Monday, May 27, 2013

The Wonder in Beauty

Throughout our day, we find ways to appreciate and notice the beautiful things that surround us.  I have found by drawing a child's attention to the beauty in the world around us, whether it be the softness of a rose petal, the roughness of a rock or the way two things fit perfectly together, then their sense of wonder is enhanced and encouraged to blossom.
Beauty entices us to look deeper. A shiny object on the ground draws our attention, we stop, touch, explore when we know it is safe to do so.  A bright flower draws us towards closer examination, maybe to discover an equally beautiful spider, hiding deep with in.  It is that sense of beauty which draws us, but it is wonder that keeps us in that moment. 
So I ask myself throughout the day, how can I give the children an opportunity for this wonder, through the use of beauty.  Like in most things, each child has their own sense of beauty.  So I have the rare opportunity to test out what they find beautiful.  Sometimes it changes quickly, or, my favorite, it stays the same and allows us an in depth investigation.  I like to leave small, unique things around the room to either entice a child to explore an area or to introduce a new texture.  Soft, furry cloths with a wooden bird on top.  A tray of water and rose petals.  Ice cubes with paint inside.  A wicker box with a lid.  What is inside?  What does it feel like?  What if I taste it?  How does it change?

One year, with the first group of children at Tumbleweed, we found a lady bug.  With my next group of boys it was the joy and satisfaction of stomping like elephants, which led us to a picture of elephant empathy.  Right now, there is the beauty in touching and in sound.  There is much pointing and noticing of the birds voices as they fly by.  Index fingers manipulate tiny parts of larger things.  The parts of our natural world are closely examined. 

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