We’ve had our foster daughter since November 2013. She came to us at 19 months old, and she is currently 2 years 5 months old. One of the things that I’ve enjoyed watching is how she’s become more strategic at putting away her blocks. They come in a box in a 6 by 5 array.
When she first started putting away the blocks after playing with them, she was, shall we say, haphazard about it. She would start by placing the blocks inside the box in any way she pleased.
This strategy worked fairly well until the box started to get a bit cramped. As she pushed blocks into smaller and smaller open spaces, some of the blocks would shift and move into the array configuration afforded by the box. Unfortunately some of the blocks would move in other directions, often ending up turned in ways that made fitting the rest of the blocks much more challenging.
Despite the challenge this presented, I always marveled at her persistence in pushing and moving the blocks until she would get them all to fit nice and neatly in the box. Sadly, I don’t have any videos of her early attempts at putting away the blocks.
I did happen to take a video the other day showing how far she’s come from her early “trial and error” days. You’ll see there’s a lot more structure to her placement of the blocks. It seems informed by a mental image she’s developed of what the blocks should look like when she’s done.
Unfortunately she is not that verbal, so she can’t really talk to me about what she’s doing. Instead, I chose to sit back and watch. (So technically this is more Watch Your Kid Do Math instead of Talking Math With Your Kids.) Since this is clearly a task that she has always been able to figure out on her own, I’ve felt better keeping my mouth shut anyway. Clearly she’s been doing a lot of meaning making on her own over the past few months.
In some ways it’s excruciating to watch someone take over 3 minutes to put 30 blocks away, but as a parent and educator, I can’t help but be fascinated and wonder how she’ll be putting them away a few months from now.