Sunday, 7 February 2010
Children are creatures of magic. In a child’s eyes, anything is possible, from the mundane to the truly magical. Through their innocent eyes, the world takes on a whole new presence, full of mystery, magic and wonder.
But somewhere along the way as children grow older, they begin to lose this sense of wonder and belief in the impossible. They mature and their dreams of flying and their fantasies of other worlds within worlds start to lose their luster as a new reality begins to creep into their consciousness little by little, a reality where magic is only a trick and the fantastical never happens.
How can we, as parents, keep the magic alive for our children? How can we help them retain their sense of wonder and their belief in the impossible? Is it an impossible task in this world where reality can all too often seem mundane and routine, or even sometimes cruel and harsh?
There are, indeed, ways that we can help our children keep their youthful innocence and belief in the magic and wonder of this world alive for them.
It is important that you retain your own sense of playfulness. Children need to see us, the adults in their lives, play and act silly from time to time. They need to understand that becoming an adult does not mean leaving our playfulness behind us, and the only way they can learn this is by seeing that sense of playfulness in us.
Dance. Sometimes, keeping the magic alive for our children is as simple as turning on some music and dancing with your kids. You don’t even have to dance well; in fact, the sillier your dancing is, the better it will suit the purpose of keeping magic and wonder in our children’s world.
Read to your children. There is nothing more magical than a well-told story. The adventures in a story book can help to keep your children thinking in creative ways and imagining all the things that could be. It’s a fabulous way of keeping their minds on magical possibilities.
Draw with your children. Along with creating shapes and images out of playdough, this helps children think up imaginary things to create and even helps them express through their own eyes how beautifully they see things that are in the world around them.
Take nature walks with your children. Along the way, point out the different trees and plants, or butterflies and other insects you can spot along the way. Children have a natural tendency to view things in nature with awe and wonder. Teach them about some of what they are seeing. The growth of tadpoles into frogs and the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies can hold an immense measure of wonder and enjoyment for a child.
Play some innocent tricks on your children. This can be really fun. Simple magic tricks are easy to impress small children with, and can be very simple to perform. Pulling a coin from behind a child’s ear or playing a card trick can provide them with a sense of amazement that will last them for quite some time. Find unusual ways to play these kinds of games with your child, like, with a very young child, blow really hard as you come up to an automatic door and let them believe you’ve blown the door open. These are harmless and fun things to do, and they are small ways to add to a child’s sense of there being magic in the world.
Plant a fairy garden. Many garden centers carry kits for planting the types of plants that attract butterflies and other insects like them. Tell your child it is a fairy garden and add some small fairy statues around the garden to emphasize this fact. You can even help your child gather some twigs and fashion an impromptu fairy house to add to your garden.
Create a nature enclosure for your child to play in within the garden. Some shrubs can be fashioned in a circle over time to leave an opening in the center for your child to play within, or, for something more temporary during the summer, you can plant some tall sunflowers close together in a circle. As they grow, they form a wall of flowers with an open circle in the center where your child can play, feeling hidden in their nature “house.”
Create “power stones.” Collect some smooth round rocks and let your children paint them with glitter and colourful paints. Tell them that they can assign these “power stones” with special powers, such as “patience,” “tranquillity,” “happiness,” and other powers. Let them assign the powers and you paint the words on the rocks for them. Tell them that holding each rock, or carrying it in their pocket or purse, will help them hold the special power it contains within them.
There are many ways to create magic and to keep a sense of awe and wonder alive for our children. And finding the ways to do this that work for you and your child can be a fun process and can help bring back a bit of that fairy magic into your world again too.