Today, we opened one of D's bday presents (that I had squirreled away since we don't need her opening ALL her gifts in one fell swoop). The present was a bead lacing kit - large wooden blocks with holes and two shoe laces to lace the beads.
Since we've been attending Linden Waldorf's Buttercup program I've been learning a lot about the art of creativity and fostering it in your child. One thing the teacher was telling me was always try to surround your child with "open-ended" toys. I was puzzled (no pun intended) as to what these could be and when she gave an example she said, "For instance, I gave my grandkids a set of wooden sticks and blocks and because they are not familiar with open ended toys they wanted to know where the directions were. I just kept telling them there are no directions. The toys are whatever they make of them." (And I am not quoting this verbatim b/c I obviously cannot remember what toy/game she gave them.)
Ahhh...I get it. I think.
But tonight I got it. When we opened the packaging, D took the string and was about to string a bead. G said, "How do you play this?" And proceeded to look on the back for directions. Because of my waldorf inspiration, I thought in my head, "It's whatever she makes of it." So I kind of just wanted her to go with it. Do whatever.
Buuut, G read the back and it said something to the effect of "use these blocks to teach your child counting and colors..." So that's what G strove to do but I really just wanted D to play and grasp the idea of just stringing the bead onto the string. The rest, the colors, the number counting would happen organically. :o)