At four years old, our son loves dinosaurs, Paw Patrol, and building things. For a long time, he used Duplo blocks to build garages, towers, dinosaurs, and robots. Then a couple of months ago, we discovered the show Lego Masters on Hulu. He was mesmerized and couldn’t stop talking about Legos. He used my phone to browse the different build kits available on Target and Amazon’s websites and kept asking when he could get one.
At first, I kept thinking of all the negatives that come with Lego sets – the small pieces, the pain associated with stepping on one in the middle of the night, the time and concentration it takes to build even the easy pieces. He continued to ask for a kit and I kept putting it off, using COVID -19 and not being able to go into a store with him as an excuse for why we couldn’t get Legos. Of course, we ended up striking a deal. If he could meet a milestone we had been working on for the last year within a certain timeline and stay consistent with it, he could get a Lego set. Well – he did. And he got his Lego set (via Target Drive Up).
We started out with a build kit for Iron Man (his favorite Avenger) and I realized quickly that we were going to need more Legos. Within one week, I ordered a small classic set, and a week after he received that one I ordered a bigger set that would allow him to build A LOT. Still, I know we are newbies at this and I hope his love of creating and building sticks with him.
Confession: I play with his Legos too.
Building small pieces alone helps to calm me down when I am feeling anxious. He comes home every afternoon from daycare excited to build something new. And while he needed my help at first, he’s learning to use the instructions on the Lego app and in the booklets that come with the sets and building using his imagination and gut instinct. It’s boosting his confidence to hear the feedback and praise we give him on his pieces, it’s helping to bolster hand/eye coordination and following step-by-step instructions.
At night, after his baby sister goes to bed, we sit in his room and build together. He loves the time he gets to spend, just the two of us, doing something he loves. He tells me I’m a good Lego teacher and I tell him he is a good Lego builder. I tell him it’s good to have a fun hobby and not to get frustrated because it’s something fun for us to do, not perfect.
As for stepping on pieces…well he did. Now he picks up his Legos and stores them in the containers I purchased – sorted by color. He doesn’t leave them out because 1) he doesn’t want his sister to get ahold of them and 2) he said it did NOT feel good to step on one and he doesn’t want anyone else to feel that. ????