When will he start building something?

Friday, March 7, 2008

There are plenty of construction toys at home ranging from Duplo sets and various themed Lego sets to wooden blocks (both natural and coloured ones). We bought some but most were either gifts from relatives and friends or toys that my brother and I played with when we were young.

I guess the main strategy of such toys is to encourage children to demonstrate their inate creativity while developing their fine motor skills. So we happily brought out the baby Duplo sets for Big Buddy to play with when he was past his first birthday.

Of course, we did not expect him to start building aeroplanes, grand castles and the like. We thought it would be reasonable for him to sit down and perhaps start attempting to stack those large clourful pieces. However, to our dismay, Big Buddy displayed nary an ounce of interest in Duplo set. He proceeded to upturn the bucket, dumped all the building pieces on the floor and sent every piece flying to all parts of the living room with wide sweeps of his hands. I remembered checking the appropriate age stated on the set just in case Big Buddy was still too young to know how to play with the toy properly. No, it was clearly written 1-3 years. With a sigh, we packed them all up, determined to perhaps introduce it again some time later.

We brought the Duplo again a couple of months later but yet again, Big Buddy displayed the same response. He resisted doing any simple stacking, let alone building. He was happy to just bash the pieces around. We gave up and thought that Big Buddy was more of a destroyer than a constructor.

A book that I read informed that the specified age on the some toys does not necessarily refer to the age at which children are expected to know how to play properly with is. Sometimes it indicates the age at which the toy is safe for. Some friends also told us that how children play with their toys also depends largely on their character and likes/dislikes. Every child is different, each will develop at his own pace and not all will play with the same toy in the same manner even at the same age. I was comforted but since those days, I loathed to bring out any construction toys for Big Buddy even though he would sometimes beseech us to do so.

All this came to a sudden change when he started school this year. Perhaps it was due to peer pressure or from seeing how his friends at school played with those toys. Big Buddy actually started building something with those building pieces.

Simple structures but nevertheless, wonderful achievements from a boy who used to just sweep them all over the room.

And now, here is Little Buddy, intent on breaking up what Big Buddy has built...