Legos are unquestionably one of the greatest, most imaginative toys ever invented.
Sure, the increasingly intricate pre-packaged sets are cool (I guess). But, the real magic emerges from the inevitable rubble of mixed-up pieces. There’s nothing quite like seeing a kid rummage through a random collection of lego bricks for hours on end to assemble a unique creation straight from their own imagination.
That basic magic hasn’t changed since my brother and I were assembling our own creations back in the 60s and 70s.
One thing that has definitely changed though: the way kids share their creations with others. It used to be that your audience was confined to a handful of admiring parents and siblings. Easy access to the Internet and social media technologies have completely changed that game. Now kids routinely share their creations with thousands of other kids across the globe. It’s truly inspiring to watch kids proudly post their unique creations and riff on each other’s designs — one big global, collaborative, iterative refinement process.
For example, a couple of weeks ago, our 8 year old stumbled upon some Lego designs for little mock soda vending machines on Youtube. Since then, he’s been busily cranking out his own variations on the little machines. This weekend, he asked me if I could help him post his favorite design modification for the world to see. You bet!
We had a grand time. The perfect father-son project!
A Flip camera, Screenflow for the Mac, Garage Band, Youtube and a couple hours later, here it is:
No doubt, the world would be a much better place if every kid had the opportunity to play with Legos!