Clearly, nothing compares to LEGO.
Twice having been named "Toy of the Century," the traditional LEGO bricks offer unlimited building possibilities. In fact, LEGO building has been shown to be one of the few play patterns capable of channeling creativity towards solving specific questions or problems into different unique expressions, giving form to our imagination, feelings and identities.
Construction play makes it possible to harness curiosity and playfulness simultaneously in pursuit of learning and creativity. In short, research has shown children learn about themselves, others and the world through play and LEGO is the perfect catalyst to help children grasp the importance of persistence as they develop a sense of pride for their completed model or their own creation!
But, along with new colors, sets, designs, shapes and more, LEGO has also continued to debut new innovations that can do even more. In 2012, a completely new line was added that immediately burst onto the scene and wowed girls everywhere: LEGO® Friends.
LEGO® Friends is a collection of building sets that blend the iconic LEGO construction experience with stories, settings and themes designed to meet children's desires for creativity and a highly-detailed, character-based world.
Since its launch, LEGO® Friends has dramatically increased the number of girls building with LEGO bricks and enjoying the benefits of construction play. Every time a child sits down with a pile of bricks she unlocks her creativity and finds joy in building—all while gaining a sense of pride in her creation!
Girls on the Run® (GOTR), a physical activity-based positive youth development program to inspire girls everywhere to achieve their limitless potential.
This partnership is a perfect way to show how girls are using LEGO® Friends bricks and elements to tell stories, embrace their differences and find strength in their connectedness!
Knowing that Big Sister E has endless creative ideas and tales going through her head daily, I couldn't have been more excited when a LEGO® Friends construction set and a container of loose LEGO bricks arrived so that I could see her originality and imagination burst through.
Even better, these items arrived on a day that Big Sister E had a friend over, so not only did I get to see the inventiveness and resourcefulness brought out by LEGO® Friends in one 7-year-old... but two!
In no time at all, the girls had opened the Heartlake Juice Bar set and went immediately to work following the illustrated, step-by-step instructions for its construction.
Far beyond just following the steps to construct this adorable, accessory-filled playset (two blenders! A juicer! Tons of fresh fruit and sandwiches!), I loved hearing the girls' wealth of ideas emerge as they reached for the LEGO® Friends and LEGO bricks time and again.
Look at this! I made a car so that they can drive to the beach with their juice!
Did you make this 3-layer sandwich? It's so cool!
Here, if we use these in a square, they'll be the garbage can. And here's a recycle can next to it!
Have you ever had pineapple in your smoothie? It's soooo good.
Once their imaginations were going and the creativity was unlocked, both girls couldn't wait to show off any and all of their unique constructions. From the more-common to the extraordinary, I loved seeing their joy as well as their pride in all of the creations!
And, even though our afternoon playdate came to an end, the interest and exploration with LEGO® Friends and LEGO bricks hasn't lessened.
Big Sister E has returned over and over to these colorful bricks and has continued to come up with new, fun ways to build with them. Whether she has a plan in mind for a complex castle or simply explores with stacking to see what might come together, she never ceases to amaze me with her ideas... and her joy in hearing me praise them.
What better way to spend a little one-on-one time than by grabbing our LEGO® Friends and openly chatting about anything and everything as we build? I love hearing my daughter's thoughts on her day at school, what she dreams of being when she grows up, what stories she made up recently and more... all the while instilling self confidence and encouraging her sense of pride and accomplishment with her completed projects.
If you have a daughter, granddaughter, niece or friend in your life between the ages of 6 and 12, be sure to not miss the experiences building with LEGO® Friends can provide. This classic toy can help enhance imagination, sharing, self confidence, fun and so much more — Big Sister E and I always end up talking and laughing until our sides hurt!
Find out much more about LEGO® Friends by visiting their website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.