What’s the Magic Word?
You know how usually when we want children to say please and thank you, we may say something like, “What’s the magic word?”
Well, this open ended question was recently responded with “Abracadabra”. We have been reading stories about magic so this response definitely makes sense. It made me smile.
While thinking deeply, I was super proud of our child in that moment. You know the stories entitled: Abiyoyo, Cinderella and Winnie the Witch? We have been exploring magic. Well in Winnie the Witch, Winnie the Witch says the magical words “Abracadabra!” to turn her cat many different colors and it disappears. And, her spell works. Every. Single. Time. So why wouldn’t my student (when asked the magic word) respond with abracadabra?! haha
The connections, synapses in the brain, schema and all of that building (and literal sense meaning making) shown in that one phrase!
Preschoolers make so many connections way more than in a lifetime. Let’s listen, really listen for it. Here are the facts: The little grey cells making up your mind are mostly neurons. There are 100 billion right now in your head! With over a 1,000 TRILLION connections aka synapse, in your brain, there are more transmission pathways in your head than there are atoms in the universe! Think about this: The number of synapses peaks in early childhood, so the average three year old has ten times as many as the average adult.
Later in the week, as I observed some children “Boiling eggs” while playing family, I saw a child’s face go perplexed for a moment and he said, “My blood is boiling!” He smiled and said, “You know that means? I’m really angry!” He played with the words as he said it. Then he said, “But it’s not my blood but my eggs are boiling!” Next time I’m angry I’m going to say: my eggs are boiling!!” haha Some tips for observing and engaging with children as they build (and we build and make meaning of our world) reciprocally together.
How to engage with children…
2. Be present
3. Be playful
4. Be yourself…your best self
5. Throw whatever you thought you knew out the window…children have a way of proving theories and what we thought we knew wrong. When we think we know, we have no idea! Remember that.
Hence, why theorists are theorists. They are theories. Theories for a reason, a season and a moment until someone else comes along and proves it wrong.
We evolve and we change. Just like the seasons.
Most of all, just like our children, we learn so much about ourselves. When we listen ; they show and share what they need.
During this process, we also learn what we need for ourselves. That’s where the real magic happens. The biggest gift we give is of ourselves.
P.s. Thank you Lao Tzu and Picasso.