Precocious children show up in unexpected ways. One little gal, who was 2 when she joined my class, was a phenomenal block builder. She would gather almost all of the blocks, which is typical toddler hoarding behavior. However, she didn’t just make a pile of blocks, declaring “mine.” Instead, she built the most elaborate block towers. She would collect sparkly, loose parts from our art area, which she called her “diamonds.” She gingerly placed all of her diamonds on top of the highest points of her block structures.
As the year preceded, her building started to include stories. As with most children, her early narratives were based on real-life experiences, such as visiting the doctor, cooking with her family, or bedtime routines. They were also based on children’s literature and movies she enjoyed.
Anna’s favorite movie was The Lion King. She identified with Mufasa, the king in the movie. As the head of her pride, she would crouch on all 4s and roar at the top of her lungs at anyone who happened to step too close to the structure she’d created as her habitat.
I often wonder if Anna’s spatial intelligence has carried over into her career choices. Is she an architect or an urban planner? Perhaps her understanding of drama in stories has led her to one of the arts. Not being able to see the future outcomes of most of our little learners is one of the unfortunate downsides of being an early childhood professional. I sincerely hope the blocks, diamonds and space I provided to little Anna to be a roaring lion contributed to her future success.