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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

166               THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

are not concerned with the perception of merely one stimulus, such
as that of heat, but reconstruct a whole, well-known object.
They can stroke the toy soldiers, the balls and above all
the money. They gain the power ultimately to discriminate
between things which are small and closely related, like bird-seeds
and rice.

They are proud of seeing without eyes; they shout, holding
out their hands: " Here are my eyes, I see with my hands, I do
not need eyes." And I always reply to these gay cries: "Ah>
well! let us all get rid of our eyes; what more shall we do? " And
they break out into laughter and cheers.

Truly our little ones, walking in ways beyond our vision, make
us wonder at their unforeseen, unexpected progress; and, whilst
they seem sometimes to be little creatures mad with joy, we are
left in profound meditation,

Later on, the children showed an inspiration which has been
adopted and which today forms part of the most interesting
exercises in the Children's Houses. They have begun to use over
again systematically all the material which lends itself to being
recognized by the feel of it—the solid insets, the geometrical insets
and the three series of blocks. Children who have forsaken them
some time before to pass on to more advanced work return to
take up the three stands of solid insets, and, blindfold, set about
feeling the cylinders and the corresponding holes, often taking all
the three stands and mixing up the cylinders of the three series. Orr
going back to the geometrical insets, with closed eyes, they follow
their outlines accurately and almost thoughtfully, seeking the cor-
responding space in the frame. Very often the children place
themselves on the ground on rugs and repeatedly stroke the long
rods, running their fingers down them from top to bottom, as if
to determine the extent of the movement made by the arm;
or seated, they gather round them the cubes of the pink tower
and build it up with their eyes closed.

Muscular exercise, therefore, does over again all the educa-
tion which, through sight (as will be described later) leads to the