Imagine what it would be like to see a creepy, crawly caterpillar for the very first time. You notice it’s striped colors, and how it’s inching its way along on a piece of grass.
If you were noticing this caterpillar for the very first time, what thoughts might be going through your head?
- Would you stop and spend some time watching to see where it goes and how it moves?
- Would you want to immediately reach out and touch it, maybe holding it a little too tightly (oops!)?
- Would you turn and run the other way the moment the caterpillar begins to move ( a scream might escape your lips, a tear from your eye)?
- Would you wonder how it tastes?
If you’re two, you might do all of those things.
For a two year old, the world is filled with wonder. So many sights, sounds and experiences are brand new. What we as adults take for granted and think of as familiar is utterly fascinating to a two year old.
The senses of a two year old are constantly firing. Their minds are always wondering:
- How does it feel?
- What does it taste like?
- What can I DO with this?
But in order to answer all of those questions floating around in the mind of a two year old, we need to provide multiple opportunities for them to explore and discover the same materials over and over again.
As caregivers, the best gift we can give to a two year old is time. Time to explore, time to discover. Time to make a mess. Time to sit and watch. Time to play. Time to be together with our full attention. Time to just be.
It takes time to wonder. There is no rushing the magic of new discoveries.