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Uncle Goose Sign Language Blocks

Using Blocks To Explore Different Points of View

Have you ever heard of the Inverted Jenny? It’s a 24 cent United States postage stamp that’s famous for being printed upside-down.

The Inverted Jenny stamp was the result of a printing error. The stamps are rare. This makes them valuable in the stamp collecting community.

So imagine our surprise when a customer wrote to us. He was excited because he believed what he had were “Inverted Jenny Uncle Goose Blocks.”

Two of the blocks in his set were printed upside-down, he said. We assured him this was impossible.

But he insisted he had a collector’s item on his hands! So he sent us a photo.
We looked at the photo and told him to turn the blocks around the other way.

Presto! The blocks were right-side up.

Now, you might think this was a one-off. Or that we’re making this up. Or that the man was messing with us.

But no.

We get the “hey, a few of my blocks are printed upside down!” email or phone call at least three or four times a year. So if you think you have some kind of rare block that’s been printed upside-down or backwards: uh, no. You don’t.

One of the joys of blocks is that you can move and manipulate each one as an individual. That means if you turn a block upside down, the letter that’s printed on it will appear upside-down, too!

But the plates we use to print and emboss the blocks? It's flat set of images. It’s physically impossible for two individual images on a flat plate to suddenly and inexplicably change direction.

So if you think you have a block that’s printed upside down, try turning it the other way. It will appear right-side up.

Further, if you look at your blocks in a mirror, the mirror image of the block will appear to be backwards. But if you don’t look at the block in the mirror, guess what? It won’t look backwards anymore!

Try using your blocks to explore these different points of view with children. Turn it into a game.

Try looking at your blocks upside down or in a mirror. Can you tell what letter a block is when you look at it upside down? Why might it be harder to read letters when you see them in a mirror? How fast can you name an upside-down letter?

After all, we live in a topsy-turvy world! Make sure to have fun with understanding different points of view and perspectives.