Thursday, June 19, 2008
Leggo My Lego
I am a believer. When contemplating opening our house to evil plastic in the name of "play", I was skeptical. I don't like plastic anything. I have avoided plastic as much as possible for many years and when it creeps into our lives, I try to rid us of this hideous stuff. I put my leftovers in glass containers, we drink out of glass or stainless steel containers, I got rid of our rice steamer a few years ago because of the plastic and make rice in the pressure cooker instead. I bought cool wooden toys for many years and life was good. Knowing that kids need to be able to create and build, I bought wooden blocks with velcro (very cool!) to hold off the Legos.Then the begging for Legos began and I started to rethink my stance. I remembered reading "Listening to Whales" by Alexandra Morton years ago and how her young son grew up on their small boat with only a box of Legos to pass the time while his parents studied whales. Then I talked to many, many grown men and found out that they all have very fond memories of building with Legos as a kid. It seemed like a universal (if you can call an American middle class upbringing universal) phenomenon. "Let the kids have some brightly colored little plastic pieces which are choking hazards for goodness sakes!" the world seemed to be shouting at me. "Okay", I responded, "But, what about the endless sets and the push for consumerism and the lack of free open ended play and..." Well, I have an eight year old who really likes to look at instructions and put things together. He loves it and is very good at it. He has already built several amazing things which I'm pretty sure would have taken me a week. He is telling me all sorts of things about balance and how to hook up motors (yes, this set has the added "bonus" of needing batteries just to show you how low I have stooped). Dema has no desire to follow any rules so he is happy to do free open ended play with his Legos. Here is his first truck, but since the picture he has added (local bloggers will like this) snakes to his truck. They are nice snakes and their both named "Reggie" (for you Indiana Jones fans). For the most part, this is a nice thing for the boys to do together and the only issue is keeping all the little pieces out of Josie's mouth and her "tornado baby" (as the boys have started calling her) hands from breaking everything apart. Dad, we need you to come over and help build a Lego table!