Finding my LEGO spirit again
Jennifer and I were at the mall yesterday and we wandered into the LEGO Store. I wanted to see what the new school of space lego looked like. In many ways it had changed, there were logos and cross branding and new types and styles, but its heart and soul was still the same.
The store was awesome, it was bright and filled with colors, there was tons of LEGO for kids to play with. They had high tech video stations were you could scan a box and it would play a video and show what could be done with the blocks inside. I was really very inspired and my heart was filled with memories from my childhood. It seems that I am returning to the inner nerd that was creative, and playfull, loved copmputers and learning. (when I use the term "nerd" know that I mean nothing negative, I was in an advanced learning program as a child and I affectionitly referred to us as NERDS)
The greatest part of the Lego store was when I turned around and my son was elbow deep in two tubs of lego blocks and was so engrossed I struggled to get his attention. It reminded me so much of myself and how LEGO made me feel as a kid. I spoke with the store manager, a guy named Matt, and he was super nice, spent some time with me, helped me look for some classic lego kits, and then gave me a card with the information for the LEGO charity where they support projects just like mine.
Here is the Lego Vision (taken directly from their website www.lego.com)
The purpose and vision of the LEGO Group is to inspire children to explore and challenge their own creative potential.
• We strive to accomplish this by offering a range of high quality and fun products centered around our building systems.
• In the hands of children, the products inspire the unique form of LEGO play that is fun, creative, engaging, challenging - all at the same time.
• This activity supports the child, giving it the special pride of accomplishment. In the process it "automatically" or playfully develops a set of future, highly-relevant capabilities: Creative and structured problem-solving, curiosity and imagination, interpersonal skills and physical motor skills - building with LEGO bricks is thus about "learning through play".
I found certain elements of this to be perfect metaphors for what I am trying to accomplish. LEGO lets you dream and create and actually build those little creations. It gives you directions that you can follow and earn a sense of accomplishment, but you can also take the pieces and build something totally abstract as well. There are so many great lessons for kids of all ages.
I am going to approach LEGO with a request for corporate partnership for the Dream Cadets, the non profit aspect of my project. It will surely prove to be interesting working with these big corporations and seeing what they have to offer, what interest I can generate and how big we can make this project.
Like the little penny stop motion movie that I made, LEGO offers a great lesson for me to return to as well;
Question: How do you complete your LEGO projects, both big and small?
Answer: One block at a time and follow your plan.
Until next time,
The Panhandling Spaceman