New Lego stay-at-home dad and working mom figurines | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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New Lego stay-at-home dad and working mom figurines

Uploaded: Feb 29, 2016
A few months ago, while visiting my parents, our son had a great time playing with my brother's old Legos. While I'm sure most, if not all, of the pieces came from some sort of set, my parents had all of them stored in two bins. Our son had lots of fun dumping and sorting through all the random pieces to build all kinds of creative vehicles.

When I recently saw that Lego launched a new set with a stay-at-home dad and a working mom, I was intrigued. I think the causally dressed dad pushing a stroller and work-attired mom could help kids be more creative in their play. Whether they choose to pretend the dad is a stay-at-home dad, a retired dad, a dad taking the day off of work, a dad spending time with family on the weekend, or anything else that they can imagine. It's always exciting when kids are given extra tools to be more creative in their play.

I'm also guessing most kids will, at some point, end up dumping these two figurines in with all the rest of their Legos. And most likely, these parents would both also become race car drivers, astronauts, zoo keepers, explorers, aliens, super heroes and anything else that comes to the child's mind, regardless of the figurines' clothes and hairstyles. Because that is also what makes Lego so great.
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Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 5:59 pm

We love lego in our house, but I don't think we have bought sets, although some have appeared as gifts. Most of our lego have come from bulk generic buckets. As far as I am concerned, so many toys are becoming too specific and not enough tools for imaginative play.

My kids build with lego blocks, but they also make and improvise with household items. Empty boxes become all sorts of toys, tupperwares, washed prepared food containers, wooden kitchen utensils, etc. etc. are amongst my kids favorite toys. A large cardboard box can be a family project to become a play stove, and egg boxes and similar empty containers are used to make play food. Toilet rolls centers, paper toll centers and giftwrap centers are all treasured as musical instruments and other things.

The thing about so many expensive toys is that they are played with for such a relative short amount of time and in a couple of years' time are just ready to be passed on which can cause even more problems. A well played with set of cardboard and home made toys can just be put into the recycling!

To sum up, I question the need for lots of expensive toys. Let the kids use their imagination. Help them make something fun to play with. Let them use the things they find in the house as toys. It is nothing to do with the fact that we can or can't afford to buy toys. Sometimes it is just more fun to improvise.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Feb 29, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4- Thanks for commenting. Your ideas reminded me of an article I saw a few months ago.

Posted by palo alto parent, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 1, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Cheryl - when my kids were little, one of their very favorite toy was a set of life-size cardboard bricks. Cardboard boxes were up there too! My daugher also loved her playmobil people and came up with countless stories based on them. Simple toys, including sticks and mud, are wonderful!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Palo Alto parent - Thanks for commenting. Yes, it's quite fun to see what kids can do with an empty box.

Posted by Lego lover, a resident of Community Center,
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:43 am

Mother of 4 - I initially had the same perspective about Lego sets and the lack of creativity, but then watching my son I realized that the process of following directions step-by-step to build something has also helped him learn and practice some very important skills - planning, precision, focus and simply the mechanics of following a diagram. (One day he may need those diagram skills to assemble an Ikea bookcase for his college dorm room!) After he finishes building a set, he also experiences a sense of real accomplishment and pride. The item eventually comes apart into a large bin of legos that have been used for years and years of creative free building and free play, but the sets themselves have also been a valuable part of my son's development. And while expensive, the kits often gave me time to help my older kids with homework while he was quietly independently engaged next to them on his task of studying and building a lego kit, something that as a 4-year-old he didn't do a lot otherwise!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 2, 2016 at 3:31 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Lego lover - Great points! What a great way to keep a four year old occupied while you are assisting older siblings.

Posted by Mother of 4 , a resident of Palo Verde School,
on Mar 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

Lego lover, I take your point.

I think if a child really wanted a kit then they would be given that as a gift. I do agree that following instructions is a great learning activity.

We have bought Ikea self assembly furniture and turned that into a family activity. Great way of learning about tools too! The child really feels good about getting into a bed he has helped build!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Mar 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Mother of 4- Our son helped put together a bookcase for his sister's room. I agree, it was a fun project to work on together.

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