One morning in my classroom I looked up from the table where I was working with a student, and what I witnessed was magical. Another student was sitting at the table in front of me using a hole punch on some construction paper. Side-note for parents - allowing your child to play with a hole punch is excellent for fine motor development (which just means it helps to strengthen the small muscles in their hands), aiding in grip strength and form when holding a writing implement. Anyhow...back to the magic. I watched the child for a moment and I saw him take notice of the plastic flap on the top of the hole punch. He gently pulled it open and watched as what seemed like hundreds of tiny colorful circles spilled out onto the floor. Now whether you're the "Woohoo, party" person or the "EEEK, what a mess" person, I can tell you that the magical moment of wonder captured in the expression on his beautiful little face would have stopped you in your tracks. He discovered something. What was he thinking at that very moment? What other opportunities for discovery and exploration (aka: learning) might this lead to?
Moments like this happen all the time. Take notice and allow them to guide you and your child. Not sure what this might look like? Let's run with the hole-punch moment. You might say something like, "Wow! What have you discovered? Where did all of those little circles come from?" Ask open-ended questions and try your best to patiently wait as your child responds. I know, this is hard. We often interject too quickly. Listen attentively as your child works through understanding and articulating the experience. They can do it! If they seem to be struggling, ask a different question or offer a little guidance, but don't be too quick to offer your own explanation. They may not have the same perspective as you. Remember, we all interpret the world through our own lens, based on a compilation of our personal experiences. Allow your child to invite you into their world.