Seeing things around us is more than just glancing. Children need to be helped to observe, to see unexpected things that might stimulate curiosity and lead to new thoughts, ideas and even questions.

Children learn from birth through everyday play and exploration in a safe and stimulating environment. Babies watch your facial expressions and try to imitate them. Young children learn through observing you as you go about your daily activities and experimenting to see if they can do what you do. Observe your children as they play to learn even more about yourself.

All ideas come through some sort of observation. It sparks an attitude; some object or emotion causes a reaction in the other person. — Graham Chapman

Unless caring adults help children to see things around them, to move their eyes, the children could end up with brain-related vision problems such as not moving or tracking correctly with their eyes, not seeing things in the space around them, nor recognizing dangers accurately and quickly.

Parents need to help younger children pay attention because if children are interrupted, they may not remember. If you teach them to observe, you help them to focus and recall. Parents motivate their children to seek answers as to why things happen.

Parents and children can watch the movement of clouds and colors. By observing the clouds, they can learn what their gathering means and learn how clouds are classified. By watching the sun shining through the clouds, they may even observe the movement of colors that make a rainbow. (See Kid Scoop in this issue.) By watching the clouds and sky at night and sharing their movement across the sky, all experience a quiet, wondrous time.

I feel I learned through observation, and usually when you’re watching things, you’re not speaking. — Barry Jenkins

By observing where they live, children learn their place in the neighborhood, their city, state, and country. Children are not aware of their place in this world unless parents help them to know. Children get confused about where they live because no one helps them understand location. They can learn the time of the year, the seasons, festivities, and holidays if you help them to observe how those in your community celebrate these events.

The website lifehack.org/794671/observational-learning has ideas for all ages about how to use observation to benefit every stage in life. Parents can guide their children to develop curiosity and the desire to learn more by paying close attention to what they observe. Having a playful attitude as children grow brings joy to exploring and learning new things which might pave the way to a lifelong interest, and career.

“Observation, more than books and experience, more than persons, is the prime educator,” according to Amos Bronson Alcott. Help your children to be “super observers.”

Remember how Dr. Seuss helps children to not only be super observers, but also imaginative ones? Enter the “Love of Reading” contest before Feb. 26 by sharing your favorite Dr. Seuss book and telling us why. Email your entry to bettemroz@gmail,com or to the Sahuarita Sun at kwalenga@sahuaritasun.com

Southern Arizona resident Bette Mroz is a former teacher, reading specialist and principal. As a mother and grandmother, she continues to help her family learn. She can be contacted at bettemroz@gmail.com