Toy Week: Brick House

Toy Week: Brick House

We were riding down the elevator at Barnes and Noble with an employee of the bookstore yesterday, and my girls spied a stack of animal-themed Lego boxes on a dolly she was leaning on.

“What are those?” my 6-year-old asked.

“These?” the worker said. “These are Chima. It’s a boy thing.”

Maybe she was trying to have some moment of solidarity with my daughters, like “Boys and their weird hobbies, am I right?”

But I bristled.

“Oh,” I replied. “My girls are into Ninjago right now.”

I hoped that retort would be enough to indicate to her that girls can like Lego stuff, too, but I don’t think she noticed. She probably didn’t even know what Ninjago was—because to her, it’s for boys.

Plus, from a strictly sales standpoint, I don’t know why someone would turn off an interested party to a potential sale, no matter their gender.

Despite being a boy myself, I didn’t know what Ninjago was until last year, and even then it was a hazy concept my daughter brought home from kindergarten. She recently discovered an animated series on Netflix, and I’ve watched some of it, so I’ve recently learned quite a bit about the Lego characters who fight by spinning themselves into living elemental tornadoes.

I grew up with Lego sets, but they were the basic kind, with no plans or directions. Then came the Pirate and Castle systems, but even with the themed kits, there was a lot of possibility, and mixing everything together yielded amazing combinations, like Robin Hood-style tree forts with billowing sails and mounted cannons.

In college, I met my brother (as an only child, I decided to pick a sibling when the right one came along) when a guy I sang with in choir invited me back to his dorm room to play Lego. We were eventually best men in each others’ respective weddings.

So Lego sets are awesome.

The best thing about them, though, is that no matter which ones you get, they’re all about creation and working with what you have to do what you want. Feel like following the directions down to the last brick? Go for it! Want to scrap the blueprints and piece together something out of your own imagination? Anything goes!

It’s a great life lesson.

Having a floor-focused 1-year-old running around means Lego pieces are hazards in our house for the moment, but I’m still planning to get some Ninjago stuff for the girls for Christmas. Don’t tell them.

I’ll have to supervise, or course, to make sure no little plastic pieces get lost and/or eaten, but I don’t mind. I get really excited about these kinds of things.

But these presents will totally be for my girls. What would I want with spinning Lego ninjas?

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9 thoughts on “Toy Week: Brick House

  1. Lego is absolutely not just a boy thing. I (a girl) remember building a two story house (with each room fully furnished, of course), complete with garage, front garden and a truck with my sister when I was eight. Nice post!

  2. blanketeers says:

    I don’t understand why construction toys are always labeled as ‘boy stuff’. Surely construction toys are the most gender neutral. I don’t know anyone who didn’t love Lego as a kid, or anything that gave you full reign over your imagination. That’s what being a kid was about. I remember finding the really specific toys got boring really quickly, like my remote control dalek. It was great at just being a dalek but Lego can be anything.

  3. Carleen Butterfield says:

    Too old for Legos in my childhood, so my personal faves were ,wooden blocks, Lincoln Logs and Erector Sets–especially with a motor. Others were hammers and saws and drills. Not so fond of sanders through. I didn’t know about girls not being able to do certain things until the college counselors told me I couldn’t become an architect–even though I had the highest aptitude for it–in my senior class of more than 500. So glad that girls can truly be what they want and develop skills in which they have talent. How can you find your talent or passion if you don’t get to play with lots of stuff?

  4. franhunne4u says:

    Of course LEGO is for girls, too! Even when it is not pink! *aghast at the notion that in 2013 there are still people out there in a western civilisation, who want to reduce a toy to the use of just ONE gender*

  5. The Mind Of Scribblz says:

    In our house my wife and son team up to spend hours building Lego. My wife loves it, and the Lego games for the xbox. Lego is awesome and timeless, something that kids and parents can enjoy creating together.

  6. rdixon1365 says:

    Woohoo! Legos for everyone! Thanks RAM.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Legos are a unifying force in this world! I currently step over a massive sprawling Lego spy-village that is ever-expanding across our living room. Oh, and it was/is being created by three girls. Take that sales-lady!

  8. Jenette Jeffery says:

    So I just spent 4 hours over the last 2 days trying to build *the tallest tower ever* with the regular (non-kit) bricks. We still have about 2 levels of our 10″ x 12″ (approx) tower, but at 47 rows of bricks tall so far, I am having as much fun as the boys. Pictures will follow in the next few days. Since the boys have chosen each row to be one solid color, they now want to start a candy-cane strip tall building once this one is finally demolished (plus they have learned the proper application of the term “faulty building practices.” This tower is SOLID.). And, yes, I played with Legos as a child, and am giving Legos to a few of my nieces for Christmas. 🙂 Glad your girls are enjoying them too!

  9. BellaBell says:

    0_o Really a boy thing… *Facepalm*
    Some people are just really dense. I loved playing with Legos when I was little! Though they were banned from my house after my little sister was born. Parents never bought any more after that. :/

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