Observe the child with simple puzzles or novel cause-and-effect toys.
Do not demonstrate how to use the toy.
Watch the child with single-hole puzzles. The child will try placing one piece. If it doesn’t work she may bang it on the puzzle space again, or try a different space. The child will examine cause-and-effect toys and begin to bang or push anything that looks like a button.
Encourage early childhood educators and parents to let the child explore and discover what objects do on her own before demonstrating. Figuring out how something works is exciting, and the child will want to show the adult her new skill. If the child cannot figure out what to do with the toy or object the adult should step in and demonstrate before the child gets too frustrated or disinterested. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to watch the child’s persistence and read her facial cues for when she is becoming upset. Letting the child figure things out independently builds persistence, but getting too frustrated makes the child give up.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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