You learn what houses are not not used to kids. These are houses with glass table tops, vases in places where kids love to run, and absolutely no toys from previous occupants.
I respect people’s choices to have kids or not have kids, and to move out all their kids things when they move out. However the houses my kids love to visit still have traces of their occupants who spent a childhood of playing lego there.
There are two friends we visit who have a box full of lego. The children never say they are bored there when they know the lego never leaves but stays waiting for absent grandchildren, they simply ask for the lego and enter the world of make believe.
Lego, is compact and small, and good for keeping children on a mat, but also their minds take them away beyond that mat. They are in Sherwood Forest with Star Wars figures, or they are putting traffic men on horses. You can see the history of the lego collector, what eras their children went through, in the sets they own.
I love how lego doesn’t take up as much space as another brand I will not name, but which is also highlighly popular play brand. Who hasn’t take a head of a knight and put it on a policeman- that’s the fun of it.
Small hands find it difficult at first, but soon they get the hang of it, and the fixation has begun.
Essentials for visits from kids
1) Patience if you don’t have kids.
2) Childproofing the house for anything danger to age specific (especially little ones)
3) Some books and toys different ages- don’t let kids too young
read your teenagers former book collection. Some hands are too little for lego.
4) Lego (it does for most ages and they will come and show you what they have made and not just switch off like on a computer)
5) A willingness to engage with the children and not just their parents.
Lego is my children’s childhood
in the house to house visits
where they play in another world
within the world of the visit
Lego is not my childhood
it was mecanno and monopoly
500 with the cards
A neighbour came with a cup of sugar
and joined our monopoly world
she was our friend for a while
Then she grew up
streaked her hair
and all her friends rang my brother
Asking to go out
But there was one lady
with a basket of old alphabet and puzzle blocks
who everytime we went to stay
with her by the coast
Let us be free for a while
I loved that basket
and always will
The basket of Agatha Bainbridge
who always welcomed children
And she would have had lego if she was a
mother or grandmother today
She’s gone now
into that merry wood of dreams.
(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved, words and image.