Cultivating Curiosity

Slice of Life2

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Story Challenge. Thanks to the co-authors of              Two Writing Teachers for creating this  supportive community.


Excuse me, can we show you something?

 I was working a shift as a volunteer in the Children’s Garden at Longwood Gardens when I was approached by two little boys, about five years old. They led me to an out-of-the-way alcove and pointed to a small door.


What’s that? Who lives in there?

I don’t know. Who do you think lives in there?

Maybe it’s a fairy, or the man who takes care of the garden.

Shhh (ear cupped to door)…I think I hear something. Maybe it’s an animal, maybe a tiger.

I think it’s my girlfriend!            

This last remark was, of course, followed by lots of laughter. The boys then led me to a different part of the garden known as the Grotto Cove where a fog-generated fountain and a spiral staircase create a mysterious atmosphere and the feeling of being in a castle. That area always makes me feel like I have stepped into the pages of Harry Potter.

Where does the smoke come from?

Are there fish in there?

Look! There are ants crawling up the railing, and here’s a spider!

We spent the next few minutes carefully observing the iron railing on the staircase, discovering hidden objects and sharing wonderings about them.


It was a brief encounter, but it was the best part of my day. It’s what this wonderful garden is designed to do – cultivate curiosity in children. As it states on my training manual:

…They [children] will explore the world with all of their senses, play at discovery,

               and communicate their discoveries to those around them. Sharing the wonder and

               magic of a garden with them is a gift to all.

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16 Responses to Cultivating Curiosity

  1. I could feel their excitement, wonder and discovery in every word of your post. You paced it so I followed their eyes, their mind and their feet. I love when you write about Longwood Gardens – you capture children so well in your writing. Thanks Rose!


  2. vanessaw2007 says:

    I love how you wrote all their questions emphasizing the title of your piece…. curiousity. You have me wanting to visit there some day.


  3. I can’t help but smile at envisioning your story. Boys especially make me laugh because they seem to be less inhibited to be vulnerable. I am in awe of their curiosity; makes me realize how our classrooms must remain places of discovery. Thanks for sharing!


  4. Love little curious minds! Loved reading about your conversation with the boys!


  5. arjeha says:

    When we were there we just walked by the children’s garden but didn’t go in. We did see many children enjoying it, though. Looks of wonder on their faces. It really is a magical place.


  6. lynnedorfman says:

    Such a great post to capture the spirit of wonder fostered by the children’s garden at Longwood! I love the questions and comments the youngsters had. Pretty impressive training manual! You make me want to jump in the car and take a walk at Longwood today.


  7. elsie says:

    The person who wrote the manual surely knew the minds of children. What a fun place for kids to visit and explore!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa L2L4L says:

    This made me laugh – what a great place this seems to be! How very fortunate we are who have learned to listen to the wisdom of children! Hats off to you (and Longwood trainers) for being willing to cultivate the curiosity of children – and thanks for capturing it in your slice.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa C says:

    I lived in Philly for 12 years, and never visited Longwood Gardens! Next time I am there I should take my children. They’d love discovering that little door!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember visiting this area of Longwood Gardens many years ago!! Glad it’s still inspiring creativity today 🙂


  11. Pingback: Cultivating Curiosity Take 2 | Imagine the Possibilities

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