(Mariah and I are looking forward to posting about Yellowstone in the next few days. We need more bandwidth than we have to upload our images.)
My favorite puzzles when I was very young were the wooden ones cut out into distinct shapes with small knobs on each of the pieces. The round knobs made it easier for my little fingers to grasp and insert the correct pieces into the corresponding cut out spaces. The preponderance of these puzzles were farm-themed. They were intended to help me and my toddler colleagues (I assume I had colleagues from an early age) develop fine motor skills and a vocabulary of nouns which none of my fellow suburban Philadelphia playmates required for our daily routines.
Today, fifty plus years later, Harry, Mariah and I left Yellowstone in the morning and drove more than 450 miles from Wyoming through Idaho, back into Wyoming, and finally into Utah. Despite never having been in Idaho or Utah before, I found myself very much at home because of my prior experience with those knobby wooden puzzles. Horses? Yes. Goats? Check. Cows? Okey-dokey. Sheep? Gotcha. Hay? Right here. Farm Equipment? Definitely. Chickens? Oh yeah. Railroad Crossing? No worries.
Let’s hear it for early childhood education.