I have this love/hate relationship with legos and duplos. I’ll admit that there are days when I’m tempted to pack up each and every tiny little sliver of a piece and send them off to Goodwill in the blink of an eye. But then I sit to ponder. Would I really do that? Ha. Probably not. Would I really want to? At this point, I start to analyze (it’s the scientist in me, I guess). And my analysis goes something like this…
Why I HATE Legos/Duplos:
* The mess, the clutter. When my kids are playing with them, they take over the room and sometimes the house. We try to relegate them to one room in the house, but I have to be ever vigilant.
* The danger that comes with the mess. Yes, that stray lego impaled in the bottom of your foot in the middle of the night…
Why I LOVE Legos/Duplos:
* The creativity it inspires. You know, when they create a solar system out of duplos or furiously worked to create a skeletal model to share at co-op, or the day he recreated the Boston Tea Party.
* Teaches my boys how to read directions – Sort of an important skill for my future men. 😉
* Promotes “thinking outside of the box” – I love watching my boys then ditch the original way something was designed to be put together and make up their own versions while mixing and matching between different sets they own.
* Promotes fine-motor skills. A fun, no-fuss way to build fine-motor skills!
* Promotes imaginative play. I love watching them design make-believe worlds and then get lost inside of them for hours on end.
* And finally, it’s forced me to be more intentional in training my boys to tidy up their creative messes.
I have to think about this every once in a while so I’m reminded why we do in fact love them and agree to bring them into our home!
Do you have a love/hate relationship with legos too? What would be on your list?
And because this is installment #15 in my 31 day series on gifts that inspire learning, I have to share…
My Favorite Accessory – Reversible LEGO/DUPLO Mats
One of my favorite finds that has made our lego/duplo play so much more enjoyable has been these 2 sided block mats. They aren’t LEGO brand, but they work beautifully with both legos and duplos. I also love that they are sized to fit perfectly into our train table. Sometimes both mats are being used for lego creations and other times one child will be playing with legos while the other plays with duplos. Any of you who have priced out extra mats knows how expensive they. They now come in green, gray, and pink!
As for general lego recommendations. I love having a starter set or two of general blocks. I wanted to promote creativity and open-ended play instead of just going with a fixed, one-dimensional set. I’ve found our two general lego block buckets plus the themed sets they’ve received over the years have all worked together beautifully.
Bottom line on picking out sets? Go with your child’s interest coupled with your values. (You are the parent and yes, you can do that!) What kind of lego’s do your kids enjoy most? I have one who loves the City themed ones. He’s the son who wants to build houses when he grows up. The other two loved anything medieval until we finally let the boys watch the original Star Wars movies last year. Now everything is Star Wars…
If you are looking for more inspiration along the building/engineering side, we’ve been thrilled with the Lego Crazy Action Contraption set. My budding engineer loved putting these together and my two imaginative play focused boys enjoyed the finished results.
Well now that these thoughts are out of my mind and onto virtual paper, I’m feeling better about the whole lego thing… Which is perfect, because I’m sure I’ll get to teach another “how to clean up your legos” lesson tomorrow. With the fresh reminder of the good, I’m resolved to keep up the training aspects…