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Do you think of Lego as creative or not?


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I know lots of kids love it. We've had a few sets. My dd had one set (the Creator house) - she set it up with her dad's help and then it sat there forever until we moved when it was taken apart.

 

I love the idea of cute lego sets (like the Harry Potter sets), but then I think about the fact that they're not really so creative - they're all about following the directions, and then when you're done, what do you do with them?

 

I'm asking in all seriousness because we've never been a big Lego family, so i'm wondering, What are we missing?

 

Thanks so much for cluing me in :)

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After the sets have been put together for a while, they get thrown into the big bucket. When I'm reading history or other things for school they will make robots, airplanes, or whatever they want on their own.

 

Now that my oldest is 8, he wants fewer things to be taken apart and put in the bucket, but I will find cheap parts to add at garage sales, so we do have quite the stash.

 

ETA: Yes, I think they are creative if you use them for free play.

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There is value in being able to follow directions. Not necessarily creative as much as a good skill unless the child adapts it and then they are thinking outside the box. Good stuff. Regular Lego sets are definitely creative. Your mind has to see the pieces and be able to form them into something that isn't necessarily a square. It takes creativity to take these pieces that are nothing apart and put them into a recognizable configuration.

 

I bought the game Creationary that's by Lego. You pick a card and try to build something that is pictured on that card so others can guess what it is. It definitely takes creativity to be able to see the limited pieces and put them together so other people are able to recognize it. Sometimes the best you can do is make a hint of it which really makes the brain work hard.

 

My kids were never huge fans of Legos but I think their value as a creative tool is immense.

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Legos are absolutely creative, as long as the builder is willing to take the original apart and reuse pieces in new creations. DS used to just build the set and try to play with it, but he realized quickly that it was more fun to build things his own way. I actually think Lego play increased his creativity as he sought ways to build what he envisioned with the pieces he had available. But if the child is unwilling to deconstruct the sets, Lego are really worse than useless, since the toys don't usually hold up to extended play. The key here at our house was a certain "tipping point" of pieces that allowed ds to begin building something of his own--often one set doesn't have enough pieces by itself to really allow creativity. IMHO of course.

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The responses so far are really helping me understand - thank you!

 

So then the question is - would a Harry Potter set (something my kids would love because they love the story itself) be good or bad? They might not want to take it apart after putting together because they love Harry Potter. They might focus on the Harry Potter aspect vs creating something unique of their own.

 

Any thoughts on that? My kids are 7.5 and 4.

 

ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

Edited by tammyw
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Directions? I don't think my kids have ever followed the directions :lol:. They try to put it together as best they can, the first time. Then they go into the big lego box. The legos get used daily around here.

 

They are very creative, in a rather engineer-sorta way.

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ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

 

Look for used bulk legos (ebay, etc.). My kids use the legos that my three brothers and I played with growing up over 30 yrs ago (I am 42).

 

e.g. http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=bulk+legos&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Edited by wapiti
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Absolutely creative. If you only buy sets, create them and don't do much, you can still play with them and have a great story going on about what's happening.

 

But my kids rarely ever leave them put together. They almost always mix-em up and come up with their own creations. It's only big special ones that are glued together to make them permanent.

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would a Harry Potter set (something my kids would love because they love the story itself) be good or bad? They might not want to take it apart after putting together because they love Harry Potter. They might focus on the Harry Potter aspect vs creating something unique of their own.

 

Any thoughts on that? My kids are 7.5 and 4.

 

ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

 

My boys play imaginative games with the figures. Harry has had some quite harrowing adventures with, for example, Darth Vader. Very creative. And the play sets linked to specific stories (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Batman) get taken apart to create new vehicles and creatures all the time.

 

In our house, the sets with pieces that have gotten used and re-used tend to be the vehicle and castle sets, sets with specialty pieces and/or creatures. The basic bricks are great for foundations, and the specialty pieces (think wheels, battlements, thestrals from HP, drills and creature parts from the underwater sets) often spur creation of something completely new.

