I spent three hours or so this afternoon playing Lego Star Wars with Younger Nephew. It's pretty neat to observe the difference between the first time we gamed together, back in November or so: his hand-eye coordination is better, his problem solving skills are better (he not only solved some of the puzzles himself, but was much quicker to grasp what I was getting at when I suggested a solution to a puzzle), and his attention span was much longer. He's even more fun to play with than he was before.
He's also really into Star Wars.
I also got an interesting demonstration of the development of the capacity for delayed gratification: when his dad came to pick him up and we had finished playing, Younger Nephew wandered into the kitchen. I asked him if he was hungry or thirsty, and he asked if he could look in the fridge. I told him he could, and he opened the fridge, spotted a Cherry Coke Zero, and asked if he could have it. I said, "Yes, if your dad says it's okay."
His dad said, "Well, you can have the Cherry Coke now, or we can go get ice cream and you can have ice cream."
Younger Nephew looked very thoughtfully at the Cherry Coke for about 30 seconds.
"You get to pick," I said. "But I think I would go for the ice cream."
He looked thoughtfully at the Coke a bit longer, sighed, and said, "I think you are right." And put the Coke back in the fridge.
That was such a hard decision for the little guy.