Things Stanley Hands Me

Stanley is now 1 and 1/2 years old, which means he likes to walk up to me and hand me things. I’m never sure what to do with them, so I decided to snap a photo of them and put them on a Tumblr.

Be sure to check it out so you can stay up to date on all the latest items.

2015-10-05T19:41:11+00:00 10.05.15|art, curious|5 Comments


  1. Linda Marceau October 6, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    His Earth is in your hand, in all our human’s hands.

  2. Sss January 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

    This is a deceptively simple project with a lot of depth.Yay for Stanley’s gifts! They tell us what a toddler sees. These photos also tell a story about you through your hands and feet: you inherited straight pinkies; have very unusual palm lines (has anyone read them?) – you sport a nice wedding ring; seem to be at a good slender weight with no systemic inflamnation; you live in or create a warm environment (in which to go barefoot); you tend toward an angled footstance (how are your knees, hips, lower back?) you may be ambidextrous (unless someone else snapped those right hand shots) – and you even have fun socks to go with your sense of humor! Thanks for all the stories.

  3. Christina Shelters March 13, 2016 at 7:05 am

    D’aw! You’re just a loving Dad bragging about your son. It gives me warm, mushy, oatmeal feelings and makes me remember how loved I am by my own Dad. It also makes me hurt because I didn’t have a Dad for many years of my beginning, and when I finally got one–it was really rough for the first decade. Good news is that it finally panned out. Whew! Thank you for the ride! From a dirt filled hand 🙂 ~Christina

  4. chris cubbin May 27, 2016 at 7:07 am

    Wish I had thought of doing this!

  5. Jeremy Oehlert August 7, 2016 at 10:12 am

    As a research psychologist, your story piqued my curiosity … why *do* toddlers hand us stuff all the time? Toddlers aren’t the best at sharing, so why do they initiate this activity (and even become upset if you try to give their ‘gift’ back or put it to the side)?

    Surprisingly, there’s not much more than conjecture on the subject. Responses are all over the place. All of them are probably true to some extent, but none feel quite right.

    Mimicry was suggested. So was operant conditioning (positive reinforcement encouraging the behavior through reward in the form of attention and interaction). Play is certainly a possibility (maybe we just haven’t identified this activity as a specific game). A reductionist said it made as much sense to ask why toddlers hand you things as it does to ask why people smile at you. However, millsky on Reddit had what I thought was the most fascinating answer.

    They suggested toddlers are practicing joint attention initiation.

    Up to that point, toddlers have learned to get your attention by being impossible to ignore (e.g., crying, tantrums, etc). By giving you something that interests him, your son is developing the basic foundation of several important social skills.

    1. He’s learning that he can get your attention in more subtle ways.
    2. He’s developing a sense of cooperative engagement (“Hey, Dad! This dirt is really neat! I want you to see how neat it is too!”).
    3. He’s engaging in a rudimentary situational control exercise, in that he’s learning more refined strategies for controlling his environment (“Here Dad, hold this).

    IMO, the joint attention angle brings it all together. Toddlers play the same sorts of games with inanimate objects. I tried to feed a dead mouse a piece of gum when I was two-years-old; I recall doing the same thing with a deer head when I was three (I had a good childhood, I promise). So although positive reinforcement and mimicry likely play an important role, I don’t think that’s the underlying driver of the behavior.

Comments are closed.