My own emotional attachment to Lego is getting a little bit out of hand. I spent a ridiculously long time working out how to create a custom designed Lego table and get endless pleasure out of sorting all the little pieces into their appropriate sections.
Of course, I can’t actually build the stuff now that Jonah has progressed to the serious box sets but I’ve loved watching his complete and utter commitment to those little blocks.
Lego is the first thing that comes out in the morning and the last thing at night. He brings it into the bath before we read some sort of Lego related bedtime book and he’s even got his own blog, Legocation.
Maybe because in this crazy world, Lego is the one constant for Jonah. No matter where he is or what situation he is in, he can count on Lego to be the same and I guess there’s a huge amount of satisfaction when completing a box.
It’s funny because I’ve spoken to a few mums of little boys who say that in school their boys can’t sit still or focus but will literally spend hours pouring over the instructions to create some fabulous Lego set. What is it about Lego that can hold their focus for so long and how do we harness that?
I mean if any of you have actually looked in a typical Lego instruction leaflet, you will see that it requires a huge amount of concentration, certainly beyond the limits that I have. But Jonah has very little problems finding the correct pieces and fitting it all together. Sometimes he asks me for help and I offer a piece that I think will work only to have him look at me with pure horror when it’s a slightly different colour or has an extra bit sticking out.
And it’s not just through the building of it, Lego is the start of so many imaginative roleplaying games that they can do alone or with friends. It’s a chance for them to express themselves and their emotions because if you actually listen to their dialogue, it is often full of experiences that they may have had themselves that day.
Jonah and I used to play a game called Star of the Day, based on the real Star of the Day at school. We would come up with a reason why each Lego figure wasn’t the Star before knocking them flying and then give a huge whoop for the one who was. Rather than drilling him in appropriate behaviour at school, this was a fun way of him hearing the same message without feeling like he was just being talked at.
Jonah also loves to draw Lego. For many boys, picking up a pen and paper comes slightly later so anything that encourages them to do this has got to be a good thing.
But really what I love about Lego is how much Jonah loves it. From the original Duplo Lego through to Lego City, Ninjago, Chima, Star Wars and now the ultimate, Lego Minecraft, Lego talks to him like no other toy can. If Jonah can just maintain this passion and commitment and apply it to other areas of his life, then he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do.
I on the other hand will probably spend the next 20 years finding the stuff in places throughout my house, furniture and clothes and often stuffed in the ends of my shoes.