Our very first brush with Lego occurred when Fran was a baby; the Primo Lego (now i think an ex-Lego range) made its way into the house and stayed a while, largely ignored except to be scattered everywhere, by my “I-don’t-play-I-make-mess” first daughter. I think it was me that developed the obsession and I vividly (blush) remember shrieking when single block disappeared. Yes, in those days I had time to know exactly how many blocks of Lego we had 🙄 In fact, I have an exact recollection of leaving our first house in a temper on the day we moved out, because we never did find the ladybird cylinder block. Thank god I had more children and got over myself, is all I can say.
Then we got Duplo, after a Speech Therapy session where Fran completely bought into the house set they had and Maddy uttered her first words about the cute modular house, naturally in front of the Speech Therapist I had been expressing concerns to. (No wonder people thought I was mad to be worried about her!) I bought the house, like the malleable young mum I was who thought she would find the perfect toy – and they hardly ever looked at it. It currently lives with my god daughter 🙂
Real Lego, the sort I had, has been around the house over the years and we’ve had various goes at it. it never quite seemed to grab them though. I don’t know why; I’ve heard you are either a PlayMobil household or a Lego one – we seemed to be PlayMobil. Perhaps Max and I wanted the to ‘play properly’ with it, or it went away again too quickly, leaving not enough time to really work at playing with it.
Then Father Christmas brought some beautiful sets this year, notably the Bakery and Toy Shop and we had a lovely time constructing it together. As a random aside, I got the rest out from the garage, put it down to one side and left it to see what would happen.
Max and I have been genuinely stunned by how it has taken hold of the younger three. From Boxing Day onwards, we have hardly see them at all at any time they’ve been free to play.
and that moved on quite quickly to more complicated things from their own heads.
This was Josie’s – she actually designed it using their design program and then built it. Once she started, she realised her design was quite small and modified it, learning to do the roof along the way.
Josie used her Xmas money to buy a and did most of it herself. She’s had 2 or 3 of their tiny £8 ish kits and mostly been able to make them without help.
I treated Amelie to the Log Cabin
and she adores it. It stretched her but she loved making it and really came on as she did.
Fran spent Xmas money on Apple Tree House
The most amazing thing has been the huge imaginative game that the younger three have constructed. They have literally played for a month and as they’ve gone along, their inventions and buildings have got more complicated. Maddy builds working models, Josie builds farms and schools and home and masses of intricate pieces. Maddy likes, already, to build things in Lego to show us what she means and they should be as exact as possible. Josie has learned to adapt and substitute even though she isn’t keen on it and there has been so much discussion and collaboration. Amelie leads and manipulates the games and likes to build things that change the game, cars and disaster and places to go. She and Josie get Maddy to help but they have lots of ideas; it has been interesting seeing them work as a group and play to their strengths. Fran likes to build but she has outgrown the playing.
I think the younger three have possibly just had the happiest month of their life. They’ve learned loads, they’ve not needed us and we’ve been watching in awe. I can see the effect of the skills they have learned (most noticeably in them calmly erecting a flat pack today) and I love the joy it has given them. Right now, I’d happily provide enough floor space and Lego for it to last all year. I’m not sure quite what did it; maybe it was that we were happy to be part of it but didn’t interfere; maybe that they knew we ‘approved’ and felt comfortable playing ceaselessly and maybe becasue they had a room to themselves and we didn’t make them tidy up.
Or perhaps it is just because Lego is brilliant.