Here are some of the things Lego has taught me that are worth remembering. Lego is still my favourite toy and the world I created while playing it has evolved to the one in the novel I should be writing instead of this. Just trying to use the blog to create a daily routine.
For some reason my parents didn’t buy multiple copies of every set. Yet they gave me siblings, who were far less willing to be part of my creations. All things are finite, the Lego pieces you need are classic examples of this. If you want multiple Lego spaceships they each must be smaller to fit the available supply of pieces. Adding the computer pieces to the castle frees space Lego up for more ships and there will still be a command base. The castle turrets can have laser cannons added for defence while the city airport can base the ships between missions.
This lesson is normally imposed by adults not buying enough for everyone. Actually this lesson applies to most toys or half the last cookie. I’d rather share the cookie but have shared Lego with siblings, friends, cousins etc. I am sharing some of my secrets in this blog so that counts. Lego is better when seeing other creations and borrowing new ideas.
If you can’t find a Lego piece stop looking for it and look for the next three. Someone reminded me of this the other night. Be thorough and systematic in searching using smaller piles of similar pieces to make searching easier. If the piece is still not found; check the shag carpeting, under furniture, vacuum bag, brother’s Lego stash or the thing built last week and ignored since. If none of that works substitution and redesign work.
Most things follow the laws of physics and Lego is no exception. Trial and error is the best way to figure out what works and what doesn’t in building. This is better done with Lego than real bridges, buildings, abstract art or whatever. I still can’t understand the science and engineering but I have developed the intuition to understand the higher the pyramid the broader the base.
Creativity and Innovation:
As mentioned above the world I created with Lego is still with me. Lego also helps with creative solutions for problems. Not enough Lego knights to storm the castle? Simple, levies of astronauts and city folk can be used. Lose their normal helmets or hats, give them a little space radar dish as a hat and give them a spare spear or axe. Alternately using knights as ground control staff frees astronauts up for space work. Finding new ways to put pieces together or filling the missing bits with imagination allows for greater enjoyment. Lego can substitute almost any other toy with a little imagination.
Patience and Loss:
Those creations don’t instantly finish themselves and require patience. Patience is also required while waiting to play with Lego and for the new sets asked for. Christmas and birthdays mean waiting a long time for a new set. Patience is required for less Lego proficient people to finish their creation to play with. Lego pieces can be small but in my experience the bigger ones go missing first. Then comes that dreadful day when people say you are to ‘old’ to play with Lego and it gets put away for eventual grandkids.
Play is Learning:
People of all ages learn best through playing. There is a Marshall McLuhan quote about education and entertainment being the same thing (post in comments if you find it, please). Other lessons of Legoland I may have missed will have to be for another time. I can’t stay and play as I have a meeting to prep for. It also is a stress relief for young and old.
If you never played with Lego as a kid my condolences. Go get some and have fun! If you need cover say it is for a child you are related too, neighbour kid or ‘research’.