Articles / From the inside, out

Learning from child’s play.

One learning I’ve had this week came from an unexpected place, as learnings tend to do.

I was with our youngest child (F), both sat on the floor in our lounge, working on a jigsaw puzzle. (An Octonauts picture, for what it’s worth.)

F was working on the puzzle starting from the inside pieces, and bit by bit, working out.

My initial impulse was that I wanted to step in. To show how to find the corner pieces, and build up the straight edges first. After just holding back a little and watching him work in his own way, something inside clicked, and I felt completely differently about it.

F’s approach was more natural, more organic. And yes, it was probably more challenging too. So he was having more fun, learning more complex pattern recognition, and developing a broader experience than following the straight edges would have given him.

Perhaps there’s a small learning there that we can bring into our workplaces and collaborations, about how cultivating more challenging learning experiences into the day to day flow can serve us better in the long run, even if it’s not always the most direct route from A to B.

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