Tuesday, February 9, 2016


My daughter baffled me yesterday. We were reading a new book found at the library called "Boom, Snot, Twitty" by Doreen Cronin. It is a nice story about three friends who each do their own thing. The negotiation about what they should do (or rather the non-negotiation) was appealing to my daughter like stories about relationships often are. So it didn't surprise me when she asked me to re-read it. What surprised me was her observation about something circular.

Twitty, the bird in the story, likes to crochet. Each page the reader see Twitty making shapes with her yarn and otherwise managing a life of string. But it was on this page that my daughter surprised me:

She said, "I like those circles!"

Circles? Triangles and rectangles are evident. But where are the circles? 

I asked.

Anna replied, "each one of those goes around the tree. So they are circles."

I sat there stunned. I knew my son was good at this spatial relation kind of thinking. Now my daughter, not quite four years old, is making it apparent that she also can think this way. How?

In search of understanding, the only thing I can settle on is that she spends a lot of time outdoors. She has hugged trees and climbed them. She has hidden behind them and run around them.  

She has also colored and painted. She has used play dough, kinetic sand, and clay to mold shapes with her hands. And so she has explored ways of representing different things.

I guess there is some magical constellation that has come together in her mind. All those different experiences of playing in the world and creating within the world has made it possible for her to understand geometry deeply. So deeply that she sees how string can wrap around a tree to make a circle. Wow. Just, wow.

Tell me, when has your child surprised you?

No comments:

Post a Comment