Puzzling shapes

Recently we have introduced to the children two different types of puzzles.  The first one comprised of butterflies that can be interlocked in many different ways and the second is a series of colored fish that can also connect into a multitude of patterns.  As the children played we heard them challenge themselves and each other in how to interact with the materials.

Eva – It’s a flower.
Will – Now a circle.
Will – Can we make a square?
Eva – Let’s try!
Will – I made an oval
Eva – It’s kind of wobbly.
Will – It’s a ‘I don’t know shape!’
Will – Eva, we need to do a square.
Eva – It’s too hard.  We’ve never made a square with this before.

Zack – It looks like a caterpillar.  It’s a caterpillar sneaking in the grass.  It’s slithering away and going up and down.  He has ten legs.  A lot of legs.

Alex – I’m trying to make it into a turtle but I can’t fit the head in.  So, now I’m going to make a flower.

Alex – I put two tails together and then I put two mouths on the fish tail and then they kiss.


Charlie decided to challenge Alice to copy his design.  You put two tails together and then the mouth.  Now it is all attached.  You have to be careful as it might come apart.

Kyla – I’m making a diamond with myself.
Amelia – Oh – the red fish is eating me!  Oh no!  You’re eating me.  We’re fish fighting!

Will – Let’s attach.  We’re not done yet.  We need to use the whole basket.  This is the tricky part.  The V shape fits the mouth and this shape is where the tail goes.

– It’s not about the pieces but how they work together –