Saturday, May 12, 2012

I wish we'd had Legos when I was growing up!

Augie earned his new Lego fire chief's car this week, by completing more columns of shapes. He never loses his enthusiasm for adding new vehicles to the fire-fight. 

Imaginative fire-fighting units respond to the alarm!
He is now better equipped than many small cities:
* a fire station with two garages and a tower (with tiny sleeping quarters, a lounge, and a command center)
* a ladder unit and a rescue vehicle that came with the fire station
* four specialized vehicles including an off-road one especially for forest fires
* 7 tiny firefighters, each equipped with a different combination of facial features and equipment
* great hopes for a helicopter, airplane, and gigantic fire-fighting boat

Ready to don their helmets
Augie has named each of his firefighters and assigned them roles based on their equipment. The first were Joey, Freddy, and Toby. Then came Extinguicell, Transessor, Transeco, Distinguicell, Transolo, and Chief Seressor.

Say what? The first time he said "Extinguicell," I thought, "He's looking at the guy's fire extinguisher, but in five minutes he won't remember the name he made up." I should know better. Augie doesn't forget. What's more, he treats all the names exactly the same. I like that. It makes me believe that when he meets kids named Abdi and Pang and Anousone he'll take their names in stride. (Actually, he and Vi already have classmates with what we used to consider unusual names, and they do take them in stride.)

In the command center
I've learned some things about Legos. If you like assembling things, you love them because they're so precise. But the play value doesn't end there. You can change them around, borrow from this piece and add to that one. You can supplement your "grownup" small-size Legos with the bigger Duplos you've been playing with since you were two. You can take apart your enormous Duplo zoo, perhaps leaving behind all the animals but reusing the building blocks and little people.

Best of all, you can create endless stories with everything you create. Theoretically, boys don't do this as much as girls do. But Augie spends hours setting up and narrating fire scenarios, directing the firefighters (and the occasional grandma) to this floor of the hotel to lead out all the cooks or another floor to lead out the guests ("And tell them not to spend time looking for pets or purses or stuff!"). We usher imaginary fire victims onto waiting buses and drive them to the hospital or a shelter. Augie likes to take the ones who are okay directly to the fire station so they can begin training to be firefighters.

Equipped and ready to roll
Legos can also help you learn negotiating skills, campaigning with your grandparents for fire-related sets, with your parents for Star Wars, and with whomever will listen for Alien Invaders. And you can learn life skills. Augie scans the package inserts to see what other sets are available. We've talked about how retailers promote toys and sometimes make them look better than they really are, and how we need to be aware of that.

One recent day, Peter remarked, "You sure do like Legos. But how come you keep wanting more?"

Replied Augie, "They advertised me up."

That may be, but we're the ones who keep buying. Not just because Augie asks, but because they are so amazingly fun for both him and us. Seriously. I have my eye on a ginormous R2-D2 that comes out this week. They didn't even have to advertise me up; I saw it on a friend's Facebook page.

(ViMae's experiences with Legos, including the new "Friends" series for girls, will get a separate post.)


stephen Hayes said...

They advertised me up? Augie cracks me up.

California Girl said...

That is so funny. LEGOS are addicting. I'm covinced of that. Our younger son couldn't get enough of them. We still find bits & pieces of them in drawers, upholstery etc. He's 23 now so it's been a while. Happy Mother's. Day'

TxFarmhouse said...

You're right..Legos at least offer a lot of imagination and creativity, unlike the video games. I remember a pile of mud and rocks entertaining me for hours. This Nana and Pawpaw have a huge pile of dirt hauled in for our grandkids and they rush out to it and spend hours out there with diggin' spoons.
Happy Mother's Day

DJan said...

You are so fortunate to have such an original grandson in Augie! He's adorable, and coming up with new words and phrases, it must add so much to your own enjoyment of life. Happy Mother's Day to you and all the other mothers in the world! :-)

Grandmother Mary said...

Legos! My grandson's rule is to build it once according to directions and then add it to the big plastic tub to be re-used and re-purposed ad galorum! He too weaves tales to accompany. it's so fun! Has Augie visited a fire station? My Dad was a Boston firefighter for 35 years and loved showing neigborhood kids around the station.

Sharla Greenway said...

I was so lucky to have Lego as a child. It kept me and my brother quiet for hours especially on Saturday mornings! Mind you by the photos it looks like there is a lot more choice nowadays! Must see if my parents still have it in their attic.

Ms Sparrow said...

What an imaginative little guy! I love that he takes the survivors of fires to the station to train as fire fighters.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Mother's Day! My son in law has a Lego license plate! He and the boys are really into Legos and the boys save up for the sets they want..they go to The Mall of America and a Lego store there! I saw that friends series..perfect for least the color. What great imaginative play for kids!:)

Allyson said...

I've been advertised up for SO much in my life.

I don't remember playing with Legos as a kid as much as I did Lincoln logs. But it was pretty much the same thing. Lots of building and destroying and associated stories. This post did just give me a very nice glimpse into my future, so thanks for that!

Chantel said...

We love legos here--the land-o-boys! (my sons are 11, 12 & 13) I even received a "#1 Mom" lego sign yesterday! lol

Huge reccomendation, we got the boys a book called "The Lego Ideas Book" which has tons of NEW things for them to build, combining the sets they already have! (sometimes they get stuck, you know?) This helps them bust out of the directions and start inter-building. :)

NCmountainwoman said...

What a perceptive little guy.

Sally Wessely said...

My grandson Atticus is the same way. He knows the catalog by heart I think. He has quite a collection of his own. I think Legos are great for young children. I wish we would have had them when we were growing up also.

Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs said...

Ha! Love the "advertised me up." I'll surely be repeating that one...with a smile.

I had no idea there were firefighter Legos. My oldest grandson's birthday is coming up. He just might get a starter pack!

Marie Loerzel said...

Love leggos, my kids got more into playmobile though. I find most families are either/or because of course they're both pretty expensive. There is a fascinating documentary on legos we downloaded recently. Of course I totally forgot the title...

Sharon Longworth said...

Lego is magical - plastic bricks of wonder.

Jeanie said...

Oh, I wish we had them too! Such fun!

And you can never have too many Augie stories!

Carol Lee said...

I used to think that Lego's are just for smart kids and mom did not bother to buy one. Now that i am a mom, i am planning to buy for my daughter i guess 3 is an appropriate age for playing Lego. Hope that my wealth management vibe is still right on track because i found this toy a bit expensive.


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