I did a neat activity with my little ones while I was teaching kindergarten. I am sure you have seen this classic before. The little one lays down on a big sheet of paper, a partner traces them, and they cut ‘themselves’ out and decorate. I thought I would do this with Sam one afternoon … but as I should have known – he had ideas of his own.
He was all eager and excited about the idea at first. He laid down, I traced him, and we worked together to cut him out. The scheming was already beginning. He was going to place the “flat Sammy” in his bed, hide behind his door, and call his Daddy in when he returned from work — oh it was going to be good!
Once Sam was cut out, I was about to go down to get the markers and yarn, but Sam (real Sam) spotted the blocks. He thought we should use the Sam (cut out Sam) as a blueprint to build a Sam (a block Sam). Yep.
Once I figured out which Sam was which, and what the plan actually was, I was quite impressed! This was a great idea. Full of creativity, visual spatial skill development, copying and symmetry – it was full of the good stuff.
I thought perhaps Sam would want to build directly on top of the blueprint (that is, the cut out Sam). I thought we could try to fill it in with the blocks. But Sammy decided to use it as a real blueprint, and try to build directly beside it.
He got stuck with a part or two and asked for some help. I tried to make a suggestion instead of telling him what he should do. I tried to give him more then one possible solution, so he could decide what best worked for what he had in mind. I also tried hard to not mention anything unless he asked me. I am getting better at this. I think back to my poor Madeline trying to do an activity like this (who is now 12) and I wonder how she managed to develop any creativity at all!
Sam successfully created a Sam from his Sam blueprint.
This was such a fun way to spend an afternoon, even if it was not at all the activity I intended it to be! I should know better by now – that boy has his own creative ideas.
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