It doesn't take long, just one morning with the toddlers, to become a lifetime advocate for the power of wonder and everyone's right to it. As adults, we have seen and experienced a lot. We understand many of the basic principles of our physical world and often approach them with a dry "yeah-yeah" or become so habituated that we no longer notice them at all. We must remain vigilant to this tendency in ourselves, otherwise we might just rob ourselves AND others of the opportunity to DISCOVER something for themselves... which is the equivalent of robbing the Fort Knox of WONDER. Here is an example from a single morning spent with the toddlers and what they learned speaks for itself. I didn't tell them anything about the materials. I just put them out and watched them explore.
Sand, glorious SAND. "It's soft". "Feel it". "I'm at the beach." "It feels good." "This is my mom and my dad and me and my brother and my sister and this is school". "She feels sad. WAAAAAAhhh Mommy? Mommy's here." ... the conversations and play went on for quite awhile.
And then the discovery that you can make marks in the sand! Drawing!!! And this led to a lot of exploration and exclamations!
Next, they discovered the colored transparent materials.
That's amazing! (Insert lots of whoops and hollers and jumping up and down)
(A slight scream) and a new discovery. A tiny bug. The first impulse to kill it was waylaid by me and then a wonderful process of inquiry unfolded. What is it? Where does it live? Does it bite? Look how small it is. Look how BIG we are.