The Tower (or, Suggestibility)

Silas, much to my bewilderment, has never been into nesting/stacking by size. He loves to build block towers, but doesn’t seem interested in putting them in order. I loved that type of activity as a child, and even now, I find a certain peaceful satisfaction in nesting my Russian doll measuring cups. If he doesn’t want to nest or stack that way, that’s okay, but I honestly didn’t know if he had the ability to do it. I have suggested it several times over the past year, but he always blows me off.

The Pink Tower is a famous Montessori work that teaches children to compare size visually. It also helps develop some geometric concepts–the relationship between the sizes of the blocks increases according to the series of cubes, so the second block is the size of 8 of the first (2^3), the third is 27 of the first (3^3), etc.

The nesting blocks Silas has are not the same as the pink tower. The relationships between the blocks are arbitrary. Probably the most important difference is that the pink tower is self-enforcing. If stacked out of order, it will fall over. Silas’ blocks, because they nest, will accept a freer arrangement.

I should also note that the Pink Tower is generally a work for ages 2.5-5, so Silas is still young for it. Watching him play with the blocks, though, I kept thinking about the Pink Tower and wondering where on the can’t do it vs. don’t wanna spectrum he was.

So, I showed him this video:

This is literally the very next thing he did, after watching it:

What I learned from this: he can do it if he wants to. Also, it is such a good thing that we don’t have TV, because, wow is he ever suggestible.


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