The excitement of the bladder balloon wore off after several hours, so Laura wandered freely, bonnet hanging down the back of her neck, while prim and proper Mary kept hers tightly tied in a neat bow beneath her chin. At first, they contented themselves building small houses out of twigs and leaves for their corn-husk dolls, but just as Laura was bending down to pick up a pint-sized acorn cup, she saw them: a long line of American Indians, traveling together through the wilderness that, until now, they called home.
They were all so happy they could hardly speak at first. They just looked with shining eyes at those lovely Christmas presents. But Laura was happiest of all. Laura had a rag doll. She was a beautiful doll. She had a face of white cloth with black button eyes. A black pencil had made her eyebrows, and her cheeks and her mouth were red with the ink made from pokeberries. Her hair was black yarn that had been knit and raveled, so that it was curly. She had little red flannel stockings and little black cloth gaiters for shoes, and her dress was pretty pink and blue calico. (From 'Little House in the Big Woods')
In the morning Pa was there. He had brought candy for Laura and Mary, and two pieces of pretty calico to make them each a dress. Mary's was a china-blue pattern on a white ground, and Laura's was dark red with little golden-brown dots on it. Ma had calico for a dress, too; it was brown, with a big, feathery white pattern all over it. (From 'Little House in the Big Woods')
Infants from one year to 18 months of age more actively engage in experimentation to learn about the physical world. Gravity is learned by pouring water from a cup or pushing bowls from highchairs. The caregiver tries to help the child by picking it up again and placing it on the tray. And what happens? Another experiment! The child pushes it off the tray again causing it to fall and the caregiver to pick it up again! A closer examination of this stage causes us to really appreciate how much learning is going on at this time and how many things we come to take for granted must actually be learned. I remember handing my daughters (who are close in age) when they were both seated in the back seat of the car a small container of candy. They struggled to move the pieces up and out of the small box and became frustrated when their fingers would lose their grip on the treats before they made it up and out of top of the boxes. They had not yet learned to simply use gravity and turn the box over in their hands! This is a wonderful and messy time of experimentation, and most learning occurs by trial and error.
The experiment then began. Hughes brought in a second policeman doll, and placed both dolls at the end of two walls, as shown in the illustration above. The child was asked to hide the boy from both policemen, in other words he had to take account of two different points of view. 2b1af7f3a8