Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Vintage Legos

A friend of ours found eight sets of vintage Legos at the local thrift store. After sorting through all the pieces there were six full sets and, being a generous friend, he gave a set to us. My husband and I are pretty nerdy nerds and we were excited for ourselves to come by this treasure. My preschool engineer was even more excited by the gift - levers, pulleys, gears, and loads of mechanically interesting images enticed him.
Box and Manuals
The front page of each manual includes pictures of related mechanical devices. There are conveyor belts and slides, windmills, and sewing machines, and the list goes on. Inside each manual are Lego-style picture instructions for building a single tool and on the back is the image of a Lego tool that is similar to the one built using the instructions but different enough to require some serious tweaking.

Now my son is only four years old and, at first, the toys seemed to be WAY over his paygrade. But my husband took his time to sit down, patiently guiding and redirecting my son, doing next to none of the building himself. Six months later, these Legos have proven to be some of the best "play" therapy tools in the house, and my son is building on his own. All that time and effort my husband put in to teaching Mikey how to play (see my post "On Teaching Preschoolers") with a difficult thing has paid off in spades!

The First Creation
So now we are into Legos. The Ninjago series is pretty fun and offers lots of mechanically interesting things to build but it is missing the open-endedness the Dacta provideds. This vintage Lego set hits a sweet spot that balances opportunity for open-ended building and closed map/direction-following spatial learning. If you see one at the thrift store then snag it!

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