Imagine being able to do a Marty McFly, jump in the Delorean go back to your childhood (or back to the future) and with glittering eyes experience the world as you once did……. A world full of firsts. Imagine feeling waves lapping up against your body for the very first time. Or the wind blowing you around like a leaf dancing from the trees to the ground, or sand sticking to your wet skin, smelling a rose and experiencing the sensation of the silky petals squish up against your nose as you inhale the perfume….. Wouldn’t it be phenomenal?
As adults we have limited ‘firsts’ where we can experience this same level amazement and fascination that we indeed did as children, so I believe it’s all in how we choose to foster our inner child to reignite these emotions by taking the time to really notice what, when, who and where we really are in a playful manner. The Early Years Learning Framework, (EYLF) has coined this ‘being’ and urges us as educators to place a strong emphases on the significance of the here and now in our work with children. Warden (2015) advocates that the essential ingredient to keeping alive our (personal) sense of awe and wonder is in the root of our emotional connections to nature.
In theory it all seems simple enough (head outside and be present) but it begs me to ask the question when was the last time you really switched off and connected with the world around you? When was the last time you stopped and watched the ants marching through the grass or sat on a rock and just listened to the sounds of the bush and simply appreciated how magnificent nature can be? More importantly when was the last time the children in your Centre were able to experience this true sense of ‘being’ and enabled to connect and follow their instincts to explore, create and discover rather than being rushed and herded off to line-up and wash their hands for lunch?
As an educator I have always strived to see the world through the eyes of the children I work with. Being able to share in their awe, wonder, fascination and to see that sparkle that oozes out of them as they build on their philosophy of life. It is nothing short of inspiring and magical to observe children make new discoveries of the world around them. It is this magic that has always driven me in my work with children and their families but how do we do this in an authentic manner?
SLOOOOOW DOWN, be present, allow time, stop talking and listen, respect what captivates the individual and relax the dreaded daily routine to align with the children’s natural rhythms. In doing so, you will be able to foster each child’s motivation, enthusiasm and drive to learn. Warden, (2015) proposes that with time children notice the details around them. They see fascinations in everything. It’s important to remember and to remind ourselves that it’s often the simplest experiences that have the biggest impacts on us because of our emotional connection to the time and space (Warden, 2015).
So go on go outside and open your eyes and truly see the world. Breathe in the air of possibilities and relish in the spontaneity. It’s not only the children that will feel free you will too!
If you need some inspiration watch the video below……
The Early Years Learning Framework (PDF). Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments. Retrieved January 2016.
Warden, C. (2015). Nature Pedagogy Course Information Booklet. Day 4 to 6. Federation University, Australia. (p.9).