kids

I spent an hour playing LEGO CITY with my two boys. This is what I learnt about them.

LEGO® CITY
Thanks to our brand partner, LEGO® CITY

These holidays, we were extremely fortunate to be able to road test the brand new LEGO® CITY range. It felt like Christmas morning 2.0, and when it arrived, my boys - five and eight - looked about as excited as I do when my online shopping arrives. 

Two very, VERY happy boys. Image: Supplied. 

For context, the LEGO® CITY range allows kids to build their very own world by connecting up all the different parts of the city - from the Skate Park to the Town Centre to the Family House - using Road Plates. The road plates have traffic lights, road signs, speed bumps, trees, and more, and connect to other road plates to expand the city. 

 Unsurprisingly, my boys were attracted immediately to the Skate Park set up. They are both obsessed with skating and scooting, to the point where I had thought the 'toys' phase of their childhood had ended. For Christmas, they had asked for ‘scooter wheels’ and ‘scooter pegs’ or video games. As a result, I had subconsciously written off toys and the imaginary play development phase - clearly, too soon.

 

"Anything is possible." Image: Supplied. 

The first thing my eight-year-old noticed was a character who uses a wheelchair, which he thought was very 'cool and inclusive'. Immediately, he started getting him to do 'mad tricks' (his words, not mine), and making little whizzing noises. 

That’s different, I thought. I haven’t seen him play like this in a while. 

Then, when setting up the other characters heads and bodies, he said excitedly, "I’m going to change things around. Because it’s LEGO® so I can. Anything is possible." 

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Once the skate park was built, he was setting up different scenarios; wheeling a car around, dropping off drinks and of course, whizzing the skateboard character up and down the ramp with great delight.

An action shot. Image: Supplied. 

Meanwhile, I was still finishing off putting together the Sports Car with my five-year-old, which he seemed to be able to do instinctively. This surprised me because fine motor skills have never been his strength - he's an action boy. He loves playing sports or on the other end of the extreme is obsessed with any mode of screen. But he was in a trance. He was calm, determined and wanted to complete each step meticulously before he moved on to anything else.

Without even thinking about it, hours had passed without a fight. Image: Supplied.  

 Once his car was assembled, he moved on, playing out real-world scenarios. He chose to put the Sports Car driver in his car and visit the skate park, before helping some firemen put out a fire.

After an hour had passed it hit me. This was the first time all day they hadn’t fought. 

 The next day they continued to build road sections, police cars, Fire Rescue Helicopters and were in amazement about how all the roads and different scenes could all join up into one ‘city’. They role played different real-life stories; police catching the villains, putting out a fire with a water gun that actually shoots a blast of LEGO® water and picking up garbage bins with a garbage truck.

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I could not believe how many hours had passed without a fight and without the yearning for a screen. 

How the roadplates work. Image: Supplied. 


It got me thinking about my own childhood growing up with LEGO®, and just how much it has developed over the years. The technology and the level of detail is so impressive. I remember making castles and houses. Yet here we were, making pizza shops, a martial arts Dojo, a mother watching her baby on some play equipment and to all our amazement, a car wash that they could push all the cars through. 

When I asked them what they loved most, they said it was being in control of their own city, that they could build in any way they like. What I loved most was learning that my five-year-old really does have way more patience, attention span and problem-solving skills I previously gave him credit for. 

My eight-year-old is inclusive and creative, encouraging his brother to take risks and think outside the box.

The thing that made me emotional and I am so grateful for is that I learnt they haven’t grown out of the imaginary play phase just yet. When I was a kid, I was still spending endless days creating my own worlds at their age, and it's something they miss when screens get in the way. Imaginary play is something I am going to hold onto, and try to foster for as long as I possibly can. 

LEGO® CITY
Bring your LEGO CITY to life! Join the fun and experience LEGO CITY like never before! Kids can now build their very own LEGO City with the all new connecting road plates where all of their real-life heroes and vehicles come together. ©2021 The LEGO Group.
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