Yesterday morning, I needed to find a way to keep the kids busy while I went to take a shower. Ideally, I like to keep them busy in an educational way. Or at least, somewhat educational.
I had to think of something on the spot and I couldn’t think of anything. I was watching them play Legos and then the idea hit me. Let’s do a Lego building challenge. Let’s do a Minecraft Lego challenge.
Here’s the challenge: I need you to build any character from Minecraft out of Legos. No tools, blocks or trees. Just characters.
My kids were instantly thrilled, pulled up their master builder sleeves and went to work.
I went up to take my shower, praying that this would guarantee at least 20 minutes free of fighting.
When I got back to the living room, I was pleasantly surprised to find all sorts of amazing creatures and creations. I love it when my kids use their imagination. Kids these days are lacking imagination and free play time. So I get very excited when my kids get to tap into their creative side. I get to see a bit more of their personalities during this type of play.
Also, they are so proud of what they have accomplished. It doesn’t get much better than that. A sense of pride and accomplishment while making their visions come to life before their eyes. Awesome!
It wasn’t a math or science homework. It wasn’t an actual art project. It was completely unexpected challenge, using one of their toys. Is it something that would help them in passing a test? No. But I do believe moments like these help build my children up into becoming the kind of adults they envision themselves to be someday.
My oldest one wants to be an inventor. My daughter dreams of becoming an artist and/or a fashion designer. My youngest one still doesn’t know what he wants to be, but there’s no rush. They all need to have a good imagination, to be creative and to be able to problem-solve to become the best inventors and artists they can be in the future. Lego building is only one of many ways they can work on those skills.
I try to balance the use of curriculum and other non-traditional teaching methods into our school day. I need to be intentional with some of our playtime. They are learning while they are playing. They have no idea! There’s nothing wrong with being sneaky every once in a while to educate them.
I now challenge you to think outside the box. What simple things can you do with your children that will help teach them new skills? Or further develop skills they already have?