How many times have you decided to go on a glorious walk with your kids only to have them complain the second you start about how their legs hurt, how hot it is, or how long you will be walking? I might be the only one, but occasionally, the walk of my dreams turns into a torture device.
Alas, city dwelling kids don't always know how to enjoy nature. They have not learned, as Anne of Green Gables did, that nature offers great scope for the imagination. Do your kids often get bored? Their imagination might need to be sparked a bit in order for wonder and curiosity to fill their souls and give them endless hours of entertainment.
Might I suggest going on a wonder walk. It's a simple way to practice wondering and jump start the imagination towards wonder-filled thoughts.
I took four kids out on a wonder walk the other day, and here's what happened. Each of us took turns completing this simple sentence: "I wonder..."
No answers. No worrying about what you're wondering about. Just simply wondering as we walked.
It started off like this:
Me: "I wonder what this neighborhood looked like before all of these houses."
Kid #1: "I wonder what it would be like to be as tall as a tree."
Kid #2: "I wonder why all of the trash cans have different names."
Kid #3: "I wonder why grass is always green."
Kid #4: "I wonder how you make curbs."
We came up with a variety of ideas to wonder about. Each was unique. Each was exactly what I was looking for. At least I didn't get any: "I wonder when we can stop doing this!"
We continued our "wondering" all the way to the playground. What I found interesting is that the wonder carried on beyond our walk. The kids only spent a couple of minutes on the playground equipment as their wonder carried them beyond to the creek.
"I wonder how old that tree is."
"I wonder which stick will make the biggest splash."
"I wonder if that mushroom is poisonous."
"I wonder why pine cones are so pokey."
Then they started to notice so many more things that they might have missed had they not been practicing observing things to wonder.
"I wonder which side of this worm the head is on."
"I wonder if butterflies grow their wings back."
It was a simple activity that made for a great time enjoying one another and nature. It would be such a simple game to play in the car on a road trip, or in a store as you grocery shop. Cultivating wonder jump starts the imagination, and with so much scope for the imagination, who knows what glorious things one can think!
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.