A Mom friend of mine put it ALL out there the other day, when she declared her intent to get her daughter the ONE thing she really wanted. And it wasn't a toy, a fancy trip, or even the desire to " be like everybody else" ( something my daughter frequently wishes for). Her daughter really wants to have a sleepover.( I am hoping my daughter gets to be the lucky host!)
When my older daughter ( Zoe's BFF since they were babies) approached her teen years, it was a big adjustment for Zoe. I thought Zoe and I had already discussed all of the most heartbreaking topics possible, like how long she would need her wheelchair and walker, and why she was different than other kids her age, and how come people sometimes stared. Until we began the constant, ongoing discussion of why Olivia no longer wanted to to play with Zoe, had no interest in Barbies anymore and could not even be bribed into floor time, pretend play with her sister. It was all Zoe really wanted, and it took a lot tears and time for that to finally pass. Eventually we adjusted, and we got creative. We crafted, play games, went crazy with Rainbow Loom and made Saturday family movie night- but still things just weren't the same for Zoe, she missed creating and imaginative play with her big sister.
With Zoe now in middle school , I began searching for something new that was fun and also more socially appropriate for Zoe to share with her peers, and I was thrilled to discover Lego Friends.
Perfect for a girlie girl like Zoe, I tested the waters close to Christmas with the Friends Lego Advent Calendar. I waited for a sleepy Saturday morning, when Zoe and my teen were pretty chill and pulled it out . We opened the box and the both girls grabbed a few of the bags for the first week of December that had already passed and Zoe began assisting her big sister with building. And then, caught up in a lego building frenzy, they spent another two hours laughing and building and eventually asking me if they could finish the whole box.
At Christmas, Zoe and her dad put together a car , while Olivia had fun assembling a large Lego Friends house for Zoe, who spent hours in imaginative play with her Friends village situated on her bedroom floor. Zoe's birthday is the end of May , and it is no surprise her list has several " L" words on it. Her independent reading time has included the Lego Friends Easy Readers and Chapter Books and together, Zoe and I have finished the Lego Friends App Game for the iPad twice.
Recently Zoe began building Lego's completely independently, beginning with the Classic Creative Bricks instructions, and then showing off her work on Instagram.
The Lego Classic Creative Kit is a lot of fun for her and she can build them quickly, as the directions are easy to follow along. Legos have been great for boosting her confidence, increasing her problem solving skills, and of course - the cognitive and fine motor benefits are huge.
And like a Mom, I do some creative engineering myself.
When I think too much time has passed since the girls have had relaxing fun time together, for a special treat I pull out a new Lego box. Olivia enjoys the building process all the time declaring that she is just helping her sister out- but it is the joy on Zoe's face that fills me. The way she lights up with the understanding that at least for a little while, she's got her old playmate back again.
Please know this is NOT a sponsored post. I think the LEGO brand does an awesome job making their products, and providing lots of free inspirations ; for new projects ( check out their website) , books, videos and apps all readily available through major retailers. We have invested in LEGO products because I feel they are worthwhile, fun and have great learning and therapeutic benefits, not to mention of a mess of memory making moments.