We see….a child who know how to wait and who has high expectations. A child who wants to show that he or she knows things and knows how to do things, and who has all the strength and potential that comes from children’s ability to wonder and to be amazed. A child who is powerful from the moment of birth because he is open to the world and capable of constructing his own knowledge. A child who is seen in his wholeness, who possesses his own direction and the desire for knowledge and for life. A competent child! Carlina Rinaldi
“Clay is stronger than playdough”. That’s what Zach said to me. I said “Do you mean that playdough droops?” “No” he said “It doesn’t droop, it just falls over.” Which is, of course, very true.
And here is what he did with clay: he constructed a replica of an image from a book he had read a week before. Every detail. An island with a palm tree that has a coconut hanging from it, there is a turtle, a bird and a fish.
So here is this boy comparing the relative characteristics of clay and playdough, and then perfectly re-representing an image that he was carrying around in his head…..and he is not yet three years old.
Zach sat working on his island for 30 minutes, all the while chatting with the adult beside him. This adult recognized that Zack “knows how to do things” and didn’t need to be ‘taught’ about clay, about playdough, or about sculpting.
How often in these moments do we adults take over, make suggestions, impose our ideas, show how it can be done? Maybe we should just be quiet and watch…..and the child will show us how it can be done.