Wonder is not one the first characteristics that would come to mind when you think about geniuses. At least its not something I would naturally think about. What comes to mind when you think of geniuses? For me its a chalkboard with math equations I will never understand, a laboratory with different colored chemicals being mixed, or even a library with a vast amount of books that have all been read. When Tom Armstrong looked into the characteristics of geniuses he found that they are share many qualities; one of them is wonder.
Words similar to WONDER:
We are always busy, our minds are always running. How often do we stop to wonder, ponder, question? Do we marvel, amazed by what is around us?
Stress, busyness, demands. In these we lose our wonder. Think about your children and ask yourself, do they have time to wonder? Or are they constantly rushed to the next thing. The best way to do this is put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you experienced what they do?
God calls us to wonder.
“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!” Psalm 33:8 God calls us all to awe. Not some of the earth, not a few people, not just pastors or preachers, ALL.
“The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.” Psalm 65:8
God calls us to “train our children the way they should go” (Pro. 22:6). How can we train children to wonder?
There is a song by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook called Wonder Song. Some of the lyrics go like this “May we never lose our wonder. Wide-eyed and mystified. May we be just like a child, staring at the beauty of our King.” Listen to this song and take a moment to experience wonder.
How to Instill WONDER in Children:
- Time. I’m starting with this one because it is probably the best way to instill wonder but also probably the biggest challenge. Giving children the gift of time may be the most valuable and difficult gift to give. Allowing a child free time to ponder, question and begin to take awe in his/her environment has lasting benefits. Giving time may look different for each person. Maybe for you it means saying no to that extra activity. For another it may mean staying longer somewhere or fully investing in the important activities.
- Going on a Nature Hunt. Here’s a cute idea for a Nature Hunt.
- Go to the Zoo. Allow children to wonder about God’s creation. Talk to them about how God created all things. Discuss and discover with children the details about all the things your see at the zoo.
- Allow children to ask questions. This is wonder in your child! I know it can get extremely frustrating when a child asks you why 5 million times. Now you can see their ‘whys’ as an intelligent quality. Teach them to be specific in their why questions as they get older. Showing them how to frame their questions more directly. Teaching children to ask questions teaches them to wonder and find out about the world.
- Bake, Cook, Mix, Sauté, Freeze. Talk about the ingredients with them and involve them in the process.
- Hit up the Park. Go to the same one or try out a new park, even if you have to travel a little farther. Allow children the time to become involved while there.
- Free Play. Since the mid 1900’s free play has significantly declined. Parents have begun to dictate their child’s activities. In free play children work out experiences in the world around them.
- Go Star Gazing. As simple as grabbing a blanket and laying on the lawn. Teach children about the universe, stars, planets, the sun and the moon. This will get them asking questions. Seeing that their is more than their own little “world” out there.
- Take children to places that cause wonder in your own heart. Talk about your marvel with them. Describe what you see and how you praise God. It might be the rolling waves of the ocean or the depth of the Grand Canyon.
- Have a Bonfire. Roast marshmallows and talk about the science of fire and heat and the process of melting.
- Science in a bottle. Sensory bottles. Sensory tables. These allow children to wonder in hands on experiences. Here is an ocean in a bottle example.
- Outwardly show and talk about your emotional response to experiences, places, or things. It may be awkward at first. We are so used to keeping our emotional responses to ourselves. It is good for your children to see and hear your reactions. You’ll laugh when you hear them repeating you in another situation.
Thanks for reading about instilling wonder in children! Comment below how you have either seen wonder in your children or if you have another idea to instill wonder!
Christina @ MomSoFancy
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