by tracybanaszynski

H puts a red cylinder through the circle hole in his shape sorting toy. He fits it through easily and adds a second red cylinder through the same hole. Next he tries a blue cube, but he can’t push it through the circle hole. Without attempting the triangle or square holes or skipping a beat, H lifts the lid of the shape sorting toy and drops the blue cube inside. He throws in another blue cube and two green triangle pieces and places the yellow lid back on top.

The shape sorting toy solved, H turns his attention to one of his stacking ring toys. He carefully takes off the top two rings and puts them in his toy box, one at a time. He works at lifting a third ring, but it catches against the rubber of the stacking stick. After a second he abandons that effort, picks the whole thing up, and throws it in the toy box. Stacking ring toy solved.

I love watching H play. It helps me see how his developing mind makes sense of the world and how this understanding grows and shifts over time. Even when his play does not match what might be considered the intended use of a toy, I see him exercising creativity and ingenuity. It is pure joy to watch him.

My hope is that he always delights in play as he does now. That he never feels there is only one right way to solve a problem. That there is always a place for learning through play in his life. And that, even as an adult, he will see the value in unfettered play for the sake of unfettered play. My hope is, simply, that he always loves to play.

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