Children have an ability to see wonder in the world. To believe in delightful things that we, as adults, have decided are impossible or unlikely at best.
They still believe in magic.
Is it because the world still seems so big to them, and there is so much unknown and yet to explore? Or is it just the innocence and freshness of their spirits that enables them to embrace the possibility of magic around every corner?!
I like to think of myself as the Chief Magic Maker in our home. I want to preserve my bubbas’ ability to see the magic for as long as possible. I want them to think of life as an adventure and believe that wonderful things are always possible.
I think if you can create a sense of anticipation in your littlies, surprise them whenever you can and try to see the world from their perspective, you can have great fun making magic!
I have a few favourite ways to do this.
- I love to read to my girls and thoroughly believe that story-telling is one of the best ways to cultivate their imagination, which is the best magic-making tool!
- Make a BIG HUGE deal over (what I have just decided to call…) the magical childhood trinity (Christmas/Easter/Birthdays)… I’m talking over-the-top fun. These are my favourite times of the year to create magic. Think fairy dust lining the way to birthday presents, flour, gumboots & melting ice cubes to make Santa’s trail clear… elaborately planned out Easter Egg Hunts…
- Any excuse to celebrate… I often look at the calendar and see how I can make an ordinary day extraordinary. On St Patricks Day, wake up the kiddies for a leprechaun hunt and green smoothies. Valentine’s day means heart-shaped sandwiches for lunch. On Bastille day we could start the day with crepes, or end the day with creme brulee. Celebrate the Summer Solstice by getting up to see the sunrise… there are so many fun things to choose from, and once the ideas start rolling, it’s impossible to stop!
- Creating strong Family Traditions. When I look back on my childhood, the things we did as a family over and over again are the things that I consider to be magical: the birthday girl choosing a special homemade meal for her dinner; pancake sundays; picnics at the beach to welcome summer, baking cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.
- Similarly building anticipation around a particular season or occasion can really help create magical moments. I try to theme our crafts around the seasons and major holidays, and add anticipation by including the littlies in preparations as much as possible. For example, I have about 4 metres of gardeners twine hung up as a garland in our living area. Before Valentines Day this year the girls and I made salt-dough heart ornaments and then painted them and hung them from the twine. A couple of days before Valentines we sat down to make cards and then Ava dictating to me her sentiments. On Valentine’s day I made our normal smoothies for breakfast, but cut out paper hearts and fastened them to the straws. I also sprinkled heart-shaped 100s & 1000s on top. Each of these things is relatively straight-forward by itself, but the culmination is what creates the magic.
- Keep a supply of resources that enable your little ones to create their own magic. It needn’t be expensive or difficult. Think about filling a toy chest with a collection of your old clothes for dress-ups; or a basket of blankets and pegs for making huts; and lots of paper and drawing supplies are always great to have on hand.
- Finally, I try to keep in the front of my mind (as much as possible) that they are so new to the world, everything is a discovery for them. They find magic in the smallest of details – finding a skink on the path, drawing pictures in the condensation on our windows (Ava calls it inside rain!), the novelty of pancakes for dinner or storytime in Mama & Daddy’s bed instead of their own. Show them your passions, teach them about what you love.
The coolest thing is that in trying to make magical moments for my girls, I create magical moments for myself. I get to believe that anything is possible.
I love collecting new ideas on how to create these magical moments. I’d be delighted if you’d share with me some memories from your childhood, or the special things you do with your own little ones.