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Portals and Lego

I used to always use Lego as a metaphor for the bits and pieces we construct portals from. That, amazingly, seems to be a generational thing.
I was just in a big toy store and there wasn’t a plain and simple Lego set there. Everything had to be built to spec – like a space ship or pirate boat. Where’s the simplicity? Where’s the creativity? A kit with only one solution isn’t as much fun!
I recall Lego came in big sets that you could use your imagination with. I know this trend towards model oriented Lego started years ago sice we bought them for Zac and he’s 24 now. Stephanie just took a lot of old Lego to school for her grade 4 boys to use during rain days at recess.
Anyway, what metaphor can I use that is simple and uses only your imagination for your portal and not a set of rules and instructions?
Here are some Lego factoids from Gizmodo:
500x_lego-factoids.jpg

If you’re pining for toys oriented towards imagination this season, check out this article:
‘”Forget Zhu Zhu Hamsters, Classic Toys Have Power”: The Power of Play Doh’ (a great piece in Time on the developmental impact of toys with the interesting observation that the worst toys , “overdesigned, overengineered, the product of so much imagination on the part of the toymaker that they require none from the child.)
Feelin Grinchy…
Stephen

Posted on: December 17, 2009, 6:00 am Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I think that the current lego sets may have a tendency to cause non-creativity since they are sold as a set to bulid a specific thing. However, all 3 of my kids (now teenagers or young adults) started first w/Duplos (remember those??), who were and still are to some extent big Lego fans usually ended up making a million different things after the novelty of making the pre-set lego item wore off. Creativity at work here! Now the bazillion pieces of legos are all mixed up in a large storage box that they sometimes still get into and create things anew!

  2. I couldn’t agree more about the complicated sets of Lego becoming 3D puzzles rather than creative free construction.
    We arrived at our first Lego Christmas this year and my 4.5 year old son was blissfully inundated with a variety of Lego sets, including three different sets of just blocks, no special instructions. Yay! And I was so proud of him when he decided to just dump all the 300+ pieces from the very delicate Lego Bulldozer, that wouldn’t stay together short of using glue, in to the great big box of mixed pieces.
    He also told his grandmother that the vehicle she built was great, “but could we build something from our own imagination now?” My heart burst with joy hearing this!