Small Wonders in Flagstaff
This Thanksgiving, my family and I journeyed up to Flagstaff, Arizona, a small town nestled just 2-hours north of Phoenix. Flagstaff, with its picturesque streets and friendly atmosphere, has always held a special place in my heart.
During our visit, I made my customary stop at the Bright Side Bookshop – a treasure trove for book enthusiasts and a cornerstone of our Flagstaff tradition. Here, I picked up the ‘Thoughtfulls for Kids‘ cards, an absolute gem for parents. These pop-open cards carry heartwarming messages, perfect for brightening a child’s day. I often slip them into lunchboxes or bring them out during family gatherings to spread a little joy and inspiration.
I also couldn’t resist adding to my collection of Kobi Yamada’s children’s books, picking up ‘Trying’ and ‘Noticing.’ Yamada’s work is a testament to the power of storytelling, and I look forward to sharing more about why these books are a staple in my home library in an upcoming post.
However, the most unexpected but enlightening find was a simple handheld microscope, discovered among the impulse buys near the checkout. While I don’t have a link to the exact one I purchased, the Carson Pocket Micro is worth checking out. This small purchase unexpectedly became the star of our weekend, reminding me of the importance of nurturing curiosity and perspective – not just in our children but in ourselves as well.
The microscope’s impact extended beyond its initial novelty. It served as a powerful metaphor for the way we view and interact with the world, particularly in our roles as parents. It highlights the importance of being present, open, and engaged, even in the presence of challenging behavior.
For instance, a simple moment in the car, when my son began humming loudly, transformed into an opportunity for connection versus correction. Rather than imposing silence, I chose to engage with my son’s experience. This led to a delightful conversation about the sensory joy of humming and how it ‘tickles his mouth.’
Our Flagstaff adventure was a wonderful blend of family time, discovery, and personal growth. It reminded me of the infinite ways in which small shifts in perspective and curiosity can enrich our parenting journey.
To all the parents reading this, I encourage you to seek out these simple yet profound moments. Whether it’s through cards, a captivating book, or a humble microscope, each offers a unique opportunity to deepen your bond with your child and nurture their innate sense of wonder.
Tips for Nurturing Curiosity and Connection
Create a ‘Wonder Journal’: Start a family journal where everyone can jot down things they’re curious about. Each week, choose a topic to explore together, whether it’s through books, online resources, or hands-on activities.
Incorporate ‘Thoughtfulls for Kids’ Cards: Use these cards not just as lunchbox surprises but also as conversation starters during dinner. Ask your child to reflect on the message and share their thoughts. It’s a great way to understand their perspective and encourage open communication. Little Talk cards are also a great option for this activity as well.
Book Exploration Adventures: With books like Kobi Yamada’s ‘Trying’ and ‘Noticing,’ create interactive reading sessions. Ask your children what they notice in the story and discuss the themes. It helps in developing their analytical and empathetic skills.
Microscope Discovery Sessions: Dedicate time each week to use the handheld microscope. Explore different materials around the house or in nature and discuss your findings. It’s a fun way to make science accessible and exciting.
Mindful Moments: Practice mindfulness with your kids. Simple exercises like noticing the sensations of humming, as mentioned in the blog, can be a playful way to foster presence and awareness.
Family Reflection Meetings: Once a month, have a family meeting to reflect on what everyone has learned or enjoyed recently. This encourages appreciation for each other’s growth and interests.
Share Your Stories
Have you had a similar experience where a simple object or activity led to a deeper connection with your child? Share your stories in the comments section or on our social media pages using the hashtag: