Have you ever built Lego from scratch to completion? How to build was always the first bulb lighting up in mind? Do you remember when one piece is missing, you are upset the whole week? Half-built Lego is like switching off the stove when the meal is half-cooked. Or, comparing the architectural as-built with half construction done. Neither you can be happy, that you cooked, nor you can eat. Though in earlier days, before the internet, there was more time to play and bring creativity into action. As schedules were not clogged up with pre-arranged activities, which were more maths and science.
I built, or I may say re-established my deep interest in Lego when I joined a company marketing it. We were the importers and distributors then. My job responsibility was to translate the international brand strategy into local. My boss then, who was an experienced & very hard working lady called me from UK. She was a British-born Pakistani. Giving me this good news that we are launching LEGO in Pakistan. Before this, LEGO did not have any proper import channel. There were no specific Lego shopping centers or Lego shops. Plus it was rarely available and very expensive. Thinking Lego for girls was also a happy moment.
I remember building blocks and playing LEGO in my childhood, fascinated more than playing with dolls. Small boxes of an enormous number of pieces used to take ages to complete. I know you are thinking practice makes all perfect. Yes, it did. So When my boss amused me with LEGO coming to Pakistan my LEGO LOVE re-ignited. I received the very first air-shipment. Decorated the display shelves in our office. We had to hire a brand manager for it, but before that, my task was to create a marketing/brand strategy based on market surveys.
In a few days’ time, the Sales Manager from LEGO – Denmark, arrived. We booked a lunch meeting with him and Samina. While enjoying his lunch, which was one full meal of Nandos Chicken, he told us the whole story of how LEGO is working, and what plans do they have. He was continuously laughing, cracking jokes, and was a very pleasant mood person. This shows LEGO employees are as happy as kids playing with LEGO. Those were so tempting and adorable ideas. I will share the story he shared with us. A few days back I came through this video. It reminded me of my work there and so I am sharing it here.
Children should learn mainly through play and activities, says LEGO. Why do they say it? Lego actually spends millions of pounds on research. The 29 years old, Lego foundation conducted research through Cambridge University, spending £4 million. A lack of understanding of the value of play is prompting parents and schools alike to reduce it as a priority, says Hanne Rasmussen, head of the Lego Foundation. If parents and governments push children towards numeracy and literacy earlier and earlier, it means they miss out on the early play-based learning that helps to develop creativity, problem-solving, and empathy. Lego has dished out cash – and bricks – to lots of small projects, it has set its sights on campaigning for a mindset change in education around the world.
In this stance of Play in education, development, and learning (PeDaL) research project Cambridge, MIT & Harvard, and some other prestigious institutions are aligned as per news. What Parents need to understand that their child must be prepared for an industrial or knowledge-based economy. Everywhere in life, s/he will need skills like:
Introduce Lego at much early age to your child. You will surely experience a level of intellect with the above elements. There will be no clear answer to where all that built or came from. All above and more are well catered by LEGO games if introduced at a much early age to a child. Lego games are planned and developed in 5 types: physical, symbolic, with rules, with objects & with pretense.
Stepping on Lego pieces on the floor is the worst nightmare to all those who are not playing actually. Now, when lots and lots of games, movies, and cartoon series have been translated into LEGO playlists, the number of pieces has also increased, massively. The good news is Lego has finally found the solution. It is indeed a sigh of relief for parents.
I am still finding Lego love and Lego friends. Working for Lego re-established my connectivity with its inspiring story. Lego has now its amazing game line. When my son was even 2 years, I made sure that Lego is there in my shopping cart. Though not everyone has the same affiliation or understanding. But I know and now I see, the sequencing, critical analysis, and creative approach of my sons towards problem-solving. The screen gawking has really given me a tough time nowadays. You know, I love Zen, and that helps me. Right now I don’t have any scientific-based proof in hand. I am sure, Lego Foundation would fetch this truth with research, that playing with Lego toys build a kind of wisdom and deep thinking. It creates chatter of mind silence and lets the heart speaks.
Lego’s Marvel’s Super Heros are my favorite too. I see my son, starts with directions what they watched in the movie, then gradually they start creating their own stories. Adding more lines to scripts. This gives me happiness. As they are using more of their minds and hands instead of only their eyes. As Lego says, more hands-on and minds-on.
Now Lego is part and parcel of my kids’ lives too. I observe their abilities to find new ideas and solutions. They tend to spend time imagining and creating stories out of these block creatures.
LEGO is one of the best examples of a quality product developed and delivered. It has enthusiasm, courage, happiness and so much more. Keep playing LEGO 🙂