Three Dimensional Thinking

My 4yo has a hard time staying on task at Senior Kindergarten when he is doing something he doesn’t like to do. Like all of us, who wants to do something you don’t like, right? So I asked him what he likes to do and he said “build with Lego, blocks and stuff….I like Math, Reading and Science too.” Then I asked him what he doesn’t like and has a hard time staying on task with…his answer ” mmmm…painting. I don’t like when I have to paint.” Now some of you who really know me will understand how this completely crushed my heart! I am an artist myself and my medium is painting! How can he not like painting?! Out of all the things in the classroom, he doesn’t like painting! Well, I have been thinking about this for a week now and yes, I know everyone is different and it’s not a big deal that he doesn’t like painting, but I have been looking at things in a different perspective and see now that he thinks in a completely different way than I do.

The moment I realized how he thought was when we were doing another one of our play dough activities. I set up a bunch of loose parts with the fall play dough we made (here is my last post on Fall Play Dough) and let my boys create.


Fall Scented Play Dough, Acorns, Chestnuts, Wood Pieces, Peg People, Clothes Pegs, Triangle Shaped Pieces of Paper, Little Wooden Bowl

DSC02159DSC02167 DSC02166As I watched them play, I noticed my 4yo went right away to the wooden blocks and started creating a three-dimensional structure. He made some trees out of the paper and clothes pegs and added in the peg people at the end. He had made a house and landscape for the people. The house even had an attic!

My 3yo started out two-dimensional, made some patterns, then started exploring with the building materials and ended up making a “Car” for one of the peg people. He created many different things before he settled on the car.

DSC02168 DSC02169

My 4yo is very three-dimensional in his thinking and his creating. I am not. When he goes to the craft area in our house it is only to create three-dimensional things now. He loves building…anything! I am going to try to encourage this and find more activities for him involving three-dimensionality.


As for my 3yo, he is still young and is experimenting with everything set out for him. He is still in the stage where he likes everything! So I will see if he follows in his big brothers foot steps. Maybe I will get a painter or maybe I will get a sculptor, architect, engineer, scientist…who knows. As long as they are happy, healthy, and enjoy what they do that is all I ask.


Do you find there is a co-relation to gender and thinking? I am interested to know what you think. Being a teacher myself I see a difference quite often.


One thought on “Three Dimensional Thinking

  1. I love the idea of mixed mediums with the play dough! I have never seen students use play dough with paper or other items and I love what Emmet made. It all looks so fun and both cuties look engrossed in what they are doing. Great acceptance of Emmets choice of medium, still very artistic children you have there. xo

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