Build it up!
Nicole did a beautiful job last night talking about elaborations. She took the standpoint of looking at the final elaboration and choosing prototypes to build competence incrementally in order to achieve success in the final activity. Another way to look at this is to take the activities you might be doing already and think about how these simple activities can eventually elaborate into something bigger and more complicated.
One of the examples used last night was the concept of peek-a-boo. One of the parents asked how to elaborate that activity. Nicole did a wonderful job of explaining this. When you start playing peek-a-boo it may be just you hiding behind a blanket. Then you might wait behind the blanket for your child to pull it off. Next you could put up a cushion or a beanbag between the two of you. As you slowly back up and increase the zone of connection your game of peek-a-boo slowly elaborates into the game of hide and seek. Jumping from peek-a-boo directly into hide and seek may be too confusing for a child and they may not make the connection between the two activities, but making slight variations to an activity that your child is already comfortable with can eventually bring you to a more complicated/challenging activity. Any small activity can be elaborated into something bigger.
The idea that Nicole mentioned in her last post about the garden started off about a discussion of how can you elaborate on building Lego’s. The elaborations began to build and eventually the activity turned into building this garden. It’s amazing how such simple activities build the foundations to doing bigger and better things as our children grow and develop.
For me, it has always been easier to take the final elaboration and then to think of the activities that would be appropriate for building foundations to eventually reach the more complicated task. For others it may be easier to start with simple tasks and think about how to elaborate them into something more complicated. Whatever way you like to think about it, I hope that these past two posts will make it easier for you to think of ways to expand what you are doing. What do you want your child to be able to do some day? What can you do now to start building competence in that activity?
Until next week,