Lego - the gateway to a child's imagination
When I was young I had a lot of different toys. I had action figures that I enjoyed playing with and being a typical boy I had my fair share of toy cars, but the one thing, or many things, that was a cut about the rest was my Lego blocks. I could spend whole weekends building and rebuilding Lego castles or a whole lego city. I would stage battle scenes with precise military strategic prowess. I would build makeshift Transformers that could change from truck to spaceships in a flash. You name it and I probably made it.
Now that I'm all grown up, well allegedly, I watch my children play with their Playstations and X Box's. I'll call them down for dinner and it will probably take me until my third attempt before they actually tune out of the 3 headed space alien attacking them to notice the one headed parent impatiently calling them downstairs for dinner. Now, I'm not having a go at games consoles, not by a long shot, but I do think that there is something to be said for toys that fuel a child's imagination.
This is where, in my opinion, Lego has the upper hand. Picture the scene – it's Christmas morning. Your children wake you up at the small hours to ask if it's okay to go downstairs and see what Santa has brought them. You wake up all bleary eyed and make your best effort to look awake. Then you watch as our gem of a child opens up their Christmas presents from Santa Claus, disregard it after only minutes of playing with it and then move on to play around with the large cardboard box it came packaged in. I think we can all relate.
I think the reason this happens is that the box inadvertently gets the attention of the imagination centre of our children's brain. The toy that came in the box was colourful, made lots of noises and didn't leave much to the imagination as to what it did or what was left to discover about it. The plain cardboard box on the other hand has the child thinking that it could be a mini house, or with just a few modifications, a pretend t.v. An even greater way for a child to exercise their self expression is Lego as a child can build just about anything that he or she can imagine. It has almost infinite possibilities. Lego has always been around, but it has taken a bit of a back seat in the last decade due to the ever increasing popularity of games consoles and laptops, but as parents we are really missing out on an opportunity here to give our child the freedom to create, have fun and create some more for hours on end without getting bored.
Lego has shown that it can stand the test of time and, as long as our children have fertile imaginations let's hope that there will always be a place for Lego in their toy box.