Thursday, 7 February 2013
Review: Lego Friends
Lego has been a prominent feature in my house for the last 9 years since JJ was born. From a very early age he was bought duplo and managed to collect a huge amount to pass on to his little sisters. JJ moved to 'real' Lego or 'little Lego' as it often gets called in our house from about age 3 or 4 years so he was quite young but always keen and able to follow the instructions and get on with making up the sets himself with limited help.
Being the loving brother he is, JJ passed over some of his little Lego to his sisters a couple of years back and we all enjoyed turning it out in the lounge and making a creation together. Early last year when the girls were about 4.5 years Lego Friends was launched and I read much on blogs and in the media about how wrong Lego had got it by stereotyping children and producing a separate girlie and pink brand. Apparently children are children and we should treat them no different according to their sex. OK I'll go with that but I do believe that all kids are different and sometimes they just develop in ways you would not have imagined. I have friends who are completely non-girlie and have always encouraged their daughters to play with all types of toys and then when the little one gets to the age of about 5 years they have wanted to explore being a girl - pushing a pram, dressing in a fairy dress and all that comes with it. As do some boys, in fact for a good while pink was JJ's favourite colour and he had a baby doll and cot but his tastes changed and that's OK.
My twins are chalk and cheese but both of them love the Lego Friends range, from the moment they first saw the boxes in our local Entertainer toy store they wanted to get their hands on it. So some saved pocket money bought them the first small set each and then their birthday in July bought a little more and just this week they have been lucky enough to receive some for review.
Sitting with them yesterday as they unpacked the Lego and started to follow the instructions (or constructions as Miss E quite correctly miscalls them) I recalled just how educational Lego is. I could really see some skills showing in my girls that I had not associated with play through building. Following instructions, patience, manual dexterity and determination even. It was quite fun to get them to do it all themselves with just minimal help from me and that was just by coaxing. I'm very proud of the creations my little girls made.
So they have made the sets according to the instructions and that is good but the best thing about Lego is that it can be thrown into the big box along with the rest of the Lego and then next time they can make their own creation. The pony grooming set becomes part of a veterinary practise and the tree houses for the squirrels become a much bigger tree house adventure for the Lego friends characters to play in. Lego is a toy that really encourages imagination and helps children to make believe and to think outside their norm and that is excellent.
The girls received two £9.99 sets from the new collection - Emma's Karate club and Olivia's newborn foal as well as a couple of small pocket money sets which retail for the excellent price of £2.99 - Squirrel's tree house.
Disclosure: We received the Lego free of charge for the purposes of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.