Childhood is magical. Well, at least it is supposed to be. The unfortunate truth is that for many children there is very little about childhood that feels magical. In a world that is hurried, marred by violence and dominated by technology, little moments of magic can be hard to come by. Lately I have been looking for magic. As an adult who feels stressed, drained by recent world events and news and often bouncing from one thing to the next with very little time to breathe, I felt it important to refocus.
A few weeks ago while driving to a meeting I was sent on a wild detour due to some roadworks. Just as I was worrying about being late and doing a little silent cursing, I noticed a family of ducks waddling along the grass. Those little bundles of fluff bought a smile to my day and I instantly felt myself relax.
Today when driving home I fought my desire to head straight there to the waiting piles of washing and instead we took a detour (a planned one this time!) and were delighted to come upon this tree wrapped in wool and draped in knitted garlands. I stopped the car and my five year old and I pondered why the tree might be wrapped in wool and who might have done it. He thought it was "just beautiful!"
In Early Childhood we have a responsibility to give children the chance to find magic. And we don't even need to spend money to do it. All they really need is our time. All they really need is our attention. When we truly make time to see, to listen and to just BE with children, we find magic everywhere. We find it in the dandelions that grow wild along the fence line, inviting children to make wishes. We find it when we lay on the grass and watch the clouds, seeing dragons and elephants float by.
Instead of worrying about what to add to the sandpit today, just be present with children. Rather than spending your time planning Christmas crafts, plan to spend your time finding magic with children. Today, I urge you, open your eyes... find magic!
By Nicole Halton
Providing inspirational professional development opportunities for Early Childhood Educators