 

My kids get Legos for every birthday and Christmas from relatives. We are drowning in Legos! They are absolutely one of the most creative toys we've got. :)

 

Cat

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My Ds loves Star Wars, and generally ends up building the set and then breaking them up to reuse the bricks. However the little Lego *people* allow him to play Star Wars with whatever he creates. I recommend buying mini-sets that have the Harry Potter figures/characters and maybe one mid-to- large sized set, then focusing on bulk Legos (we get ours on Ebay) If yours like Harry Potter they can use the figures to make whatever they do build into a Harry Potter story line, or attempt to create buildings and scenes from the book, even if Lego doesn't sell an "official set."

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We have thousands of Legos and my son plays with them every single day. YES!! I think they are creative! He likes the Star Wars sets, builds them one time and then spends months using the pieces to build bases, ships, and other things. He even asked me to buy him model paint so he could customize some of the uniforms the people wear. I have four boys and I think Legos are the most useful and creative toy I've every bought.

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i'll never forget the day that dd13 (4 years old at the time) came out of her room hiding something behind her back and said to her father "here daddy, i made you something that you'll really really like!" ....and hands him what we recognized immediately as a perfect replica of our large tv remote control, made out of tonne of little tiny lego pieces. :p

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I agree that there is tons of creative value in LEGO in the free-build stage, but I will say that even in following the directions helps develop and push creativity in new directions. All three of mine love LEGO (and I have to admit I do, too) and we usually build new sets together as a family (minus DH, he just doesn't get LEGO, poor man!). I am constantly amazed at the way the LEGO designers use different pieces in unusual ways and how they fit things together to create the intended look or funtion. DS often studies the techniques in the way a set is put together according to directions, then he will take the same concept and tweak it, expand it, and use it in his own creations later. This helps introduce him to the using pieces in ways he might not have thought of himself.

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i'll never forget the day that dd13 (4 years old at the time) came out of her room hiding something behind her back and said to her father "here daddy, i made you something that you'll really really like!" ....and hands him what we recognized immediately as a perfect replica of our large tv remote control, made out of tonne of little tiny lego pieces. :p

 

 

My dds made dad a Lego picture frame to keep on his desk at work. I love Legos.:tongue_smilie:

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Depends on what you do with them. When my friend saw my son (whom she thought too old for Duplos, the larger "Legos") playing with Duplos, she said "What can you do with Duplos besides build a wall?

 

Well my son can do amazing things with Duplos! He built the entire cast of the Magic School Bus including a bus that could change into a submarine, and airplane, a dinosaur, etc., and made up his on MSB stories. He made pet houses and mazes for (make believe) miniature pets to play in. He acted out all sorts of stories. It was very creative.

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ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

 

http://shop.lego.com/pab/?warning=false

 

Pick-A-Brick is one of my son's favorite site. It is very useful once you have identified the bricks that your child likes to use. For example, my son likes the architecture sets. In the booklet, each brick is identified by an "Element ID". We then use the IDs to order more of the same bricks.

 

Shipping takes a while, between 4-6 weeks.

 

My ds will only follow the instructions on how to build the set Once. He prefers to make his own towns and buildings.

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My kids follow the directions the first time. Then it is a free-for-all.

 

LOL. Creativity? Definitely. My kids have going right now in the living room a million sets of Legos (Star Wars, Aliens, Space Police, etc.) that are currently being used to reenact King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. They've just moved the setting to planets and space. It was hilarious listening to them today. Sir Gawain was helping the loathly alien instead of the loathly lady.

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I know lots of kids love it. We've had a few sets. My dd had one set (the Creator house) - she set it up with her dad's help and then it sat there forever until we moved when it was taken apart.

 

I love the idea of cute lego sets (like the Harry Potter sets), but then I think about the fact that they're not really so creative - they're all about following the directions, and then when you're done, what do you do with them?

 

I'm asking in all seriousness because we've never been a big Lego family, so i'm wondering, What are we missing?

