Sunday, May 1, 2011

Playing All the Time

legos

Josh got his first set of regular legos (instead of just the bigger toddler sized blocks), and we've been spending a lot of time building and un-building and building again. It has been interesting to watch how he interprets the pictorial instructions and his attempts to build things from the photos that don't have explicit instructions. Sometimes he wants a lot of help so he can build something exactly how it is in the book. They rarely seem to stay that way for very long when he's got so many interesting bits to add on here and there, and the need to dismantle one thing in order to make something new. Of course there are plenty of creations happening without the use of instructions at all.

lego gypsy caravan

Why build a tiny little horse cart when we can make a gypsy caravan instead? This one started out as Josh's idea to make a bigger horse cart, and once we got going I though it would be neat to make a caravan so I have to admit that this was largely my creation. Some of my favorite details are purely Josh's though, including the stairs leading up to a rooftop bed and the flower garden on top.

legos!

I don't want to sit here and analyze our time with legos too much, because really this is just us having fun together. Josh gets so excited when he comes up with a new idea and I love seeing that happen over and over again. When we are digging through that box of legos looking for the right piece, I remember my own childhood and some of my lego creations. My favorite set ever was a tree that had hinges and opened up to reveal a house inside. I love that something I enjoyed as a child is just as much fun for my son as it was (and still is) for me.

Of course, if I was going to analyze the experience I could talk about using diagrams and instructions, which are a pretty new experience for Josh. I'm sure that legos help build spatial awareness and problem-solving skills among other things, but really we are just playing. I know he is learning through his play, but my guess is that I will never fully know or understand what exactly he is gaining through these kinds of experiences other than pure childhood joy. The rest is happening somewhere under the surface, building skills and learning about new ideas, but who knows where it will lead. This is just one tiny piece of his childhood, one tiny piece of the experiences that will make up his life.

Learning all the time, playing all the time.

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