Monday, October 09, 2006

A Sense of Wonder

My Mom is an early childhood professor and involved with early childhood at a national level. Over the past couple of years, she has been co-authoring a book about preschool standards that focuses on nurturing children's natural sense of wonder. This past summer when she and my Dad visited, we set up some photo shoots for the book with Sprout and Bird. At the time it was just fun to get the great shots, but as time has gone by, I've been more aware at what a sense of wonder they really have. Lately I've been amazed at how much joy and learning can be celebrated in the very food they eat.

This summer was full of wonder in our own backyard. We plant a seed, and months later it provides us with food. Amazing! Bringing the kids into the food preparation brought a new aspect. I was thrilled with the joy they found in combining ingredients to create new things--the wonder of sticky batter transforming into popovers, how good pesto became when the basil was torn from the stem by their own hands.

Fall has brought new wonder as we've visited local farms during their Harvest festivals. I'm entranced by the passion the kids find in picking apples right of the tree, or spotting chickens rooting through the vegetable gardens. They've seen bees at work making honey, and maple syrup tapped from the tree. At one local celebration, a local farmer commented on how good it was for the kids to see where their food comes from. A discussion ensued about how so many kids have no idea where various foods come from--how they don't even know where milk comes from. How many kids are in this position? How many have never seen the stars? I wonder how many parents know where their kids' food comes from, and how many would change their buying habits if they knew. I believe strongly that giving children a sense of the true wonder of organic, local food, makes them healthier in many ways. Nurturing that sense of wonder for them can open up the wonder of it for us as well.


Maddy Avena said...

And children with a sense of wonder, grow up to wonder about things, question dominant paridigms, think for themselves....very, very dangerous stuff, that...

Marite said...

As a Kindergarten teacher, I can attest to the fact that many children have no idea where their food comes from! Way to go raising informed kids! :)

And what fun it must be to watch them in wonder... :)