Building Minds, Imaginations, and Patience
As a youngster, I played with Barbies.
Legos were not part of my playing arsenal, so they never interested me until I became a mother. Watching my child get creative with Legos has inspired me to participate more in the building process.
However; that does not mean I want to sit there for a whole day building things. I love my kid’s creativity, but I also like my levelheadedness!
This is how I survive building a Lego set without hurting my kid’s feelings or ruining my day:
Start slow and simple.
It is not a race. You do not have to finish in one setting. (I remind my son AND myself this all the time!)
When someone buys a Lego kit, they tend to buy the one with the most pieces since it looks the most intricate and cool. I aim to limit my Lego building to an hour. That hour is all I can manage with my five-year-old, but I do increase it for my ten years old niece if needed. Picking a piece count and time limit appropriate to the age of the child is key!
I also try to use it as a reward. For example, my five year old, Oaklee, can only build after does his chores for the day, or finishes his online kindergarten readiness program for the day.
Rewards are a parents secret weapon, have no shame in that! Lego time is a huge reward for my little guy.
Keep things organized (as much as possible…)
When you first rip open a box of Legos, it becomes a mess really quickly. So that is why I try to work on one stage at a time by working with one pack at a time from the box.
I grab a storage bag and a sharpie for storage.
I label the Ziploc bag with the proper stage and try to keep all the extra pieces plus instruction books inside its assigned Ziploc.
When the project is complete, my son will play with the built set for a few days. After a few days, he forgets about the set, and it always happens, I will break the set down and place them in their zip lock bags for future use.
When you’re more left-brained that right, you tend to lose sight of the primary goal of building Lego sets together – it’s about an experience with your child, not necessarily about getting all the bricks in the exact right places.
Once they’ve “completed” the project to their satisfaction, they start imagining and telling stories around their set, you can see how excited they are. They become directors with their collection so why not encourage it and get your imagination involved?
I am not saying you have to sit there and plan out a whole Cowboy and Indian scene. Make it simple; add your own experiences to it.
Anything goes when your imagination runs wild; you will never be too grown to join your kids in the daydreaming!
Have fun with it and be that mom or dad kids brag about!