Thursday, February 20, 2014

When Are Kids Considered Too Old for Legos?

Disclaimer:  This is NOT a review!! I am not being compensated to say anything about the movie. We are just Lego fans and this post is a result of a conversation that took place after seeing The Lego Movie. Everyone cool?  FTC, I'm talkin' to you. We good? OK. 

I took The Boys to see The Lego Movie on Monday. I was surprised and happy that the movie was actually funny and enjoyable for adults (Batman provides some great comic relief).   The only reason I went is because both of my boys have loved Legos since forever and I am not ready for them to sit in a theater by themselves. So I went when I would have rather seen a good chick flick.  But I'm glad I went.  I had such a great day with my kids! 

Later that afternoon when I mentioned to an acquaintance that we had been to see the movie, she asked me if I thought they were too old for Legos since they are both becoming teens.  I could tell she was surprised by my response. Which was that I don't think my kids are too old for Legos.  Because I believe that anything that inspires a kid (or an adult) to use their creative minds in positive ways is a good thing, no matter how old a person is!  And in this age of video games and electronic devices, if I can get my boys to take a few hours a week to sit down with a bucket of Legos and make something unique (and sometimes pretty damn amazing!) out of a bunch of plastic bricks?  That's a win in my book! Why would I take that away from them or tell them they are too old to play with them?

How do I know that one of my kids won't become an architect or a city planner because his love of building was spawned from those few hours of meticulously piecing bricks together to make a house or a town? My youngest actually made a Lego candy dispenser the other day!  Hello, Future Engineer!  And the fine motor skills that my oldest still struggles with as a teen?  Legos are great for that! The intricate and detailed military vehicles he creates with those struggling fingers give him a great sense of accomplishment and he has no idea that the activity in which he engages is helping map his brain and exercise the muscles in his hands. He just knows that he made a kick-butt Sherman tank.  So I don't care if he is a teen who plays with Legos.  I only care that the time he spends using those Legos is helping him creatively and physically to become a better, more dexterous and confident person. 

And honestly?  As pissed off as I get when I step on one of those little b...ricks, I myself have found them to be a very calming diversion when I am beyond stressed and looking for a way to defrag and think. There's a quiet fascination that takes place in my mind as each brick I choose clicks snugly into place with the next.  As I silently ponder what creations will emerge with the addition of every Lego, my jaws unclench and my shoulders relax and my mind begins to be open. Sometimes nothing grand takes shape and I just end up with a giant column of multi-colored plastic.  Other times I end up with a house or a lame looking animal.  But here's the thing: regardless of what I build, I always feel better when I'm done.  Because I gave my brain something to focus on other than my issues and problems.  I don't always find solutions to my problems in those moments, but that's okay.  Because if being creative for just a few moments helps me relax enough to really think when I am done "playing?" I am in a better place mentally and emotionally and the answers start to flow. 

I could go on, but I won't.  You get the point.   We all have our outlets.  Some people run, some people write, some people create, some people play.  Right now, my boys do all of those things. Sometimes while using Legos


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