 

Thanks so much for cluing me in :)

My ds has ...... well, I have no idea how many. Umm, they don't get put together and then left though. They get put together and then he starts do things by interchanging pieces that he has, sets that he has, he plays for hours building things from them. We gave him a BIG airplane once and the wing wouldn't stay on. I was very disappointed as had payed a lot of $$'s for it. It was not long until he had reconstructed his airplane, it held together(well, except when he crashed it) and he has rebuilt it many time in many ways.

Legos are a favorite at our house.

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The responses so far are really helping me understand - thank you!

 

So then the question is - would a Harry Potter set (something my kids would love because they love the story itself) be good or bad? They might not want to take it apart after putting together because they love Harry Potter. They might focus on the Harry Potter aspect vs creating something unique of their own.

 

Any thoughts on that? My kids are 7.5 and 4.

 

ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

 

There are generic "Block" sets at walmart to build up a lego stash.

 

Yes, my boys are very creative in building with thier legos. They have made everything from a Wall*e robot to a realistic cooked chicken with removable drumsticks. They build their sets the first time, play with it for a while, then take it apart and build other stuff from the pieces.

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Our sons love Lego and although they are very quick to build from directions and proud of their accomplishments, they more frequently build from imagination. Just last night they built the Tower of Pisa so that one of them could show it off at his CC presentation!

Lego has been a staple in our family and I am certain that the boys spatial skills, fine motor skills and math skills are where they are today because of Lego. Following the directions is a great discipline, but a small bucket with Lego can become so many different things.

Our boys 'trade' Lego and they and their friends have created a whole system of money made out of Lego.

We are also involved in First Lego League which is a great way to combine academics with fun - and fun they have as they meet weekly with other like minded youngster to solve a real world problem in a simulation environment using Lego....

As for getting more Lego, one box can really be the starting point - a good value buy is a simple bucket of mixed pieces that most larger stores sell. Garage sales are of course a great place to find them and if the Legos are dirty, just put them in mesh bags and run them through the washing machine.

 

This month Lego website has some great deals, and TRU usually have a buy 2 get one free each fall.

Good Luck

Christina

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My son will initially build the set as it was intended to be. Then, sometimes, he will take it apart and make it into something else. We have TONS of extra legos and he's always making his own creations. Also, the sets he doesn't take apart are usually castle pieces and he will spend hour playing with those and having wars with his friends.

 

Lisa

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:iagree: Lego can be fantastically creative and also educational. Buy 2nd hand, put the pieces in a pillow case with a clip to fasten & wash in the machine.

 

30 years of legoing on, and I've only just bought my best purchase - A pair of Lego separator tools! How I wish I'd had these when I was younger!

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I can't imagine "build then sit." My brother and I, then my kids, built the original plan but then those pieces were added to "the bucket" and could be used for whatever. Some creations lasted longer, but usually those were creations, not a set done by directions.

 

I think following the directions can be an AWESOME thing for children. I wish we would have gotten more directions (online, there are all sorts of options if you have enough legos and a wide enough variety). However, all the pyramids and castles and vehicles (lots of vehicles) and and and....plenty of creativity (and math too).

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Very Creative.:iagree: My dc build the original and then use the pieces to create on their own.

 

If your dc enjoy the HP books, then a HP lego set would encourage them to narrate scenes in the book in their play. All other things aside, this would make it worth it to me. They may not want to take it apart for a long while, and I think that's fine. It may take getting a few sets...maybe a big starter pack...before thinking of things they could build w/o directions.

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I agree others; there are two skills. One is in putting them together with the instructions, and the other is building from the big bin of mixed up Legos.

 

My dc (including the 14 and 12 yo) were all playing Legos yesterday, and they had built a medical building with a vet's office. :confused: That's the influence of girls; ds was making the cars in the parking lot and a plane for the animals. :D

 

We skip the themed sets, as those don't seem to get much play (we've had a few Star Wars ones,) but we do get the Lego City kits, and they fit in with the big set just fine.

