learning from a packet

Ages ago I brought Helena a mechanical toy that you assemble. I brought it in one of those “oh look it’s on special, I’m having things posted it would be silly not to” moves. I thought it might act as a spring board for making her own designs and looking at cams, cranks and that sort of stuff. I am somewhat old fashinoned and think like my Dad, “its cheating”. As a kid he had to glue patterns on wood, cut them out and only then assemble it -somewhat more motivation needed.

I have got it out several times in the months we’ve had it and there was always a somewhat lack luster response but this time she was right into it and needed very little support. She looked at the instructions and was able to show me that she could paint it after she’d made it (I was interfering)…

The kit requires you to be forceful and gentle at the same time when you put the pieces together. You have to look at the putting together diagram to find the number of the piece you need then you look them up on the numbered pieces chart find the correct shaped and sized piece and go back to the diagram and put them together the right way round. It somewhat reminds me of lego.

These are some of her comments (she talked almost continuously to herself) “there are 2 29s” “I’m concentrating” “hey buddy” “it reminds me of turning a lock in a door” “keep an eye on the instructions” “first of all” “that must be his butt”…

She is fixing her mistakes and laughing at her self, doing a running commentary of the whole process… then it’s finished (only an hour) and she is proud. It’s one of those things that are a nice product. It seems like magic, lumps of wood then a mechanical person. An object to be proud of? An obvious result.

At least it’s given me ideas, I’m wasting my time making one out of bones.

I like what she made the next day…

There is always time for it to be a spring board… in the meantime “buddy” gets to play with her.

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