As I child, I enjoyed Lego as much as the next little person. But back in those days curved edges and intricate detail were seldom possible – at least in my modest collection. However, I do recall attempting to complete a roof, although not how far I got.
Nowadays, the plastics extrusion engineers of our favourite Danish export have opened up the world to all enthusiasts of this form of model engineering. And since one of these appears to be my son, his 5th birthday was marked with several sets of Lego’s Chima range of “toy”.
Watching him take on the challenge has been rather eye-opening. Notwithstanding the motivation of the end product, the clarity of instruction and his interest in following them, the logic of the steps to take and the opportunity to express and develop very fine motor skills have combined to make an engaging and enjoyable experience.
Witnessing, at close quarters, what Lego can unlock goes far beyond the definition of “toy”. Problem solving, process-lead activity, sequencing, perseverance and ultimately imaginative play are all ingredients of “playing” with Lego. And begs the question is it worthwhile because children develop a style of learning from the activity, or are only certain learners successful because they’re predisposed to engagement with the Lego?
I’ll keep an eye on his progress. Unless of course I’ve built them for him while he’s not around!