Why? – Questions Kids Ask

Every parent has that moment when your kid asks you a question and you have no idea how to answer. Sometimes it’s because it’s the most oddball thing you’ve ever heard, a complicated science question that you simply can’t remember from school or it’s a serious topic that you have no idea how to broach.


1. Why aren’t birds electrocuted on wires? – Electrocution requires a current passing through you so for a bird to be electrocuted it would have to touch 2 wires at different voltages, or 1 wire and the pylon (which is grounded) at the same time. In this situation there would be a current flow and the bird would be electrocuted. However, it’s very unlikely to happen because the pylons have been designed to minimise the chance of birds being electrocuted.


2. Why can’t people leave other people alone? – Because human beings are social animals, which means that we live well together and do better when we do so. However as we make friends we can also make enemies because of that we can’t “leave other people alone”. However just because these people aren’t always nice to you, you have to show them kindness and friendship but it doesn’t always work so don’t worry if that happens.


3. Why is the sky blue? – The light coming from the sun is made up of a number of colours and one of these is blue. Light also travels as a wave and each colour has a unique wavelength. Violet and blue light have a shorter wavelength than the others and when it passes through the atmosphere the wavelengths run into molecules, water droplets and bits of dust. These particles are close in size to the short blue wavelengths so they scatter the rays sending them ricocheting toward the ground and your eyes.


4. Why is The Moon sometimes out in the day, too? – Because the Moon revolves around the Earth half of the time it is on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, when they’re on the same side the Moon is “up” during the day. When they’re on the opposite sides of the Earth as each other the Moon is “up” during the night.


5. Why Do People Die? – If this question comes out of the blue Myrna Shure, Ph.D., author of Raising a Thinking Child advises to instead of talking at length about death and dying, cut to the heart of the matter. “A good first response is ‘What do you think about this?” Children usually ask this question because they are worried about a specific element of death so find out the specific worry and you can answer that easily. If someone they know has died recently remind them that they can remember their friend/family member with stories and photos and that they can always think/ talk about them.


6. Why do I like blue? – Colours remind us of the things that we like or find valuable. So if you like blue or red or any colour it’s because it reminds you of a happy moment or object. Maybe it’s a reminder of blue skies or a particular outfit of a remembered love one.


7. Why Do People Get Sick? – Darshak Sanghavi, M.D., author of A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician’s Tour of the Body states that “Children want to know that they’re going to get better, explain that most serious diseases usually don’t happen until old age. The illnesses kids catch typically can be easily treated.” But as always this is a great time to promote washing hands frequently to ward off germs.


8. How do airplanes stay up? – Airplanes generate forces of thrust and lift to overcome the forces of drag and gravity. Thrust is what propels an airplane forward on the runway, the engine generates this forward thrust by spewing fuel backwards. As the plane goes down the runway the wings slice the air into streams, one flows above the wing and the other below because they’re shaped in such a way that the air flowing over them is deflected downward. Newton’s third law (that every action has an equal and opposite reaction) means that the downward motion of the air causes an upward motion of the plane i.e. lift.




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