Nostalgia of childhood toys lingers in the back of my brain. Sometimes I will smell something musty and sweet that reminds me of that little doll I had as a kid. Or see a shade of yellow like an ordinarily magical dress I loved as a girl. If I take a second to think about it, I can always recall the feeling of a bin of LEGOs.
Plunging my hand into the box to sweep piles up one side and back to the other. Wiping along the surface to push a layer off. Searching for the piece I needed. The way the exact dimensions and edges felt on my fingertips. The exact weight of each piece in my hands. I can’t forget it.
We had bins of my Conor’s LEGOs in the basement. I had them hidden so I wouldn’t have toddlers wanting to play with them. I thought he was too young for them.
Then a friend gave Levi a box of little LEGO sets for his fourth birthday. A few days later I woke up to him and Conor sitting at the table putting different sets together. I joked that now we’d be stuck putting them together for him and picking them up off the floor to keep them away from Dawson. But there’s truth in jokes. It was a little bit more of the reason I didn’t bring the LEGOs out before
I really thought LEGOs weren’t the best toy for smaller kids. I thought they were simply about building (*ahem*, getting your parents to do it for you), deconstructing (tears mandatory), rebuilding (again, the parents job).
I was very wrong.
I’ve been fascinated to watch how they use them. Sure, we help put together some sets. Maybe Conor even gets as serious and devoted as the kids.
But Levi only needs our help once or twice and then he’s reading instructions. Building, disassembling and rebuilding, all on his own! It makes me so proud of him, even more so that he is proud of himself and asks me to ‘take a picture to send to Dad’.
Together (read: I’m making dinner without hangry toddlers zinging through the kitchen!) they are up imaginary worlds. They go back and forth from playing together, playing alone, and back again.
Sometimes (soooooometimes) he even makes some special sets just for her. Don’t worry, I make sure to Instagram it because, hashtag-‘that two minute window in the day when they were BFFs’.
I laugh at myself now for always having so many rules on things. But, it’s LEGO after all. I mean, even adults sit and play them when they are out, of course they would be the perfect toy for my kids.
I never thought I would be the mom who had half a dining table devoted to my children’s imaginary LEGO world, I can’t help but love it. They sit for hours (for hours!) at the table. Totally going overboard in their imaginary stories and characters and scenes. Maybe I’m also silently proud that these little toddler brains are full of weird and totally unrealistic things. Being a weirdo dreamer is kinda how we do life in this family.
Bringing in more toys to our home is a big deal since started purging many of our toys. But this a toy for any age, any stage. As I watch three kids at three different development stages I see the value of a toy like this. Little fingers can grasp and build and copy the movements of siblings who are acting out an imaginary scene.
It’s official, we are a LEGO family.
So if you want to come over to our house for some waffles, they are served with a side of LEGO city – like literally – and a whole lot of dishes in the sink. But there’s waffles.
This post has been brought to you in thanks to the generosity of JimJam Communications. Which I’m totally stoked about because I only want to share things I love with my readers and we (like really really) love LEGO.
6 thoughts on “I Was Wrong About LEGOs”
I used to think the same thing about Legos. They are built by parents and then cleaned by parents, but I found I just need to get the age appropriate sets and they could build them themselves. I also like them loose with no instructions so they can just build whatever they imagine.
I agree! They are so open-ended, the other day they took them all ‘swimming’ in the kitchen sink and played for almost an hour there.
With LEGO I have been able to teach my son that you can create something, and even if it gets smashed (by a little brother for example) you can rebuild it into something better. Lessons like that are hard to come by with other toys.
That is such a good point. Sometimes a lego creation gets dropped here and Levi just jumps to the floor and puts it back together.