Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I hope girls' Legos can teach my boy

Without revealing TMI, I have been in a bit of a working-mothers-just-cannot-win kind of funk the last few days or so.

That was before I stumbled upon this scene in our living room.

The kiddos have integrated Bubbie's Lego Star Wars, Mega Bloks Spiderman, and K'Nex Xtreme Ops with the Lego Friends that Beanie just received for her ninth birthday.

How Bubbie, age 5, typically likes to play with his Legos is to build ships or space vessels large enough to carry all of his various mini-figures. Basically, he builds space buses to transport his guys from their home on Tatooine to their school on Naboo.

Today, using his sister's new blocks, Bubbie had built both the paddock for the Lego Friends pony and a little house front - complete with flowers - to present to his sister. Then he populated it with the mini-figures that he calls his "guys."

Because even when you are busily ruling the universe, you still need a place to hang up your helmet and body armor. Just a quiet little place in the country will do.

This has me thinking. I realize that Lego Friends is another manifestation of the classic pink-it-and-shrink-it maneuver to attract consumers of the female persuasion. Promoters and defenders of Lego Friends suggest it introduces girls to the kinds of play that they might not have considered. Like, could building structures with Legos interest girls in architecture and engineering?

However, I want to turn the question back to the boys. Could Lego Friends interest them in the kinds of play that they also ought to be encouraged to consider, such as the "cooperative" play that Lego designers say they have observed among girls and that they wish to incorporate into Lego Friends?

Because what this parenthropologist thinks we need is not only to teach our girls that they can play with boys' toys, but also to teach our boys to play a little more like girls.


  1. Glad I found your blog. As an "empty nester" I find myself reflecting on my parenting years and enjoy reading your posts.

  2. Thanks! So glad you found the blog, too :)