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The name “LEGO” is actually derived from an abbreviation of two Danish words “leg” and “godt” which translated into English simply means “play well”.
Role of LEGO in child’s development
LEGO is one such toy that encourages independent play and allows the child to be as creative and imaginative as humanly possible with no limitations.
Oh and not to forget, you indeed require to be focused and have a lot of patience to build something that you have just imagined in your head. Practically taking something out of your mind and giving it a form, is no joke or a small task.
Ask me, I have very little patience. I probably should have played with LEGO when I was a child.
Well as far as my daughter goes, I for one am not complaining. I am very happy to see that she has picked up these traits from her father.
I love to watch her build LEGO kits, or just build something out of her imagination, she can do it for hours on end.
Once she completes building something, we have to display it for a few days as she keeps going back to it and admires her creation. Plus we get a constant barrage of “see what I did, look I used this part to make something totally awesome” which in itself is a proud feeling as a parent.
Benefits of playing with LEGO
Playing with LEGO does have a lot of benefits besides just keeping your child occupied for a while. It helps in encouraging independent play, refine their motor skills, improves their hand-eye coordination and also allows the child to explore their creativity.
In my experience, It also serves as a learning tool on how to overcome a sticky situation for example: placing a wrong piece in an area, getting stuck on how to properly follow the build guide or just undoing your mistake by separating the jammed pieces that weren’t meant to be together. It helps them in their problem solving abilities as well.
Even my husband till this very day still loves to build LEGO by putting these small pieces together to create a bigger version of what’s on the box art. Usually when my daughter gets these toys, it turns into a father-daughter act where they sit together and constructs it from start to finish in one sitting.
It’s like having two kids at the table instead on one, both playfully fighting and arguing where the pieces go.
LEGO Creator Series
Honestly there needs to be another age group in my opinion (Big Man Child) 30+ Dads who want to be kids all over again, I am sure my husband would be the Mayor of this group. Occasionally, I will catch him looking at LEGO sets on Amazon and on the official website that are classified under their “Creator” series and Oh Boy! Let me tell you, these sets are PRICEY. Some of them can easily run into the hundreds of $ like 599.99/- and more. GASP!! Lucky for him, he hasn’t pulled any such stunt off and thankfully my daughter hasn’t reached there yet. Example of such a kit.
Having the privilege of giving a child to play with a bunch of building blocks and watching the little wheels turn in their head is a very gratifying feeling. Almost like a scientist watching his experiment and noting the results.
But in all seriousness though just watching the look on their face going from excitement “Oh! so what do you do?” to “Ah! so you click into one another” and the sense of accomplishment of building something by yourself is quite frankly priceless.
LEGO as per age groups
LEGO’s have easily divided their sets by different age groups:
- 1.5+ yrs
- 4+ yrs
- 6+ yrs
- 9+ yrs
- 13+ yrs
- 18+ yrs
LEGO Duplo Series
Our daughter has been playing with LEGO blocks ever since she was a toddler, especially when kids are that young LEGO makes a set where in the blocks are quiet big in size, so that it becomes impossible for a child to swallow it. They are called the LEGO Duplo series and are a good starting point if you plan to introduce your kids to them at an early stage. They have nice big blocks, bright colored pieces but a parent’s supervision is a must, always. Example of such a kit:
We allowed her to stack and play with these blocks under one of our supervision as we have always been very cautious till this day just to make sure she doesn’t put things in her mouth to try to pull one piece out or accidentally chew on them.
LEGO Classic sets
Once your child is above 4 another good set to introduce them to is the LEGO Classic sets, they a have a bunch of basic and bright colored LEGO bricks in different sizes, shapes plus with wheels and eyes to really let their imagination run wild. They do come with instructions to build some figures but the idea of the kit to let your child’s imagination take flight. Once again parents supervision is also recommend for this kit as it does contain small pieces which could be of a choking hazard if you are not careful. Example of such a kit.
LEGO Friends series
Our daughter has since graduated herself to the 7+ building kits and she has taken a real liking to the LEGO Friends series. Example of such a kit.
Since she is almost 7 now she really likes these tiny LEGO Friends figures and play sets even more. She has now reached the point where she doesn’t need my husband’s assistance in building the sets, she can easily understand their instructions and she has become quite fast in finishing them too. But It’s a joy to see how she breaks into her sets that she has collected over the years and builds something completely out of her imagination.
We are treated too something new whenever she sits down with her sets, one day it is play-house, the other it’s a kitchen, then café, studio apartment, open kitchen layout so on and so forth. She comes proudly and says, “see I used this block for this and I used that for a mattress or this one for a carpet.”
So, to create this blog post I was taking her inputs and she was educating me on the main characters of LEGO Friends and which one she has and which one she doesn’t. More like a subtle hint on what she wants to buy next. You see we parents know everything (Winks).
Our daughter’s LEGO creation
I have asked her to create her masterpiece for this post and she has been at it for 2 days now, asking me to wait as she still wants to add more things to it.
As you can see the work speaks for itself and I know as I am writing this part, I can’t help but wonder if you are picturing us as some snooty tooty parents who’s child has just been accepted into the Royal College of Art because of her creativity and design all the while holding their crystal drink glasses. Sorry, sometimes my imagination gets the better of me.
Anyways back to our regularly scheduled LEGO making program.
While working on her LEGO project you could see the influences around her shaping her design what I mean is that of late my husband has been watching a lot of property renovation shows on T.V and my daughter also watches them with him and comments on whether she likes the finished outcome or the colours that they went with.
Even as we were doing the initial check-in on her build, my husband would ask her, What’s that?, she would answer, that’s the kitchen island counter or that’s the fire place, see that’s the upstairs loft and this ladder could be used to get upstairs.
Going back to the scientist metaphor that I had said earlier on, it really comes into perspective as you just watch your child dive head first into building something and you just can’t help and wonder what they must thinking and how it must be all forming in their little minds.
The immense satisfaction of getting the bricks to click into place and happiness on their faces when they have finished and the bewilderment of mine as to trying to understand what she made and how much fun and joy she gets out of sitting for hours on end to make a house or a campsite, playground out of those little bricks.
Oh!, also if you are wondering if LEGO is a curse i.e. destroying parents under soles. Then my husband can definitely vouch for that, as he has had the pleasure, I mean “discomfort” on stepping on those suckers couple of times and then screaming in pain.
So parents, if you have carpets and your kid was playing with LEGO before then, chances are there might be some nasty surprises if the cleanup wasn’t thorough.
Tips straight out of personal experinces
- Place a light colored blanket or play mat on the carpet or on the ground where your kids intend to play with the these blocks so that when it’s time for cleanup any possible stragglers can be spotted easily. And even after being so precautious your husband still manages to step on a piece then he is truly cursed and nothing can be done.
- Another helpful tip would be to pick up the LEGO brick remover tool.
Sadly, it doesn’t come included in every play sets, some have it some don’t, so it would be good to check the box of the play set before you pick one up separately. They are relatively inexpensive but they really should pack this into every play set in my opinion.
In the end I would just like to say that playing with LEGO bricks certainly helps in bring out my daughter’s creativeness, made her a more patient and I would also like to believe that it made her more expressive as well. Here’s her final creation for this post.
If you have the opportunity, I would definitely recommend getting a play set for your child or may be even considering it as a gift for someone else’s child and I hope they have a great time building & playing with it.
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