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The Joy of LEGO: Why It’s More Than Just Building Blocks

Did you know that there are over 400 billion Lego blocks around the world today? But to my family, it’s more than just a number. It’s countless memories, challenges, and growth.

As a father of two incredibly energetic LEGO enthusiasts, aged 5 and 8 as of this writing, I want to share my journey of introducing my children to the magical world of LEGO and the countless benefits it brought into our lives.

The Early Days: When and Why We Started

When I was a kid, the allure of LEGO was undeniable. It was also a distant dream for me. But, life has a funny way of circling back. Our journey began when my 2-year-old son received some Mega Bloks for his birthday from his grandparents. Little did we know, this gift would ignite a passion for building in him. These colorful, oversized blocks were the ideal gateway. Watching him build “bases” for his toys, resembling scenes from his favorite shows and places we have visited, was both nostalgic and endearing.

By age 5, with his newfound love for Nintendo’s Super Mario, we ventured into the realm of LEGO sets. The partnership between LEGO and Nintendo was a game-changer, and the LEGO Super Mario theme became an instant hit in our home.

My daughter’s introduction came with Mega Bloks, but her first transition into LEGO was through the vibrant sets of the LEGO Trolls World tour, Poppy’s Pad to be exact. This was one of her favorite movies at the time, so the she dove right in.

Today, my children have their favorite themes, from LEGO Super Mario and LEGO Jurassic World to LEGO Disney Princesses and LEGO Minecraft. But for us, the beauty lies in their progression and the evolution of their building skills, and the reflection of their unique personalities and interests.

My son recreated Disney’s’ All Star Movies Resort with Mega Bloks and his Toy Story toys <3

More Than Just Play

But why LEGO? Beyond the sheer fun, I’ve observed several developmental benefits:

  1. Boosted Creativity: My daughter’s minifigures lead intricate lives, engaging in dialogues and adventures, while my son crafts Mario levels that would make any game designer proud. Both examples are testament to their blossoming creativity.  
  2. Enhanced Concentration: Despite my son’s occasional concentration lapses,  LEGO draws him into prolonged periods of attentive play. LEGO is a therapeutic escape for him, helping him focus and relax.
  3. Improved Dexterity: The very act of connecting LEGO pieces has refined both children’s motor skills.
  4. Challenge-Oriented Mindset: LEGO has given my children a challenge-oriented mindset. They believe that if they can imagine it, they can build it. Their unique LEGO creations are a window into their evolving personalities, perspectives, and imagination.

Starting your own LEGO Journey

For the toddlers, Mattel’s Mega Bloks are the perfect introduction. These blocks are so fun and versatile, and they never go out of style. My kids still play with them as of this writing. As your child grows, transitioning to LEGO’s Duplo series offers a broader range of options, such as their Town Bus Ride set. The magic truly begins when you align your child’s interests with LEGO themes as they become ready to transition to the next level. From Super Mario to Disney, there’s a world awaiting their imagination.

Overcoming Challenges

While LEGO boasts numerous benefits, it’s not devoid of challenges. Early on, my children struggled with the mechanics of LEGO, like getting pieces to snap correctly. However, with patience, demonstration, and some quality bonding time, they soon mastered the craft.  

While the allure of freestyle builds is undeniable, LEGO sets come with structured manuals that improve comprehension and attention to detail. Regular supervision and instruction comprehension, like understanding the manuals, are vital. The LEGO Life mobile app is an excellent tool in this regard, making the building experience immersive and interactive.

Our LEGO journey also taught us the importance of efficient storage and organization. One important thing to note is that things will be very messy at first. If you can, allocate an area to become your Lego play area and be ready for it to be crazy for a while.

We have an IKEA table dedicated to LEGO play, and the kids are allowed to put whatever project they want on it. Next to it, we setup an IKEA file cabinet where the kids can store their Minifigures, spare blocks, sets in progress, etc.  Sometimes we let them play at the dining table, but trust me, if you want to be able to move things quickly without destroying what your kids are working on, building plates are a lifesaver!

Looking forward to Challenges and Quality time

LEGO offers more than just building skills. The challenges posed by intricate sets instill a spirit of perseverance.

But one thing I love most about playing LEGO with my children is getting a glimpse into their imaginative world, rich in stories and personal touches. Their evolving personalities, perspectives, and imaginations are infectious, pushing me to be more creative. Whether it is building a ceiling-high tower with Mega Bloks or chuckling at a humorously customized minifigure, these are memories we cherish.

12 feet Mega Blok tower we built a while back.

For the Skeptical Parents

If you’re hesitant about LEGO due to age concerns, remember there are age-appropriate building sets for every stage. Starting small and observing how your child interacts is key. Sharing experiences with fellow parents and maybe even organizing a building blocks-themed play date can also provide insights. Most importantly, embrace the fun and cherish these shared moments.

In a world increasingly dominated by screens, LEGO remains a testament to the joys of tactile play, creativity, and imagination. For my family, it’s a bond, a learning tool, and a world of endless possibilities rolled into one. So, if you’re on the fence about introducing your child to the world of LEGO, I say: Dive right in, and let the adventures begin!

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