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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-03 07:45 AM
Original message
<being a not-quite-disinterested observation of the workings of the mind of a 14 month old male>

Grandson Jack has 3 toys with pushbuttons. He's learned that by pushing the buttons he'll be rewarded with some pleasing lights and/or sounds.

We're in his back yard and he's playing with his sand & water table. He likes to splash in the water and drop fistfuls of sand into the water. This makes a mess that Jack is pretty OK with. During his first trip to the beach a few months ago he learned that sand is NOT good to eat, so no worries there anymore. He catches on fast, as you will see.

Earlier we were blowing bubbles. The bottle of bubble goop had been sitting on the rim of his sand & water table. We are messy bubble blowers, so the bubble goop left a perfect ring on the rim of the table. Jack sees the circle and puts his tiny index finger right in the center and pushes HARD. The first joint and knuckle turn white, he's pushing so hard. It sure looks like a pushbutton to him, but nothing happens. Maybe he's not pushing hard enough. He picks up his sand shovel and, with both hands on the handle, pushes it down in the center of the circle with all his might. One foot comes off the ground. He grunts. Still nothing. Either the pushbutton is broken or it's not even a pushbutton. Oh well.

That evening a friend drops by with some toys for Jack. A bag of small rubber dinosaurs to play with in the tub. We empty the half dozen critters on the living room floor. One has a symmetrical double row of spots down its back. Jack immediately grabs that one and pushes each and every spot, in sequence, pausing after each push to listen for a noise. Rats. Foiled again. Not pushbuttons.

Grandpa is now keeping an eye out for any and all toys with pushbuttons THAT WORK.
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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-03 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. I don't know anything about kids...
But perhaps a bit of disappointment would be a good thing.

If he learns that not every button yields a surprise he may be less likely to get a bigger 'surprise' by pushing the wrong type of button.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-31-03 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. He's fascinating (to me) to watch.
You can almost hear those little gears turning in his head.
I don't think he was so much disappointed as he was " why doesn't THAT work like the other ones?"
He expresses disproval, disappointment, unhappiness, and just general NO by shaking his head from side to side.
"More spinach?"
"Want some juice?"
He hasn't learned nodding for "yes" yet.
"Yes" is his open hand out, palm up.
Yeah, I think he's learning some good lessons.
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