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A third of children between the ages of 2 and 6 develop a passion or great interest in a specific topic. That interest is usually cars, planes or trains, but the next most popular is ... dinosaurs!
Find out how this children's passion for dinosaurs can enhance their cognitive development and why, interest is lost as the child grows.
Let's do a practical exercise. Think of the dinosaurs and name the ones you remember. Most likely, thanks to the movies or remote memories of your childhood, you can name a few such as the tyrannosaurus rex, velociraptor or the pterodactyl. It is quite possible that a 5-year-old child, with infinitely less knowledge than yours, but a great interest in dinosaurs, could name three more times: apatosaurus, iguanodon, sarcosaurus, oviraptor, brontosaurus, carnotaurus, spinosaurus ...
One third of children between the ages of 2 and 6 develop what is known in psychology as "intense interest." for a specific topic. They are deeply motivated by something, be it construction, cars or airplanes and memorize manufacturing years, models and brands without any problem. They are a walking encyclopedia on that subject. What's more, many of them never end with that passion and it accompanies them throughout their lives.
Experts do not know exactly what causes these intense interests in these children, but parents do usually specify the moment or event that triggered that passion. Many adults who were children during the 1990s, when Steven Spielberg released his film Jurassic Park, are believed to have become obsessed with dinosaurs after watching it. Others think that new research among paleontologists and new discoveries about dinosaurs (more than 30 dinosaurs were discovered in 2016 alone) may contribute.
Children's interest in dinosaurs is such that throughout the world there are several theme parks focused on showing children the way of life and habitat of these incredible creatures that stopped populating the earth 65 million years ago.
According to a study published in 2018: The development of conceptual interests in young children, the intense interests of children in particular and concrete topics such as dinosaurs, help them to:
- Have a greater attention span.
- Promote memory and retention.
- Develop your knowledge.
- Improve your information processing capacity.
- It helps them ask questions and seek answers.
- They improve their learning process.
That is why, when a child has a deep interest, he learns more and better, he learns while having fun.
However, it is also known that, although many children develop these intense interests, many also abandon them six months or three years after starting in it and, although it sounds curious, one of the main reasons why they abandon it is : the school.
Homework leaves little time for them to continue specializing and little by little they put aside their interest. Another reason is that, when making friends at school, it is not often that in your group, someone has the same passion and they try to find common hobbies or activities that integrate them into the group.
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