Category Archives: Build Reasoning Skills

What We Learnt From Lego (Courtesy Yellow Giraffe)

Charu from Yellow Giraffe sent us a Lego toy. The package said it was recommended for 7-12 year olds. The package had little Lego pieces to built a fantasy character “Chima” and his vehicle. I wasn’t sure if Little A (2.5) and Big A (5) would enjoy it, but I knew I would. So on Saturday morning, we opened the pack.

We began by placing all the tiny pieces in a box. I showed Big A the instruction booklet and explained to her its purpose. I showed her the diagrams and told her that we had to put pieces together, as shown in the diagram to build Chima. We looked through the pages and sorted the pieces first. Then, we went back to page 1 and began to fix pieces together as shown.

As mentioned earlier, I didn’t think that Big A would enjoy the activity, but to my surprise she did! Seeing her interest, the husband, S, joined in too. After 2 pages, she herself turned to the new page to see which parts were shown, then she picked out the parts and gave me. She needed a little help in understanding where to put the parts, so S fixed one part, she watched and fixed the other likewise. She mentioned how the parts were little and so many little parts had to be fixed together. I took the opportunity and explained to her that even cars are made the same way. Lots of different parts, some small and some big, are manufactured in different companies. Then, all the parts are assembled together to make a big car.

It was nice to see her interest in the activity. Through this little play, she didn’t realize it, but she was learning DIY skills – where one has to read an instruction booklet, identify parts, and assemble them together to make an object. Most of all she learnt to be patient and her little fingers got ample motor skill practice.

When Chima was finally made, she was THRILLED!

The next task was to make Chima’s vehicle. She was tired by then, so S decided to build it for her. I expected her to play with her other toys. But she sat still and watched him. Little A was also intrigued by the activity, and after a while, he too wanted to look at the booklet, find parts, and have a go at fixing them together. After the vehicle was built, we were surprised to realize that for TWO full hours we had all sat together doing one activity and discussing information about assembling things.  The two were very happy with their new toys, and they spent the rest of the day playing Chima Chima.

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For me, as a mother, it was a great experience. I learnt that kids can be engaged in any activity, as long as it is made interesting for them. On Sat, my two little kids learnt many skills – planning, executing instructions, sorting pieces, assembling pieces, focus and patience. And the entire family spent great quality time together doing one activity!

About Yellow Giraffe: Yellow Giraffe is an online toy store in India. The store has been designed to assist in selecting toys based on the skill benefits of the toy. Check out  http://www.yellowgiraffe.in/

Observation Skills & Art with Leaves

Last evening when we went down for a stroll, Big A spotted leaves fallen on the ground.We spoke about why leaves fall on the ground and why some leaves are green and some brown. Then, we collected the leaves in a paper bag and brought them home with us.

At home, we spread the leaves on a newspaper. I arranged two small leaves on one side and bigger ones on the other side, and asked Big A to complete the groups that I had created. It didn’t strike her at first, that I had grouped them by size, so she began placing them randomly. So, I stopped her and asked her to tell me the sizes of the different leaves – we called them small, big and bigger. Once she understood the concept, she completed the groups by herself.

To take the concept of grouping a little further, next, I grouped leaves by the appearance of their blades – leaves with smooth blades and leaves with toothed blades. I showed her each type and then asked her to group the rest of the leaves accordingly. And then, we also grouped leaves by color. I wanted her to realize that objects have different characteristics – size, color, shape, texture to name a few, and we can create different groups based on these characteristics.

Later we used the leaves to make a little art piece :).

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