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How to Empower Your Child’s Sense of Wonderment

6 Steps to Energizing Imagination

Remember when staring up at the sky and guessing what animal shapes the clouds looked like was an actual thing? Or perhaps making a paper sailboat out of newspaper and seeing how far it would go before it wicked up all the water and slowly sank? What has time for that we all ask now, as pings go off on the phone.

With heads down on devices, it’s easy to lose ourselves and our kids to the digital distractions of our age. But with a little conscious attention, we can help kindle, encourage and awaken that natural curiosity in our kids. 

Why? To foster a sense of hopefulness and positive possibility in their lives. In a word, it’s wonderment, and it’s a marvelous thing. And here’s how to make that magic happen. 

1.Follow their lead

Children’s lives are often tightly scripted, from morning to night. It can seem like every minute is accounted for. But inside each and every kid is the kindling of something new and creative, an interest waiting to be sparked. You might see it in their doodling, or an interest in reptiles, or questions about a peculiar topic.

As a child I was fascinated by my grandmother’s ability to knit and crochet. I was spellbound watching the magic of those whirling sticks and strings transform into a sweater or scarf. My dad was not so thrilled that I took an interest in such a subject, but it led to me discovering my love of arts and crafts. 

Does your child hum a lot? Plan a family karaoke night. Do they like to draw? Supply a few sketch pads, watercolors and coloring pencils. Dinosaurs a thing? Plan your next vacation around a visit to a tar pit or fossil site. As the song says, “Teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, and give them a sense of pride.”

2. Allow for choices

“Okay, where are we going next?” is often the lament of a harried child, resigned to being shuttled in the van from one activity to another. Maybe it’s the daily swing through a fast-food spot or a dash through the grocery store. With time demands it’s easy to take the path of least resistance and do what’s familiar and predictable, but with routine comes a missed opportunity to do and see something different. 

Insert a choice here and there to engage more free thinking. For instance, “We need to eat somewhere, why don’t you pick a new place!” If you have a family night, take turns coming up with the choice of games or activities. Movie anyone? What would you like to watch? Need to grab some produce, have them pick out something they’ve never tried before, a coconut, a kiwi or… a kumquat. 

3. Give them a positive “time out”

My mother used to tell me how bad she felt that I was left alone so often as a child. She was busy cleaning the house and chasing my older brother, who once rode his trike into traffic as my horrified mother looked out the kitchen window. I was a bit more content to sit and play, so she let me be. I think she did me a service actually. Alone time gave me a chance to play, invent, imagine and entertain myself. I didn’t feel deprived, I felt engaged, free to create my own worlds with sticks, stones, cars, rocks, whatever was available. 

As parents we often feel compelled to fill every minute of every day with activity for our kids as if it’s a dereliction of duty for a child to sit idle for a minute. Children will often pick up on that guilt and lament “I’m bored!”, as if you are responsible for keeping them mentally and physically stimulated 24/7. 

Let them “suffer” through the momentary discomfort of boredom and find ways to entertain themselves. It’s in those moments that the mind begins to explore new avenues and interests, so provide that open framework and assurance for them to develop that important ability. 

4. Create time and space 

When I was very young, and my father was in seminary school and therefore “broke”, we had to find creative ways to entertain ourselves. There simply was no money to pay for movies and amusement parks. One of our favorite family outings was going to the edge of the airport, laying out a blanket on the grass, and waiting for low flying airplanes to land. Imagine the thrill of a child seeing a huge jet aircraft, landing gear deploying, coming down out of the clouds like a magnificent condor and descending onto the tarmac. We would simply squeal with delight.  

Not every event has to be planned out or filled with activity. Block time out to simply go to the park, play “I spy” or get out the garden hose, bubbles, and buckets. For a fun exercise, pick up some discarded refrigerator boxes and let the kids make forts out of them, connecting the rooms, coloring or painting the outsides, and camping out overnight. 

