Learning about concepts like gravity, floating and spinning is tricky. And toddlers don't learn from books. They are constantly testing things out. Was the result what they expected? If not, why not?
A mental model of how something works is called a schema and young children are obsessed with them. That's why you'll see them repeating actions endlessly. They want to be sure they understand.
As adults, learning to identify your child's dominant schemas can help you respond to the way their mind is developing, and provide the appropriate stimulation and challenges. Here we look at connecting:
Joining train tracks, building towers of lego, sticking things together with tape - these are all signs of the connecting schema. Connecting also includes disconnecting, which is why a child might build a tower of blocks, only to knock it down afterwards - or knock down someone else’s. Understanding that this is a normal urge and allowing it to happen in safe environment will give your child many happy hours of play.
Some ideas for developing connection schema include:
- threading (with beads or pasta)
- paper chains
- collage and junk-modelling
- construction toys that connect (Lego, Knex etc)
- wooden railway