Puzzles

Nov. 15th, 2012 10:55 pm
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[personal profile] mituns
Tabitha, at not quite three, often amazes me with the things she can do if she puts her mind to it. I bought a set of "Very Hungry Caterpillar" frameless puzzles that were on sale a few months ago. Tabitha tried them out, and they were way over her head, even with help. I tried to keep them out of sight afterward, since any toy around here with multiple pieces has a propensity for ending up dumped out all over the floor.

Recently, the box with the puzzles has been moved, and so Tabitha begged and begged to play with the puzzles again. I finally relented, and we went through putting the four puzzles (ranging from 9 to 16 pieces) together. She paid attention, and seemed to understand some of what I was trying to explain to her about pieces with the caterpillars "little red head" having to go together, but the shocking thing is that now she can put all four puzzles together without any help.

Of course, she's no expert yet, and a lot of what she does is see tabs and holes and try to fit them together irrespective of whether it logically fits, but that's a skill that takes time to master. She does recognize when things fit together, and she's happy to get them done, because then she can take it apart and start a new one.

I can't help but think of the many little kids who even come into kindergarten not having experienced things like putting puzzles together. Many kids, even if they have had puzzles, has there been anyone around to help explain the task and set their mind on it, rather than just saying, "here kid, play with this". As adults, it's nearly impossible to sit down with a new computer program and use it with any sort of competence without some sort of instruction or guidance. How much harder, then, for children to know what to do with so many things in this world without a little help - and how much further prepared for life the children are who have had the help to get them started!

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