5. Get them to read

By read I mean read, not scan or swipe or watch. Our brains are being affected in ways we don’t even fully understand yet, by all this digital diversion. Reading opens the door to using our minds to create the story, fill in the details and provide the visual imagery. We “imagine” the worlds we read about. We’re transported to distant places, cultures, settings, and situations. We learn about conflict, emotion, struggle, and resolution. 

A great time to leverage this propensity to read are the middle grade years. That’s when the love of story set in for me. I read almost the entire set of Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigator series of detective books. Years ago, it was Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. For Gen X parents it was the Harry Potter series. It seems each generation discovers a window into another world, viewed only through reading. That’s largely what prompted me to write my middle grade fantasy adventureNemesis and the Vault of Lost Time. I wanted to give kids that opportunity to get lost in a world of their own making. 

6. Get them outside

No learning lab in the world can compete with the great outdoors. That’s why the most amazing and awe-inspiring moments in life are often in nature, witnessing a sunrise or summiting a mountain. Kids know this and find endless enjoyment and fascination in the simplest things such as ponds, creeks, and woods. They can discover the interplay of an ecosystem in a way that a classroom can never do. 

Parenting is not an easy job. Parenting in a frantic, hectic, and often chaotic world is even harder. The tyranny of the urgent can often takes precedent over the magic of the moment. Looking for ways to slow down, tune in, and create space for your child can offer a degree of enrichment that will benefit them now and for years to come. While entertainment can be satisfying for your child’s mind, wonderment is true nutrition for your child’s soul. 

Now is the only moment we’ll ever have with them. Teach them well and let them lead the way. 

Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time

Written by P.J. Davis

Illustrated by Thomas Peacock

Ages: 8+ | 234 Pages

Publisher: Philaments | ISBN: 979-8990031616

Book Summary: “…it’s hard to prove the world’s most important substance is missing when no one knows it’s gone.”

“Substance? What substance?” asks thirteen-year-old Max Kellerman. “Why time itself!” exclaims the strange professor who Max meets in the back of his uncle’s bookstore. In fact, he says, time is being sucked out of every living person by invisible thieves and stored away in a deep, dark netherworld.

Could the professor possibly be right… or just plain crazy?

It depends on whether Max can unravel the mysterious clues in the tattered manuscript the professor leaves behind. With the help of his best friends Derek and Samantha, Max begins a quest to find this dark realm and to discover its hidden secrets. But with the time clock ticking and the professor gone missing, Max uncovers a truth he never thought possible.

Max must unravel the mysteries of Nemesis to save not just his world, but the very fabric of time itself.

Purchase On Amazon

About The Author

PJ Davis lives in the tiny mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. He lives there with his wife, youngest son, three sleepy cats and three noisy ducks. For his day job, he names things, such as companies, products and services. he even named the town’s annual White Squirrel Festival.

PJ is a nickname, short for Phillip John, which is the type of long, formal-sounding name that parents use when they are really mad about something you did and for which you are about to get into serious trouble. As a child PJ was a bit like his book character Max, and also suffered from ACHOO syndrome, along with bouts of intense curiosity and daydreaming. Growing up, almost all of his questions started with “what if…”, which drove his parents crazy.

For more information, visit


Now To The Giveaway!

Enter the giveaway for the chance to win a copy of Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time autographed by P.J. Davis, a Galaxy Flying Orb Ball, and a $100 Amazon Gift Card!

Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time: Book Giveaway

This post is sponsored by P.J. Davis. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.


  • Lauryn R

    I am honestly not sure what I would do, but I definitely wouldn’t be happy about it. This definitely sounds like a really good book! I bet my daughter would like it too.

  • Sam Donnelly

    I have always loved watching my kids when they were younger and their imaginations, and now with the next generation am loving the same with my grandchildren. This is a great post and perfect for getting everyone away from their devices

  • Amber

    Having an imagination is a must in this house. I am glad my kids still have a fabulous imagination. I do as well. This book sounds amazing!

  • Dina - SavvyInTheKitchen

    This is so helpful in helping children to believe and use their imagination and wonder! My kids are in their 20’s but when they were younger, we used to make infomercials, lolol. My daughter loved to pretend she sold jewelry on QVC! Now she just buys it!

