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!


Leeanthro said...

That ferris wheel is pretty impressive.

I followed everyone's advice and bought Legos for my nephew last week.

I was just frozen at Target looking at all the crap. So the Legos were a good suggestion.

My 3yo daughter has the larger (non-choking hazard) Megablocks and she loves building tall towers. I think it's actually great in fine motor skill development and spatial reasoning. She can grab all different sizes and piece them together to make a sleek high rise.

Do they make any Lego-type toys from recycled yogurt containers? :)

Cravin' Veggies said...

Wow!! Great Ferris wheel!!

I like the idea of yogurt container blocks... You might be on to something there!

I wonder if any of the plastic in Legos is recycled...?

Cynthia said...

Leo and Owen are MOST impressed with Parker's glad we could corrupt them for you....

As you know I consider myself a Lego enabler and have bought them far too much but I love watching them play and play and PLAY with their Lego. They have elaborate scenarios and build fantastic creations....

VeganLinda said...

Leeanthro and CV,

Check out my next post and think about signing the petition...don't know if it will do any good, but it can't hurt.

Cynthia, I can tell the Legos are going to provide many, many hours of fun and creativity. Parker said the other day "Who invinted Legos, Mom?" I didn't know so he decided "I think it was someone who knows that kids really love to build things, but most of the time they aren't allowed to use adult tools because they might get hurt. They made Legos so kids could build and still be safe."

Misc said...

You should not come over to my house - it is a veritable pantheon of plastic (hubby is a toy collector as well as comic books) and we have a metric ton of Lego (both Evan's and my husband's old sets from when he was a kid).

Both of my kids adore Lego. I believe the sets are open ended and allow for a lot of creativity. My son does build the set according to the directions - he loves it. He plays with it as is for a while, then that set gets cannibalized and turned into something else entirely. This drives my husband nuts (all his sets were built, then maintained for 30 years, until Evan got a hold of them, that is).

The Ferris wheel is impressive.

The Fearless Freak said...

You should get a play pen, not for Josie but for the boy's creations :)

We have the mega blocks from when The Boy was little and we just never upgraded, although he did find a big set that my brother had when he was a kid that he enjoys.

I was going to sign him up for Lego Space Camp at the Savoy REc but he said that he didn't know anyone and didn't want to go. He has since met some boys that are going thinks that he might like to do an additional session. Parker might enjoy something like that since there wouldn't be any tornado babies tearing anything up :)

VeganLinda said...

Misc, I don't mind other people's plastic toys...just am not a fan of them at my house. I do have to say Legos are amazing. I bet my eight year old would love to keep some put together for 30 years, but his younger sibs have different ideas.

Freak, The playpen idea is not bad. :-) I will check out the Lego Camp at Savoy Rec!