When I was growing up, I hated LEGOs. Before you balk, let me give you some context. My younger brother and I are eight years apart. For a little while during my mid-teens, we shared a bedroom. Many was the Saturday morning when, hoping to sleep until 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m., I was instead awakened by the sound of a million LEGO bricks being dumped from their plastic container onto our bedroom floor, followed by my brother’s sifting through them to find just the pieces he needed for his creation. Between my beauty sleep being interrupted and stepping on them with my bare feet, you can see how I garnered a resentment for those colorful bricks.
Fast-forward a decade or so and I’ve got my own children. LEGOS are more popular than ever and the sizes, shapes and possibilities of what to build with them are endless. When I was a kid, LEGOs were “for boys.” Not so anymore, and I’m so glad. I’ve got two girls (one and four) and they both play with them (although baby’s sticking with DUPLOs for now). As they’ve slowly entered my consciousness again, I realize what a great toy they are. LEGOS are great for fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, design skills, color-theory, math…the list goes on.
This week I took my four-year-old to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester for the first time and we had a blast. My daughters loved all the interactive elements; “making” LEGO bricks, running through the Ninjago play structure, singing karaoke in the LEGO Friends area, and posing on a police motorcycle made from LEGOS. I marveled at the incredible replicas of One World Trade Center, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and The George Washington Bridge. There are also two rides and a movie that were included with our admission ticket. We spent hours going between the exhibits and took only the shortest break to have a snack at the café.
The best part is, LEGOS aren’t even just for kids anymore. I’ve got a girlfriend (over 40 and with a Phd!) who loves to build with the Creator sets, and they even have events at LEGOLAND just for adults, which sounds like a blast. I think my daughter and I might both have LEGOS on our birthday wish lists this year… I’ll bet my brother would be proud!