Monday, 20 August 2012

What it is to Wonder!

What is Wonder?

                “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”             (Socrates)

I wonder? What is it to wonder? Do we all wonder? 
Children wonder and it is no surprise that they do....they have only been on the planet for a short time and there is so much to discover. I still wonder daily and feel privileged when a child allows me to enter their world of wonder.

Walking along the beach with my husband I spotted an office chair standing on the sand and pointed my camera at it. What are you taking a picture of the chair for?" he asked. "Because it is an office chair on the beach and you don't usually find them there!" He shrugged. When we got closer I again took a picture. "Why are you taking MORE photos of the chair?" "It's covered in hundreds of snail like creatures". He grunted and waited for me to finish. "I wonder where it came from, how did it get there, I wonder how long I has been in the sea? "Well you will never know" he mumbled and walked on. 

As I walked I continued wondering. That chair must have been in the sea for a long time? Whose chair could it have been? A couple of hours later the chair was missing. I  continued to wonder what story that chair would be able to tell if it could talk. Maybe it got washed into the sea after a flood, maybe it fell off a passing ship, maybe it came from the other end of the world? 

During the week I often thought about the chair and continued wondering about the chair and it's story. The following weekend we again walked along the beach and there, in the dunes, stood the office chair. "I know," my husband commented when I again started to wonder "that's a migrating office chair!!"

I continue to wonder about the office chair on the beach and our differing reactions to it. Why did I keep wondering while my husband didn't, he must have wondered when he was a child...or did he? Has he just lost the ability to wonder? Did I retain my sense of wonder because I work with young children. I love being drawn into their 'wonderings' and joining in the magic world this takes me into.

Why? Do children only ask this because they want to annoy us or are they wondering? Are they asking for a detailed answer or inviting us to join in their journey of discovery? Do all children wonder or have some children stopped wondering? Could this be because  adults no longer facilitate or support this? Being able to wonder about the world allows us to be creative and imaginative, to hypothesise and theorise, and to engage in the amazing changing world around us.

Noun - A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.
Verb - Desire or be curious to know something.
Synonyms - marvel - miracle - prodigy - astonishment - amazement





Children should be allowed to be little explorers and scientists as well as 'wonderers' and when we are invited into their world full of this awe and wonder, become a 'wonderer' with them.... experience an amazing journey of discovery .....and remain a life long 'wonderer'.


 “I would rather have 30 minutes of "wonderful" than 

                           a lifetime of nothing special.”      Julia Roberts


  1. I think it's sad when people don't wonder anymore. Wondering is what's life is about and its fun to have a deep think now and again.

    I would like to take this opporunity to mention Debutots. Debutots is a unique blend of interactive storytelling and dramatic play for 6 months to 7 years. In exploring our stories vocally and physically we facilitate children's literacy and communication development. They speak, listen, imagine, observe and do.

  2. That innocence,curiosity, wonder and incessant queries is what keeps the child in us alive!!

  3. I love the magic in this've got me wondering about that chair now :)
    There is so much potential in wondering. If we as educators take the time to share wonderings, the potential takes flight and becomes that magic which you have depicted so beautifully. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Thanks Bianca, I still wonder where that chair ended up it still traveling or has it reached the end of its journey! Either way - I am on a mission to support more adults to wonder with children.

  5. You know Niki, this post prompted me to embed more discussion surrounding my students wonderings within our group time. I have introduced a talking and wondering bag which travels home with one student each night. Inside the bag is a river stone and I request that parents discuss their child's wonderings with them and record a wondering upon the stone that they would like to explore within our group discussion. It has had such a wonderful impact and even our parents are excited by the wonderings. We are then able to incorporate these ideas in our programming should the magic take flight. Thank you for inspiring me!

    1. Bianca, what a wonderful idea and I feel so special that my story about this chair has opened up the 'wondering' for you and the children. Now I am wondering what sort of wondering comments come back with the stones?