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MY sons loved Legos when they were younger. They rarely built the same thing twice.

My last son got married several weeks ago. We put small bags of legos on each table at the reception and asked the guests to be "creative" and build something. We made sure there were fun pieces like horses, trees, something wheels, etc in each bag. I can't wait to see the photographers pictures of the creations! I heard the guests loved it.

We also had a word search for each guest.

Bride loves word searches, groom loves Legos.

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ETA: Are there better sets to "bulk up" our Lego stash? I understand sometimes you need MORE to be able to build something substantial. We're thinking about Christmas.

 

Try Craigslist--we got 15 lbs. for $65 one year, and they threw in a huge grey platform. I'm sure you could get a smaller amount if you want to, but compared to the cost of buying them new in sets, we definitely got a bargain. This is a good time to look, too--prices go up at Christmastime.

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MY sons loved Legos when they were younger. They rarely built the same thing twice.

My last son got married several weeks ago. We put small bags of legos on each table at the reception and asked the guests to be "creative" and build something. We made sure there were fun pieces like horses, trees, something wheels, etc in each bag. I can't wait to see the photographers pictures of the creations! I heard the guests loved it.

We also had a word search for each guest.

Bride loves word searches, groom loves Legos.

 

 

What a great idea! At this point, I can't see my son EVER parting with his Lego....even when he gets married :D.

 

I think Lego is one of the most creative toys out there. It's the only toy my son plays with and it is frequently played with by my daughter. We have random Lego bins, mostly made up of my husband's 30 year old collection. We also have tons of Star Wars sets. My son makes stop motion Star Wars movies on our computer with dialogue and Phillip Glass music :D. Now *that's* creative!

 

 

ETA: I forgot the educational creativity that can go into Lego. I was reading one of our Civil War read alouds this week and was surprised to see my son had captured the battle scene I had just read with his Lego. This is a kid that struggles with focus, so seeing him capture the scene with such detail just lifted my heart.

Edited by sparrow
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I haven't read the other responses, but wanted to pipe in and say that here at our house they are creative -- the instructions will be followed the first time, but after that, the kids will make whatever needs to be made depending on what they are playing. They will 'play Lego' as they put it for 4 or 5 hours straight if allowed.

 

We are preparing to put the finishing touches on their playroom (which is rather small but does have a good sized closet) - it is the Lego bricks that will be stored in the room (not in the closet), the mural on one of the walls will have something to do with Lego so that their table can be on that wall and it can lend itself to their play.

 

I will also say that it took ds until he was close to 9 yrs old to become fanatical about Lego -- up until then, he did not have the interest he does now -- same with the girls.

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I think I've met more than the average number of lego crazy kids. I teach lego robotics and I usually start the class by talking to the kids about how they like to play with legos. Most lego crazy kids that I have met do prefer to free build. That is, make their own creations out of their lego collections. Most of the kids I meet are into mechanical creations because that interest is what brought them to lego robotoics. This is a type of creativity but different from artistic creativity. You could use lego artistically too.

 

My oldest son is a model builder. He has built lego models since he was 4 and would do it for hours on end. He builds them perfectly per the directions. He then puts them on a shelf in his room. He has nevered played with his models and never takes them apart to build other things. I guess its a different mindset. He also likes other model building kits, replicas of different things. He likes to collect. This kid never was one to play with toys though. He plays imagination games with his friends but even as a small child he did not play with toys. In the couple of hundred kids I have talked to about lego building through my classes I have very rarely met another kid who uses legos this way. Most like to build and play.

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My kids (ds17 and dd10) only follow the directions once, when they first build. Otherwise, it's all about free-building here!

 

Here too. The sets for us are not the point. For at least seven years my children have built with LEGOS very creatively. My son is an engineering type of guy, so he is always building things that do stuff that he made up. And my daughter builds whole countries, names the people and pets, and creates stories based on what she builds.

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