Sprout adores doing puzzles. Her brother received a couple of puzzles for Christmas and she wants to open them and put them together in the worst way! I won't let her, which frustrates her, so in the spirit if keeping peace in the Casa, I took her to The Evil Empire yesterday to re-stock our Play-Doh population and possibly score a puzzle or two that are just beyond her age recommendation.
As an aside, have you ever been to The Evil Empire just after Christmas? The employees looked shell-shocked and the toy department looked like it had been hit hard by a swarm of toy-eating locusts intent on consuming or destroying everything in their path. They were out of Play-Doh. Seriously. I didn't think that was possible.
Luckily, we found a rack of puzzle packs - four per pack that were variations on a theme. Me being me, I chose the set that was more educational than Disney Princess - numbers, colors, shapes, and the alphabet - because I just don't care to support the Princess archetype with my dollars and anything that helps with the home schooling is alright by me!
Another aside...we wandered a bit and in the crafts department found an alternate brand of our doughy plaything, ten colors for four bucks, not bad! Yes, I intend to make our own dough one of these days, but there is something to be said for instant gratification and no kitchen clean up.
Of course, as soon as we came home we had to do the puzzles. All four of them. Sprout wanted me to sit on the floor with her and carefully put each piece in its place, and I obliged. I explained about edges and corners and looking for which colors and shapes matched up, and she had fun handing me pieces and occasionally putting one in place.
This morning, as we snuggled and giggled in my big bed under the comfy blanket, she announced that she wanted to do puzzles. Fine by me. This time, she didn't want me to help. Okie-dokie. She dumped each one onto the floor and piece by piece began assembling them. She held up a corner. "This one has two edges so it's a corner. Where does it go?" She looked at each corner and checked her piece for color and for which wavy edges matched where, and placed the piece where it belonged. It took a minute and the occasional growl of frustration for her to sort out all 24 pieces, but she did it without my help. I sat beside her on the floor, watching her as she concentrated very hard on the serious business of putting a puzzle together again and wondered at how quickly - overnight - she had caught on to puzzle solving. It was...and is... a terrific and graphic example of how they process and apply information at blinding speeds.
Every day, something new. Wonder what I'll teach her tomorrow...