When Johnny turned 1, he got Mega Bloks. When he was 3ish (I can't remember if it was 2.5ish or 3ish), he got Duplo. Both were big hits.
Now, he's around 5.5. I got him his first Lego sets and he is totally in love.
I bought two $5 kits over the weekend -- a 3-in-1 bulldozer sorta thing, and a 3-in-1 helicopter set. He has assembled and disassembled the combinations many times already, proudly and happily and wanting to send pictures of his creations to my sister, who he admires for her Lego prowess.
So, a few days ago I ordered some Lego Freestyle on eBay. I ordered the same kit that my sister left behind at my parent's house, the one that we play with when we visit (set #1796 if you are curious). I like the open-ended pieces and also the trees, wheels, windows and miscellany that make Lego even more fun. They don't seem to make sets like that anymore. Seems like now, it's either a plain box of bricks with no fun add-ons, or a set that makes a specific thing. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I am new to this.
Though he seems to enjoy following the instructions to make a specific thing, I think making your own creations is important and fun. Hopefully he will enjoy the open-ended bricks, too.
As my Lego-enthusiast friend Beth advised me back in October when I was first contemplating adding Lego to our home, she said to lay down the law when it comes to keeping pieces in one place. NOT all over the house.
For one thing, who wants itty bitty bricks all over the place to step on? And two, I have a baybay. She is in the "eat all the things!" stage. Ugh.
I bought an under-the-bed container to store the freestyle bricks, and I'm using a repurposed scrapbooking storage container thing (no separate compartments) for his specific sets. I put each set in a ziplock, along with the instructions. He uses the lid as a playing surface to hold the set pieces. So far, so good.
I think if those pieces ever enter the fray, they will never escape. I've stressed the importance to him, that if he wants to make his helicopter according to the instructions, he must keep those pieces separate. But hey, if he wants to mix it up, that's his choice.
I'm excited to see where the Lego era takes us.
Gosh, kids are fun. And this is such a fun age!