Ever heard the “B” word? Bored? Summertime can mean being less busy, and with long days at home with your kids, you want them to stay engaged, busy and continue learning! Red is still going to a summer camp two days a week for social interaction and a little bit of a routine as Baby Girl approaches, but he likes being home! As Chase and I keep working and prepping for our new addition, it can be a struggle to keep Red as busy as we want him to be without being dragged away from our projects every 2.5 minutes (or, let’s be honest… more often than that!) for help being entertained. And what about those days when we’re on the go, visiting relatives, and trying to get those all-important checkups in before our due date. Fortunately, my now 4-year old is mature enough to start building with one of my childhood favorites, LEGOs! I always loved to play with LEGOs, building with the kits, playing with the sets, and generally making new and imaginative creations with the blocks. I even remember my pets trying to walk through my creations and pretending they were monsters. It was so much fun! Now, LEGO has introduced at-home and on-the-go LEGO® JUNIORS suitcases designed to give kids just Red’s age (4-7) a great first building experience with the LEGO brick through fun and easy to build kits. We received two LEGO JUNIORS kits to help combat summer boredom as well as summer trips away from home (A Fire and Rescue Station and a Grocery Store). While the Grocery store was extremely girly and featured only women, the Fire and Rescue set had a male and female firefighter, which I thought was pretty awesome (Red noticed, too!). Chase, being just as big a LEGO fan as I am (maybe bigger), took it upon himself to help Red build the first kit. The manuals are large, easy to read and Red understood (with just a little help from Daddy) how to look for pieces, identify the colors and place them on the larger ones.
I’ll have to say, I was surprised how Red’s basic identifying skills developed along with hand-eye coordination and fine tuned-motor skills to a new level in just a few minutes. By the end of the first small set of instructions, Red was a master builder in his own right. Chase was only helping to point to the steps and calling out for pieces – it was pretty cool! I really feel like this activity helped Red build self-confidence, independence and creative thinking. By the time one set was complete, Red was clamoring to open the second suitcase and finish the other creations and once the suitcase sets were complete, the fun didn’t end there! Imaginary play within each set took over entire afternoons, and only a few days later, Red was combining kit elements, putting out fires in the grocery store, and having the firefighters purchase ice cream and stow it in their helicopter! I loved watching his imaginary scenarios play themselves out as he combined pieces, built new elements and stayed engaged for hours. Since school’s out for the next 6-7 weeks (at least here in Georgia), help arm your kids with imagination and motor-school developing activities that will keep them having fun both at home and on-the-go.
- Create a small jump bag with several small toys that can be grabbed on your way to a restaurant or visiting family.
- Try squirreling away a small bin of toys for a week or so – when the bin re-emerges on a rainy day, your kids will tackle them all over again with new activity.
- Keep your extremely portable LEGO JUNIORS suitcases handy for building fun and imaginary play both at home and on-the-go with easy containment and cleanup.
- Visit your dollar stores for craft materials and inexpensive art supplies to create a stockpile for arts and crafts that can be done both at home and stuffed in your jump bag for longer on-the-go trips
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.