclopaedia, nature books, the internet, and your local library.

If your child is asking a tricky question at the wrong time - for example when you are trying to get them ready for school and are already running late - it's probably because they are either craving attention, or testing out a challenge to your authority. There's never enough hours in the day and you can't always drop what you're doing in order to fully discuss the question. If you're getting a bit frazzled it's best to simply reassure your child that you will talk it through more fully (or indeed look up the answer) later on; and of course, make sure you honour your promise!

When it comes to questions which challenge your authority, it's best to answer the question as fully as you can, but to stick to your guns. At Perform we teach children to co-operate with each other, so they learn that no one can have their own way all of the time -  an important lesson!

Play and pretend

Part of your child's curiosity comes from a desire to work things out for themselves, so help them stretch their powers of deduction with the Perform game What am I?


Amelie loves going to Perform and I like the weekly themes. Dealing with anger this week was a very relevant topic for Amelie! Oli is so enthusiastic and helped Amelie to fit in straightaway.

– Mrs Jennifer Parkes

This is the first class that both my children enjoy equally and really enjoy going to. I’m delighted. I really want them to grow in confidence and the class size and Naomi’s and Ben’s infectious enthusiasm help this. 

– Mrs Isabelle Woodward

Perform is a revelation for my fairly shy and quiet twins who at times seem to lack the confidence to be heard in groups. Such an amazing class and it's even more amazing watching their confidence grow as they develop new skills.

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Poppy is really enjoying the classes and I can already see after only a few weeks how much she is getting out of it so thank you to Susie and Katie.

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My aim for this class was to help Daisy be more confident and I feel like it’s definitely helping. Although it’s only been a few weeks Daisy enjoys going and shows all the family what she has learnt each week. 

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Isabella really enjoys her classes and is always on a "high" afterwards (for the whole day!). I can see already how her confidence has grown. Thank you!

– Ms Anna Sales

Dougie has never wanted to do this type of thing before and he absolutely loves going to his class! Brooklyn and Craig have made such a difference in a very short period of time. The way you work with the children and the importance on development is exactly what Dougie was looking for.

– Mrs Elisha Rolph

I love that the priority with Perform is the development & well being of each child rather than pushing them to "perform" without considering their enjoyment. Both of my children are so happy in class and develop week on week.

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Both girls love Abi, and her energy and enthusiasm is infectious. Both girls look forward to their classes and their comfort in performing in front of an audience has improved fantastically.

– Roo Modasia-Patel

Perform has helped my shy daughter come out of my shell and gives my outgoing son an outlet for his exuberance (which can sometimes be frowned on at school). We all love it.

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