Last week was just one of those weeks where I felt like there was no way I could win. Work was intense, I was planning and executing a 70th birthday party for my MIL and practically put on temporary bed rest. Which would be enough for one person. But then I was also preparing for two weeks of back to back cross country trips and finalizing a presentation to speak at a conference. I felt like a really bad juggling act and an even worse mother with threadbare patience. I think we’ve all been there.
After allowing myself an eight minute shower’s worth of self pity and guilt I came to the realization that this wasn’t going to get much better for the next week or so and I had no control over that. No control. Ugh. Like death to a Type A person. But I did realize I could at least try to find some time, even if it meant scraping together a few minutes to have some quality alone time with Kayla. If it meant someone wouldn’t get an answer as quickly as possible or I would sleep less then so be it.
So when a box of LEGO® Friends showed up at my door in the midst of mom guilt and exhaustion, there could have been no better gift for both of us. If you read this site regularly then you know that LEGOs have made their way into my heart for a number of reasons. Creativity, portability, and most important of all to me as a parent – they are a fabulous tool for raising a future engineer or “professional tinkerer” like myself. My child is very girly and her favorite colors are “aqua and magenta” as of last week, but she also has this innate desire to build things and problem solve, which I love.
One more thing that makes LEGO® a great play option for us is that they’re perfect for fiercely independent learners! The detailed instructions guide kids step by step through the process of creating the item they are working on. Kayla likes to have me by her side while she builds, but she’s a BIG kid now and doesn’t really want my help. These guide books give her the visual guidance she needs to do it all by herself (with a few exceptions) and feel the sense of pride knowing that it was her and not her mom who really put everything together.
There are lessons in patterns, logic and the discipline of having to follow instructions that come with this experience under the guise of fun. Which is precisely why LEGO® Friends are a toy that I really don’t mind spending money on.
And maybe the fun yet educational factor isn’t as far over Kayla’s head as I thought. Because we talk about how eating vegetables and reading books “make your brain grow.” You can imagine that I got a good laugh when she declared that LEGOs make your brain grow. Well…they kind of do. Look at those wheels turning! Certainly compared to most toys on the market these days I’d agree with that statement.
By the time I had a chance to reflect on that, Kayla had gotten to work with her next creation. One that there wasn’t instructions for and she worked the kinks out of building on her own. In case you can’t tell, it’s a LEGO airplane. One that’s taking her mommy to Tennessee and then Arkansas and then back to San Diego with a treat for her good behavior while mommy was gone. She’s always got an agenda, that child of mine! And while I write this from 30,000 feet in the air on the way to Memphis I’m reminded I’d better find something cute in the airport…
While I’m gone, I’ll leave you with this fun idea. Of course playing with LEGO® Friends did not just get Kayla’s brain in gear, it got me thinking too. So I made you a cool party favor if a LEGO birthday party is on your horizon. Check out my LEGOS In A Jar Party Favor and see how easy it is to make your own!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.