I thought my kids had outgrown LEGOs. I was wrong.

Once upon a time, my two sons– like most children their ages– were truly LEGO-obsessed. Once upon a time, their Christmas lists were all LEGO. Their birthday parties were LEGO-themed. I, who am no baker, even made a LEGO cake.

lego cake

I probably didn’t need to point out the “not a baker” part, based on the photo.

But now that my boys are 10 and 12, the LEGO play seemed sadly in our past. The LEGOs are still in their bedrooms and our playroom, in their gaily colored bins, but they’d been collecting dust lately. Certainly my 12-year-old was too big for them; he’s now far more interested in ESPN and Instagram. And since the 10-year-old looks to his elder for all his behavioral cues, he wasn’t bothering with them either.

At the Mom 2.0 conference, I collected all kinds of take-home goodies for the kids, from selfie sticks to singing toothbrushes. But when I got home, guess what got the most oohs and aahs as I removed it from my wheelie suitcase?

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The LEGO Classic set. 221 pieces to make anything you want. The set came with “ideas,” but no one needed them.

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They just sat right down and started creating. My 7 and 10-year-olds, that is. Surely their tweenaged brother wouldn’t join them…

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or would he?

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An hour later– an hour of blissful shared play without a single raised voice, without one disagreement requiring my desperate intervention– their works were completed.

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“I’m still not really done,” my sixth-grader said. “I’ll come back and do more later.”

I thought my kids were done with LEGOs. But all I had to do was put the box on the table. Just leave them there for my kids to discover, like their kindergarten teachers used to do with the toys they’d put out on the little tables before opening the classroom doors in the morning. And my kids’ re-lit imaginations did the rest.

Here’s my younger two proudly showing off their LEGO creations.

“It’s a portal,” indeed. My kids got to go back to a land we’d almost forgotten– a land of creative play without screens, without likes or tags, without competition. Look how much we’d been missing.

I received the LEGOs in this post as an attendee at the Mom 2.0 conference. I blogged about them because I wanted to. All opinions expressed are my own. 

My hyperlinks don’t seem to be working, so if you’re interested in my “how to throw a kick-ass LEGO birthday party” post of yore, it’s here: http://www.whendidigetlikethis.com/2010/12/how-to-throw-kick-ass-lego-birthday.html

 

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