Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Unexpected Lessons

The Haba Block and Tackle provides awesome pre-STEM learning, as expected. The children have been learning about size, weight, tippiness (balance), and the power of a pulley. What I wasn't expecting was the lessons in cooperation and communication that it provides.

A huge goal for Autistic children is to learn the back-and-forth of communication. Parents, therapists and other caregivers engineer games to encourage taking turns. And I remember celebrating with another parent when our Autistic children played their first game of catch together...rolling a ball up and down a slide to each other. This type of play comes naturally to my typical child but it is no less important for her.

So when I heard my children talking to each other - one up stairs and one down stairs - joy filled my heart. "Is it ready?" called Mikey. "No, not quite yet!" said Anna. He waited (a small miracle). She finished attaching a toy snake then shouted, "Ok Mikey! It is ready!" He hoisted.

We have a two story house with a cathedral ceiling. A landing at the top of the stairs looks into the play room and was a perfect place for a block and tackle toy. A generous grand parent gave it to us at Christmas time. When we brought the toy home, we drilled into a stud in the ceiling and mounted a heavy-duty eye bolt. The block and tackle was then safe and ready for play.

The pulley system is a huge hit with everyone who comes to play - adults and children alike. It is a novel and powerful machine. But, mounted between two level of house (or treehouse) it also affords practice in communication and cooperation, and that makes the toy priceless for Preschool Engineering.

No comments:

Post a Comment