So here is why I both love and hate Legos.
Right now, while I’m writing this blog, my two sons, ages 5 and 3, are sitting in the next room at their Lego table. This table is so awesome. It comes equipped with 12 different drawers, 6 shelves and a table-top that is brick on one side and a road for toy cars on the other. In the middle of the table is a square piece that comes off, revealing a bucket below. It also has two adorable little stools that look like Lego bricks. It’s pretty much an overly-organized, Type A mom’s dream come true as far as Lego tables are concerned.
I can hear my boys quietly clicking away in there, building tiny Batman cars, fire trucks, helicopters, and more. Sounds great, right? Here’s the catch. In about five seconds, I’m going to hear the frustrated grunts of my 5-year-old as he attempts to put together a piece that won’t fit. Or perhaps his younger brother will sneak away with a valuable piece to build his own crazy concoction (because who needs directions anyway? My 3-year-old laughs in the face of guidelines and order).
Eventually my older son will come storming in to me, red faced and flustered, demanding that I walk through every step of the directions with him until we find exactly what minuscule detail he must have missed. Why? Because his creation doesn’t look exactly like the one on the box. And while he’s lamenting to me about his woes, his little brother will probably sneak off with the whole thing and stow it away in the microwave of the toy kitchen. Because that’s exactly where Lego sets belong, obviously.
The marketing folks at Lego are also super sneaky and smart. Long before my boys even had a Lego set, they were into them. They’ve loved watching all the Lego short movies, especially the Star Wars and Super Heroes ones. My husband is now playing some of the Lego video games with our older son. And recently both my boys went screaming like teenage girls across the movie theater lobby when they saw a life-size Lego Batman display for the new movie coming out next month. Lego is everywhere.
I’ve loved watching my boys put their fine-motor skills to work building their little creations. And for any Lego noobs like I am, there are actually quite a few different skill-level sets. We started with Duplo, especially to help occupy our 3-year-old. He has fun picking out the specific bricks needed as we go through the steps, but he definitely hasn’t been able to stay focused enough to walk through the steps on his own. Once it’s built, he seems to have more fun taking the little figures off on some adventure around the house than sitting and playing with the set itself.
My 5-year old, on the other hand, can do most of the Juniors sets on his own, with occasional help from us. I’ve noticed he gets so excited, he’ll skip ahead in the steps or not notice a small detailed piece. I enjoy helping him put them together, but it can get tedious. Sometimes I fantasize about sneaking down in the middle of the night and putting them all together myself or at least organizing all the bricks by color and shape.
So I’m sure you can see my dilemma. These over-priced, foot-injury inducing toys can be both a blessing and a curse.
It’s times like right now though, when I’m trying to squeeze in a little work, that I love how they can use their imaginations and have great fun with Legos — until something breaks. Or someone takes the other one’s piece. Then it’s the end of the world, and Legos are the worst thing to ever be created. Well, at least until tomorrow.
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 5-year-old James and 3-year-old Luke.