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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Wonder Years

Can you remember a time when you built something with your own hands, created something out of what seemed like nothing, grew something that bloomed or provided produce, or simply stopped and a starred at a beautiful creature right before your eyes? How did these moments make you feel? Did you feel a sense of joy, hope, or accomplishment?

Think about a time when these moments were interrupted or rushed. What feelings were associated with those moments? Research shows that we are living in a society with an increased number of individuals with anxiety, depression, and attention deficit problems. Our society has become fast paced and our moments of awe have vanished. We want answers right away instead of seeking out information from a book at the library. We have thousands of pictures on our phones instead of snapping a photo and waiting for it to be developed. We each have a cell phone instead of one house phone for the family to share. While these things are great in many ways, they have also prevented us from slowing down and enjoying the process and the beautiful world around us. How can we bring a sense of wonder or awe back to our lives and truly instill this into our children throughout their lives for a better future?
I believe that we should slow down and learn from our children. Children live in a world that is slow. They are almost always creating something or stopping to savor in the beauty that surrounds them. They savor in the moment and the sense of wonder surrounds them. I often find that my children are teaching me, as much as I teach them. I picked up my children from school this week and was running behind for a meeting. I was frantic as I was rushing them out of the door, into the vehicle, and then into the house. I was clapping my hands saying, “Come on let’s go, momma’s late for a meeting.” Afterwards I sat back and reflected how that must have made them feel. When we left school, they were right in the middle of creating something out of what seemed like nothing (as my son was in the sand box) and they stopped to stare at a beautiful creature (my daughter was curious about what her friends were doing). Momma was moving and had to go from one thing to another, and I made my children do the same thing. In hindsight, it was a little crazy! We all have moments when we have to go, go, go, but we are forgetting to stop and smell the roses. We need to detach from technology and the fast-paced society that we live in and spend a significant more amount of time outdoors, just as our children do. Here are some examples of how you can help your children and, hopefully, yourself enjoy the wonder of our world.

1. Go outside. Give children the time and environment to explore and experiment with the natural world. Children can spend countless hours playing in the sand or dirt, stacking rocks, counting pinecones, or sorting sticks by size.

2. Provide an opportunity (indoors or outdoors) for children to care for plants or animals. Allow your child to feed your family pet, water the plants, or make a bird feeder to place outside. It is important for children to relate to other living things in a gentle and caring way. This is one of the foundations of social and emotional competence.

3. Call attention to and celebrate the wonders of the seasons. Allow children to jump in mud puddles, build snowmen, celebrate the first bloom in springtime, and catch lightning bugs. When we celebrate the seasons, we become more aware of the passage of time and we appreciate the beauty of each day.

4. Read books about the natural world. When children have the opportunity to relate to the world that they live in, they will naturally become more curious of the hows, whats, whens, wheres, and whys that constantly surround them. This allows for more critical thinking and exploration.

Children are our greatest gifts. They remind us of the most important thing in life and that is to slow down and enjoy! As you move through your busy day, stop and enjoy the wonder that surrounds us.

For more information, you may contact Katie Stelle-Mardis at Katie’s Kids Learning Center, 309-663-5800 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . They have two locations, 1602 Glenbridge Rd. in Bloomington and 2003 Jacobssen Dr. in Normal.



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