Our neighbors had a garage sale on Saturday, and I stopped by to be supportive and see what they had. They just happened to have a real old copy of Chutes and Ladders. I’ve been looking for that game for Katherine for about a year now, but I’m not willing to spend $15 for it. They had this copy for $2, so I ran home, grabbed Katherine and her penny jar, and ran back. Katherine did want it, so she bought it with her hard-earned pennies.
At home, I showed her how to play. At first, she didn’t really get the concept of the game, though she did like climbing the ladders and sliding down the chutes. She needed help knowing how to turn the corners and understanding which way to go. But the best part was when I, on a very fortunate roll, landed on the ladder that took me straight to the finish line and victory. I announced I won, and Katherine was silent for a moment….
I could see the cogs turning in her mind and the electric sparks flashing between the neurons. And then, I swear I saw my daughter make the connection that the only thing that mattered in the game was getting to that final square. If you had looked especially close, I’m sure you’d have seen her channel Mr. Burns.
We played a second game, and Katherine, using her new-found knowledge, advanced immediately to the finish line and declared herself the winner.
It’s amazing what kids pick up sometimes.