Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Make with LEGO!

Check out Max's cable car!

Sometimes I overhear parents grumbling about LEGO bricks... their kid's obsession, stepping on a brick, finding the toy everywhere. Personally, I can't find the voice to complain about LEGO, but some people, standing in the toy aisle, get very vocal and heated about their anti-LEGO-ness. I just don't get it. LEGO bricks are a toy that perfectly exemplifies endless opportunity: for fun, for learning, for creativity, for engineering, for design, for entertainment, for ingenuity, for invention. For fun... did I say that, already?

Max has been sick. Long nights coughing, sad mornings with a sore throat, and general misery. We've been treating him with warm teas, warmer blankets, and tenderness. I decided to bring home something extra-healing, a bit of unexpected fun in the form of new inspiration.

I happened to be next to a toy shop, where I found Crazy Action Contraptions, a LEGO kit with parts and an ideas book. We hardly need more LEGO parts, but key Technic pieces and step-by-step instructions for new contraptions could be a nice distraction from being cooped-up and miserable. And the look of delight and surprise on Max's face confirmed it... I found the LEGO Cure!

The kit has specialty parts, but not a motor. Max got busy making a push button car, and some of the other devices, and then, with his gears warmed up, he began thinking of something more elaborate, challenging...

By adding a motor to a cable car he designed, he was able to build a Crazy Action Contraption that moved on its own power. He ran nylon string between posts, and ready-set-action! his cable car was on the move!

He's feeling better, on the mend, back to school. Yesterday, after school, he made a much longer line from the porch to the metal fence, and sent his cable car across the yard. More plans, new ideas, making, and healing... I cannot deny, I love LEGO, and the kids who play with them.

If you have a grade-school age child who loves LEGO, design, fun challenges, and learning about science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM), then please visit FIRST LEGO League! FIRST is For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology and together with LEGO, they have an inspiring and dedicated program to serve young engineers and scientists.

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