  • Celebrate Woman Today

    These are beautiful and powerful suggestions. They can really make a huge difference rating a creative human being who contributes to the people, the planet, the cooperation among all of it.

  • jupiterhadley

    It is so important to help your child have a sense of wonderment, especially as they are younger because it doesn’t last long.

  • keisha1989

    This blog post beautifully reminisces about simpler times when cloud-gazing and paper sailboats were cherished childhood activities. In today’s digital age, it’s all too easy to get lost in the constant stream of notifications. However, the author reminds us of the importance of nurturing curiosity and wonderment in our children’s lives. By encouraging these simple yet magical experiences, we can foster a sense of hopefulness and positive possibility.

  • adriana

    Getting kids outside is #1 ALWAYS! It does so much good, more than anything else in my opinion. This was a great read!

  • LisaLisa Charleston

    I love this post! I’m for getting them outdoors, free choices, and reading and it is true, wonderment is true nutrition for your child’s soul. I’m interested in grabbing this book Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time, great giveaway!

  • Lavanda

    When my daughter was younger she’d always play outside! She even made a game called Out In The Wilderness!! I’d say being outside definitely helped with her imagination.

  • Beautiful Touches

    Such a heartwarming piece! I completely agree that engaging with children and fostering their curiosity is key to inspiring a love for learning and exploration. It’s a beautiful way to shape their future and encourage a lifelong love of discovery.

  • Yeah Lifetstyle

    I feel lucky that my children really do love reading. They also have a great love of the outdoors too, so we have managed to balance that sense of imagination pretty well, of course they still go on devices etc but also like to play games.

  • Luna S

    I love and agree with all of these suggestions! We do this with our children and I love seeing the creative things they come up with and the way their minds work.

  • Clarice

    I agree with you! It’s important that we let them read and teach them to appreciate books since this can definitely help develop their creativity and imagination.

    I am part of the Gen X that enjoyed Harry Potter during my childhood.

  • Monidipa Dutta

    Reading your post was like taking a journey back to simpler times, when cloud-gazing and paper sailboats were cherished childhood activities. It’s refreshing to be reminded of the importance of nurturing curiosity and wonderment in our children’s lives amidst the digital distractions of today. Your suggestions for energizing imagination are not only insightful but also practical, offering a roadmap for parents to encourage creativity and exploration in their children.

    I particularly resonated with your emphasis on following children’s lead and allowing for choices. It’s easy for routines to take over, but by giving kids the freedom to explore their interests and make decisions, we empower them to cultivate their imagination. And your reminder to create time and space for unstructured play is so important. Those moments of “positive time out” where children can engage in imaginative play are invaluable for their development.

    Furthermore, your advocacy for reading struck a chord with me. As someone who grew up immersed in books, I know firsthand the power of storytelling to transport us to new worlds and ignite our imagination. And getting kids outside to experience the wonders of nature is truly priceless. There’s so much to discover and learn in the great outdoors, far beyond what any classroom can offer.

    Your post beautifully captures the essence of fostering wonderment in children, reminding us that amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s crucial to slow down and savor the magic of the moment. Thank you for sharing these valuable insights, and for introducing us to “Nemesis and the Vault of Lost Time” – it sounds like a captivating read that will surely spark the imagination of young readers.

  • Kat

    Wonderful tips! I remember building forts with my niece and nephew, it was pure joy. Time outside and reading together are priceless. Your book sounds like a thrilling adventure!

  • jadarosec

    Great post- I love reading educational blogs that reiterate options for kids that do not involve a screen. We need children to have investigative play and feel the endorphins of concentrated discovery.

  • Paula Richie

    I think that the point about following their lead is quite insightful,,,allowing their interests guide activities can lead to a love of learning and discovery.

  • Renata Feyen

    Encouraging imagination in children amidst digital distractions is crucial. Follow their lead, offer choices, allow for “positive time outs,” create space for creativity, promote reading, and explore nature. These steps foster wonderment, essential for enriching young minds.

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