Fostering Wonder, Creativity, and Curiosity

Describe someone’s sense of wonder and curiosity, and I bet you are talking about a young child! I will never forget the time my son was preoccupied by watching a bug crawl across our back deck. He was spell-bound and practicing the art of observation, a life skill. I wish I could say that I capitalized on that moment of wonderment, but in my haste, I didn’t. I have since learned to slow down.

In slowing down, I have honed my own observation skills. I have enjoyed seeing the beautiful blend of daily structure mixed with time for curiosity and creative play at Redeemer. Children need structure and routine to feel safe and secure. They thrive on it! Within the context of structure and orderliness, a child’s brain is able to tap into that God-given creativity as he or she draws, plays, or observes. One sees beauty and goodness to the glory of God in every sphere of learning at RDS!

Along with your teachers, my desire is to encourage you, dear parent, to foster curiosity and creativity in your child. Be okay with messes! Drop a plastic tablecloth from the dollar store under the little table and let the fun begin! Gather tempera paint and brushes, or finger paint, and drawing paper. The process is as important as the finished product. In other words, just allow for fun and messiness. You might want to play classical music softly to add ambiance. Provide a painter’s apron or an old t-shirt to catch spills. Who doesn’t like to look the part?! Allow your child to tell you about his or her drawing rather than ‘guessing’ about it. This develops language and thinking skills! One might have a little van Gogh in the making with semblance of Starry Night on the horizon!

May I encourage you to buy fewer toys and allow your child’s creativity to be set free with household items that are fun and safe!  A colander turned upside down makes a terrific see-through hat!  Our heavenly Father is our Creator and Sustainer; surely He has imparted some degree of His creativity to us. Along with a natural talent for creating, encourage your child to persevere in the process of finishing the painting or drawing. Stick-to-itiveness and resilience to frustration can become wonderful by-products.

In closing, here are a few other activities you might want to try.

  • Go for a discovery walk and gather fall leaves. Place the leaves between two pieces of wax paper and put a towel over the wax paper. Iron for 2-4 minutes to seal the wax. Your child could then imagine making an animal as he or she glues the leaves together on a large sheet of construction paper to form the image.  Don’t fuss if it doesn’t look quite right to you. If you need to adapt to your younger child, simply practice gluing the leaves onto paper, sorting the leaves by color or shape.
  • Pretend to roll out cookie dough by using play dough. Use cookie cut-outs to make various shapes and sizes. Allow your child to sort accordingly. This activity is good for finger dexterity.
  • Give glue sticks or Elmer’s glue (a dot’s a lot with Elmer’s!), construction paper, children’s scissors (dull points) and challenge your child to create something – anything!
  • Could empty rolls of t.p. and paper towels be decorated with small stickers, crayons or markers?
  • How about decorating a tiny pumpkin with paint or markers and using it as a centerpiece or a name plate?

To end the fun activities, allow a popsicle to be eaten in the bathtub! It’s a sure-fire way to clean-up after the messy activities and keep the mess of the popsicle contained to the tub!  You are probably familiar with following @busytoddler on Instagram.  If not, this is a great place to glean wonderful ideas from a mom, Susie Allison, who shares her creative ideas for children.

Jeannie share tips on how to Foster Wonder, Creativity and Curiosity in your child!