Wednesday, February 6, 2008
A Perfect Toy
One of my favorite bloggers, Casdok, at the Mother of Shrek blog, has a really fun post today about Legos. My Ashley loves Legos - always has - from the time I brought her home at age 2 and even now at 12 years old. She doesn't build the kits that Lego sells, but rather creates her own masterpieces. At times, she has even surprised me with some particular piece of knowledge I didn't realize she had - all by building with Legos.
For example, a few weeks before Christmas several years ago, while the rest of the family was setting up the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations, Ashley decided she wanted to play with her Legos. So, she went into the family room and started building (stairs are one of her favorite things to build). A little while later, when I went to check on her, I found that she had only been building with her red and green Legos. She had separated those two colors out of the large basket of blocks, and in her own little way, was making Christmas decorations for the family!
Even before that, when she was very little, she loved to stick her Legos into the holes on the baby gate that I had positioned at the door leading outside from the family room. She made beautiful patterns in the honeycomb holes. Until that time, I had no idea that she could even see well enough to make patterns, or even understood the concept of patterns.
She has spent many years exploring how to play with Legos, and she has found that building structures with them is not the only fun. She has worked on many concepts related to childhood development by pushing the blocks through the windows on her dollhouse and then opening the little door to find them again; by lining them up sometimes in color order, sometimes in size order; by trying to fit little ones onto big ones and by trying to connect them in ways they were not intended to be connected. She loves to build structures that have 'windows' in them through which she can stick her fingers and wiggle them. And, she has discovered that Mommy makes a funny sound when she thows a whole pile of them up and over her head.
I personally think they are the perfect toy. But, they have also been adapted to be an educational tool. Tack-tiles were created by a father whose son needed to learn Braille. The son loved Legos and with just a little modification, the father created a Braille learning system that combined his son's favorite toy with a concrete method of teaching an abstract concept.
We keep a large basket of all different size Legos out in the family room all the time. You just never know when an urge to create something will hit!