How Lego should be played with OR how to practice mindfulness…

We are a Lego house.  You will find those little plastic bricks in all sorts of nooks and crannies around my house.  When I vacuum I have to be careful not to suck one of those up for fear of destroying my vacuum cleaner.

Lego has evolved.  When I was little we use to get a bucket of Lego and build what ever we wanted using our imagination and creativity as our only blue prints.  In this day and age Lego buckets are rare.  Instead it comes in a box with preconceived ideas and instructions on building what is pictured on the box, to the last brick.

Well in my house we have both.  There are pieces lovingly constructed as per the instructions and then there is the big tub of Lego in the rumpus room.  This is the tub that my kids play with the most on a daily basis.  My youngest loves to build spaceships to enter into his intergalactic wars with his brother.  Every last Lego man is conscripted to fight. If they are lucky enough to survive the first battle they usually end up losing a hand (aka Luke Skywalker) or sometimes their pants in a last man standing style fight.

Tonight hubby and I were asked joined in the fun in a boat building competition.  We each had to build a boat from the Lego brick mound on the floor from scratch.  Before we knew it Master 6 had completed his and was off having an adventure with it.  Master 8 wanted his to be the biggest and the best so he took his time and finished last, whilst hubby and I went for smaller but highly powerful machines.  Before we knew it a whole hour had past and it was past bed time!  But you know what? In that hour we all had fun, laughing and helping each other with out boats, searching through the pile for just the perfect brick to fit into our constructions.  There was no stress, there were no thoughts of school, work or washing, there was just boat building.

The finished boats!

The finished boats!

In this day of electronics Lego stands out as one of a few sources for creative play where children can let their imagination run wild without any constraints.  In a world where mindfulness is an art form we all need to re-learn,  perhaps the key is to put down the iPads, get down on the floor and build some boats with the kids?

Whilst I was getting Master 8 ready for bed he asked me what my favourite part of the day was and although I had a great day I had to tell him that my favourite part was the Lego boat building competition we had just finished – and he agreed.  Yep – we love Lego!

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