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My 3yo daughter lines things up, or puts them in little circles

(16 Posts)
DDoily Sat 06-Aug-11 11:30:17

Hi all. She started walking and talking early, and her speech has always been very clear and she has large vocabulary. She's particularly good at jigsaws (she can do ones intended for 8yrolds). I've noticed that she puts things in lines a lot (for instance, the shampoo etc bottles, or books or cars). She also puts her Happyland people in tight little circles (which makes sense I guess, as they're people!). Is this a 'usual' thing for kids to do? Also, she makes things have conversations, such as her knife and fork. Mealtimes can take AGES!! smile

BertieBotts Sat 06-Aug-11 11:35:07

I think it's one of the learning styles, someone posted something really interesting on here about them a couple of months ago. She sounds a lot like my DS actually - he likes to line things up and can do jigsaws beyond his age range. He won't play Happyland unless I get out every single one of the cars for him and line them up in the right direction on the road, and all the people have to either be in the correct cars or in a line (waiting for the ice cream van!)

kittensliveupstairs Sat 06-Aug-11 11:36:42

I don't know what Happyland is, but if it is any reassurance, my DD used to line everything up. Pencils, DVDs, stones, shells on the beach etc.
She's turned out to be the untidiest little girl in the whole world.

Grandhighpoohba Sat 06-Aug-11 11:48:05

My DS does this too. He has categorised his cars into sets of three or five, and has to play with them in those groups. He like to then line them all up. Normal I think. I'm sure someone on here linked to something ages ago which explained it as a normal behaviour pattern. I think they are only concerned about it if it is linked to other behaviours. The imaginative play with the cutlery is a good sign that things are fine IIRC.

LucyLastik Sat 06-Aug-11 11:51:20

It's called Schema and is perfectly normal!

WipsGlitter Sat 06-Aug-11 11:52:10

I think it is called a schema, and is a form of play. Seration (ie making a series of things) is also an early maths thing.

DDoily Sat 06-Aug-11 14:15:17

Fabulous, thanks everyone for your comments, it's really helpful. It does make me laugh actually, I'll walk into a room and there are just lines of stuff!

And @kittensliveupstairs, the last part of your comment really made me laugh! grin

Thanks again everyone xx

ShowOfHands Sat 06-Aug-11 14:28:05


DD does this too (also likes quite advance jigsaws and walked/talked v early). It's interesting to watch, they way they find a place for thing and order them in their mind. She's started building lego structures recently that conform to all sorts of rules in terms of colour and number of pieces. I'm as sure as I can be that she's completely happy, NT and just has her own way of doing things.

petisa Sat 06-Aug-11 14:29:24

My dd (3.3 years) is average at jigsaws, but she does line her toys or put them in circles and has always enjoyed doing this, and everything talks to everything else at the moment! And she is everything at the moment too "I'm a fork mummy", "I'm a straw mummy" etc etc so meals take ages in our house too smile

HoneyPablo Sat 06-Aug-11 14:53:46

DS did this as a toddler. He would line up cars and video boxes and would even straighten up items on shelves in shops.
He is now 22 and a bricklayer grin
Like others have said these patterns of play are called schemas and are how children learn.
interesting TES article

miranda66 Sat 06-Aug-11 19:26:46

HAPPYLAND!!!! My dd who is now 3 has been lining things up since she was a toddler. She has to line up EVERY Happyland person she has and lately we have been playing 'Ring a Ring O Roses' with them - and yes, she puts them in a circle, then knocks them down, and then puts them back up again!. BertieBotts - I have had to do the same thing with vehicles too, LOL!
DDoily, dd has always loved jigsaws, puzzles, and books - we get 12 books out of the library, and she likes to line them up when we get home - I then read them one sitting. ShowOfHands - dd is now into Lego and loves to sort the colours into piles, shapes into piles etc!

DDoily Sun 07-Aug-11 11:58:00

@HoneyPablo - thanks for the link to the TES article, it's very interesting. It seems I have one 'Enveloper' with a side of 'Trajectory' (my eldest DD), and one 'Connecting' with a side of 'Trajectory' and 'Transporter' (my youngest DD, the 3yo)!

I think the upshot is - kids are nuts.

DDoily Sun 07-Aug-11 11:58:56

Thank you too to everyone who's posted here, it's all very much appreciated smile

BirdyBedtime Mon 08-Aug-11 14:07:29

Just stumbled over this thread - my DS does this too so interesting to hear the reasoning behind it - I was getting a bit worried about OCD so very pleased that there is an explanation.

naturalbaby Mon 08-Aug-11 15:49:21

we had a line of sea creatures the other week. i felt a bit strange walking into the lounge to find crabs, sharks, jellfish etc lined up from the sofa to the t.v!

bearhug Tue 09-Aug-11 12:09:36

In my house it is 'windmills'. Duplo, building blocks, anything at all really, are positioned in a cross shape around a hub in the middle. I am banned from tidying them away. I do sometimes risk major toddler tantrum though, if they are in a particularly awkward location grin.

Interesting article - I too was beginning to worry a little about the obsessiveness of it all.

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