It was bound to happen. How could it not? My husband loves the stuff, so it makes sense that he would want to expose our children to one if his favourite past times from his childhood and see if our children were at all interested in it. Well, as it turns out, it appears as though we do have children that enjoy playing with the same thing that their dad did when he was a boy. What is this toy that I speak of? It is good ole Lego.
Lego is one of those toys that I could go on and on about, proclaiming the benefits of it. It has stood the test of time, now that’s saying something because Lego is competing with toys and games which feature some of the latest technology, such as sensors to respond to touch. The fact that Lego is an open ended toy, that is only limited by your imagination, makes it an excellent toy for children to create with for hours and hours.
A familiar scene in our home (how’s that for strengthening visual discrimination skills and sorting through pieces trying to find one that will work with your creation):
Our system for Lego goes something like this: we have a big tub of pieces that gets tipped out onto a large sheet (easier to put away when it is mostly contained on the sheet). We have another tub where we keep our Lego works in progress.
At the moment we have a lot of cooperative Lego building going on with Master Five and my husband. Master Five likes to Google images of cars and boats and then work out how to re-create them with Lego. Master Five will carefully observe the pictures we print off (it really is amazing how much time he spends studying the details, drawing the images and noticing things I otherwise would have never seen). This in itself is a skill that I am keen to nurture in my children. Then there is the notion of having a vision and turning that into a reality which involves overcoming obstacles and changing the plan along the way. This is where problem solving and looking for alternative solutions comes into play. I really like the fact that Lego teaches children that trial and error is necessary and through this lessons are learnt.
The latest Lego creation that Master Five and my hubby have been creating is a fishing boat and car to tow the boat. Lots of discussions were had about this creation and a whole lot of problem solving skills had to be employed. The building process did not go to plan and problems had to be solved. The greatest lesson was that creative thinking can and does solve problems – it is a matter of looking at an obstacle in a different light and trying different options.
So many creative design elements were included in this boat.
This boat inspired Master Five to set a Lego challenge for our family to make a Lego Island.
We each got busy creating pieces for the island.
Miss Seven wanted to make a set of units for the island and found some inspiration by Googling different ideas. We came across Lego Friends: Lovely Hotel (which inspired the design for the front of the units she created.) With some help Miss Seven created a hotel with a “double slide” as she calls it (two slides joined together) and a pool for the guests. There was lots of brainstorming coming up with ways to attach the slide and then create access for it.
The front of the units:
Master Five wanted to create a tyre shop for the island. With help from Daddy, together they set about turning Blake’s vision for this into a Lego creation.
Miss Seven (with some help) created the tree house
The fishing boat was also included (and slightly modified).
Once we had some finished pieces we set about creating and playing with Lego Island.
Can you see Miss Three on the floor on the left hand side in the photo below? Miss three was not all all impressed that we used fabric to create the water. She was not having a bar of “pretend water”. She was protesting for the real deal.
Using the tow hook to pull the car onto the tray.
Miss Three decided to join us and was coming up with all sorts of sound effects for the cars and bikes.