So before I begin let me paint a picture – Every day I get woken up at 5am by my wonderful kids (thank god I’m a morning person)! It begins with my 2 year old daughter screaming out from her cott “CEREAL CEREAL CEREAL!” (always about food with that one), followed by my 4 year old boy running down the hallway and dragging me out of bed to “COME TO MY ROOM AND PLAY LEGO“. Sadly the eldest 5 and half year old daughter is not really a morning person (just like her mum) and just moans at me because her brother and sister woke her up. Luckily for me it’s hot in Australia and we keep a jug of cold coffee in the fridge for instant mind clearing caffeine gratification! In the few token months of winter when it’s actually chilly here, the delay in getting caffeine in system due to brewing is almost as bad as hearing the kids sing “Everything is Awesome” to the dog barking – No it’s not awesome my head hurts!!
With cereal/toast laid out for the kids, TV on with some crappy animated show, dog dewatered and coffee in hand its normally that time when I have to go and build a little freestyle with my son’s LEGO. With his dad a bit of a AFOL nut LEGO is readily available in every part of the house to the despair of my wife! However, all the kids have their own LEGO hord (sometimes picked through by Dad for his projects) and my son has a cool little LEGO table gifted by friends of ours.
I’ve looked up LEGO themed tables in the past and other than the famous triangular tables that appear from time to time, the standard square tables are quite low and not overly durable. Durability is key as my three little vegemites can destroy most things within a blink of an eye (including our poor house)! This particular table started its life as an Ikea table and was repurposed with 4 grey baseplates (48×48) stuck to the top and a couple of LEGO logo stickers. The table itself has seen a lot of LEGO action and abuse (repaired by my dodgy DIY skills) with my son’s room marking its third family outing in 10 years.
With Christmas almost a distant memory the kids all got a LEGO set as one of their presents from Santa. My son being a big LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS fan asked for the new Castle – LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS Knighton Castle 70357. Funny I wasn’t initially a fan, but the more I play with my son’s NEXO KNIGHTS sets with him the more I appreciate the sheer creativity and playfulness that you don’t see in some of the more standard themes such as LEGO city and of course the colour palette brings back fond memories of the various LEGO Space themes from my childhood in the 80’s.
Now before anyone says hey wait what’s going on with the castle? Myself and my son built this beauty on Boxing Day and since then he has added little fine touches giving its current eclectic look. That’s the fun with LEGO seeing my little 4 year olds brain at play, building a storyline, acting it out and adding or removing bits that his little mind directs him to. That’s why LEGO S****s over other things like bloody iPads and TV! LEGO allows him to more readily let his imagination run wild and free.
That’s why I highly recommend any parents out there to consider buying not only just the LEGO sets, but the LEGO Creative Brick Boxes and Baseplates. I promise that’s not a shameless plug, but just experience seeing my own son and daughters getting creative with their sets using loose LEGO. I have to admit I’ve been guilty of getting protective, especially when they have a key set that you have just helped to build and you try desperately (like a crazy man) to get them not to break it up! At the end of the day they aren’t an AFOL (maybe one day) and who am I to inhibit their play time! All you do is run the risk of turning them off LEGO which would be a travesty.
If you still can’t shake the issue of them breaking up their sets then at least the recommendation to add a Creative box or two of loose LEGO to build with will delay the inevitable smash day – I mean look I have 3 kids under 6 and my son’s LEGO NEXO KNIGHT Castle is still standing after 15 days that’s a record!
Anyway back to topic and 5am this morning. I have a cup of coffee in hand and my son is dragging me to his room to play LEGO. Now I can’t sit there all day (though I would love to), so I have adopted a routine of asking him what does he want me to build (little) for inclusion in his NEXO Base (his words). This morning his little brain decided as it is hot that the NEXIANS needed a fridge to keep all their food cold.
Ever the critic my son started off telling me the first build was too small, then he handed me all the items he wanted in the fridge. This lead to the fridge becoming a walk in cool room (he doesn’t quite understand little yet the little bugger). After several attempts I was finally getting there when he said that he didn’t want it in white and where are the windows – He is worse than the Managers at work!
Half an hour later the cool room was grey, we had a door, trans clear bricks and a tiny little bit of SNOT action kicking off. Apologies for the giant hair just noticed it – Sign I’m going bald cue the violin, sad face and a few followers with delicate dispositions gagging!
He even added a little NEXO KNIGHT flare with some trans shield pieces and orange trimmings. At this point we have our honorary hand over process where my son incorporates it into his NEXO base. Now I thought easy one he will want it in the base where he had laid out all the courtyard, chairs, tables etc… No not my little fellow he decided that everyone needs to eat (whether good or bad) and placed the cool room outside?!
With the cool room placed outside my little man thought “hmmm I see an opportunity to extend the base again” and went about adding a walkway from the castle.
So after an hour the NEXO base expanded, my son let his imagination run wild, Dad got a little bit of LEGO action and we had a father son bonding session. Just when I thought my life was perfect my wife wakes up and shouts at me that the youngest has taken her nappy off and smeared it all over the wall in her bedroom and the dog was eating it – REALLY!! Time for work I think!
Before I sign off just want to say thanks and shout out to Buidapalooza last night (always a great build night). Was chatting to a guy called Jamie who gave me the inspiration to write about my LEGO fun with the family and highlight the kid angle.
Keep an eye out not sure on the frequency yet, but I will definitely be revisiting my LEGO family interactions again in my new “5am Wake Up Call Series”.