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If you’ve ever built a tower of LEGO® DUPLO® bricks with your toddler then you’ve probably noticed that they love knocking it all down, delighted by the sight of the bricks falling to the ground. Whether they're knocking down bricks or throwing their lunch on the floor, this kind of activity can be called destructive play, and it’s surprisingly important for your little one. While it might seem like they are just making a mess, what you probably haven’t realized is that when doing things like this your child is like a scientist, experimenting and learning from this activity every time they try it. So, this is what they are actually learning from destructive play:

1/ They are learning about their senses

For your little one, pushing a tower of bricks over stimulates three senses at the same time: -Sight: “What a colourful tower in front of me!” -Touch: “how do these bricks feel?“ -Hearing: “what noise will it make if I push it down?” While building together you can encourage your toddler to experiment more: does the tower make the same noise falling on a carpet as it does on a wooden floor? If I rebuild it another way, will it feel the same? If I drop two bricks together will that make a cool sound? 2/ Your child is becoming more self-assured

Younger toddlers may find it difficult to stack two bricks together , which is normal because it takes a while to learn how to do it. For the moment, they are comforting themselves with easy tasks, such as knocking a tower down. This reassurance and self-confidence will eventually help them to do more difficult tasks as they grow up. 3/ They are learning about gravity

Your child is just like Newton and his apple. By repeatedly knocking over that stack of bricks they are exploring the concept of gravity…over and over again. Just to make sure. Soon your toddler will be able to build by themselves, but for the moment, they are beginning to discover many different concepts, including early maths, physics, and geometry. All of this comes from figuring out the shape, weight, size, and stability of a brick.

4/ Your toddler is beginning to understand cause and effect When you see your little one knocking over a tower of bricks they are demonstrating their power over the world around them. Through knocking down towers your child is essentially starting to learn about cause and effect; they are the (powerful) cause and the (noisy, superb) collapse is the effect. When your toddler is around 18-months-old, you might notice this kind of behavior becoming more frequent, because they are testing their power over you at the same time. This is just the right time for your child to start to learn, with your help, about limits, for example respecting their siblings beautiful LEGO bricks creation. 5/ Your child is learning about collaboration (with your help)

You might find it a little annoying - you spent time building something awesome for your child, and then all they want is to destroy it. You might even become frustrated and not want to do it for them again. But there’s another way to see it: if you build something and invite your child to knock it down, showing that you made it for that purpose, then it becomes collaborative play. As you probably know, learning to play WITH somebody else is something children learn little by little. Stacking bricks for your child to knock down can be a simple introduction to playing together: you build, they destroy, and at the very centre of this, you are building… your relationship, as partners in play.

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Evan Pokornowski remembers, “I think the first time Tim every threw a football was to me when we were 2 and 3 years old.”

For many athletes a team is a family, but for Evan and Tim Pokornowski the saying rings a little truer.

Tim Pokornowski says, “He used to be my center actually, in youth football and if something bad would happen, we’d just get mad at each other.”

Head Football Coach Thomas Lenarz says, “They’re a lot of fun. They’re great kids, they work as hard as anyone on the team.”

Evan now in his senior year and Tim a junior both have important roles to fill on the Lumberjack football team.

Evan explains “Middle linebacker I call the plays on the defense, as quarterback he calls the plays on the offense, it’s just kind of really sweet.”

Coach Lenarz adds, “Tough as nails, they both bring a toughness which we really appreciate.”

Stemming from a love of football they found a very long time ago.

Evan says “kind of more of my mom honestly. She’s the one who raised us to be who we are you know? She’s always been the one to push us harder in any sport we’ve ever played in so i give a lot of credit to her for where we are right now.”

Although they may be brothers Tim and Evan are far from identical.

Evan jokes, “He’s probably smarter than I am for one.”

Tim remembers, “He used to not be the most coordinated kid, we’d always be better than him. Really he’s gotten way better and he’s a really good player now.”

Evan continues, “He always like to wear long sleeve shirts even if it’s 80 degrees out. Almost everyday in practice he’s wearing long compression pants, it’s just how he is, he likes to look good I guess.”

What they do share is a passion for the game of football.

Coach Lenarz adds, “For them to be playing now on the same team I think is probably pretty special for them as well. They’re both tremendous athletes but obviously they’re different players.”

Evan says, “I’m proud of my brother, and myself honestly, it’s really great being able to play with him.”

A love found only between brothers.

Tim explains, “It means a lot, knowing he’ll move out soon, he’s always been my brother.”

Evan says, “Having Tim being on offense doing the same thing, just making the team great, that would be my wish graduating”

Tim adds, “To go to the state tournament would be really fun to go with him”

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