Recently a book titled ‘All My Treasure; A Book of Joy’ by Jo Witek illustrated by Christine Roussey seems to have captured our children’s imagination. It is such a beautifully written book, that places emphasis on treasuring memories, rather than materialistic things.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory” (Dr Seuss)
Treasured memories are the kind that make you smile when you think of them, and when reading the book it’s hard not to relate to, especially the part of relaxing and having a sleep in on a Sunday morning! It is wonderful how treasured memories, can bring you joy and happiness when thinking about them.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” (Thich Nhāt Hanh)
On the last page of the book the story tells “When I open my box and look at my treasures, they sparkle like stars and fill me with joy. What about you? What is in your treasure chest?”, this was wonderfully thought provoking for our children. Some at first just wanted to fill the box with ‘things’ without thinking fully about the significance to link to a joyful memory they have. It was great to see over time how the ‘things’ were replaced with items or drawings that have a special representation of a joyful memory. While working with our children I could literately see them thinking and then see their faces light up with a smile when thinking of their own treasured memory.
Here are some of our children’s stories/thoughts about their joyful treasured memories to place into their own treasure box:
Arlo: I draw my whole family ‘cause I love all of them, Evie, Mummy, Dad and Theo. All of my family are my treasure.
Sandinsa: I’m making rainbow treasure, when raining there’s rainbows it’s good.
Isla T.: I’m drawing the sun ‘cause I like playing in the sun and I’m drawing my Mummy ‘cause she makes me happy. This is the sea and sea shells and they make my Mum happy. There’s heaps of shells in the sea and my Mummy will find them all. Now I’m drawing my Daddy ‘cause he likes playing with Mummy in the sea. Now Gussy he makes me very, very happy.
Basuru: Actually I’m going to draw somebody who is on the swing who I love to play with, it’s Fernanda. I love books actually I like my Dad and my Mum when they read to me. My favourite food of all, strawberries, they make me want to eat more! I’m cutting them so it can fit in my memory treasure box. Now I’m drawing a chicken don’t you know I love chickens ‘cause they give me fresh eggs. I love, love eating fried eggs.
Gracie: I’m going to draw hearts ‘cause I love playing with my family on the beach. I love playing with my sister with beads so this bead makes me think of that. I’m drawing the beach ‘cause I love the beach. I’m putting my beach in my treasure box and then my heart. I love playing at kindergarten actually on the swings thats going in my box too.
Mia: I like going to my friends house Raina and Immy. I play on the trampoline. I even have a movie. I watched Moana I loved it. I liked the movie and I like my friends. I love my family and my cat, I always give William a kiss, my Mummy a kiss, my Daddy a kiss and my cat a kiss and myself a kiss. I blow a heart to yourself and put it under a t-shirt.
Zoey: Here’s a rock and a shell, we go to the beach at summer time and once I went to a beach with a playground. I draw a big heart ‘cause I like hearts and sparkles and I love my family.
I believe children need to learn about and experience all the different emotions to become socially competent in life, and I love how for most of our children what brings them joy are moments with other people rather than ‘items’. Feeling and expressing joy is a very valid emotion and one that Childspace describes as; Joy is the emotion of great delight and happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. We express joy when we exhibit keen pleasure and elation using both verbal and non-verbal language. (Childspace)
When children learn about different feelings and emotions I believe it helps them become independent, resilient, confident and capable lifelong learners. Something I have really loved about this journey so far is how our children value and find joy in the simple things in life like playing with siblings, spending time at the beach or even being read to. All are priceless treasured memories that will stay with them for life.
“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” (Chinese Proverb)
Mā te wā