Lego: Brief versus Design

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Lego Brief versus Design

The boys love building with Lego. They can both spend hours creating models, the most popular being cars.

One morning recently my husband suggested that they each go and build a model based on a design brief that he would give them.

The design brief included the following:
It was to be a car
It was to have six wheels
It was to seat one Lego man

Off they went…

Some time later they returned with their models:

Lego Models 1

Lego Models 2

The 5yo had very precisely stuck to the brief. His car had six wheels and a perfect seating space for one Lego man. The 5yo, while very imaginative when given free reign, is very precise. He follows instructions, he understands how to build things. He is helpful and does building projects with his dad. He is an Engineer in the making.

The 7yo produced a car with ten wheels, no obvious place for a Lego man to sit and many superfluous, although very interesting, additions to the brief. The 7yo is imaginative and creative. He does not follow instructions! He has a tendency to interpret, rather than follow directions. He rarely helps his dad with building projects. He is a Client in the making!

My husband and I loved these models. They so completely reflect the different personalities of our boys.

It always surprises me how different our children are (all three of them!). They each have such unique characteristics, in fact in some ways they could not be more different.

The boys approach problems in different ways and find different solutions. They react very differently in a given situation, and as can be seen from the cars they built, they interpret instructions differently.

The 5yo sees them as, just that, instructions. The 7yo sees them as mere guidelines…

As parents, you want your children to develop strong and confident personalities. You encourage creativity and imagination. You hope to instil an ability to follow instructions, when required, but also hope that they grow up to be their own person.

Moments like this show me that the boys are developing strong and independent characters; and it’s wonderful to watch. And, on this occasion, quite amusing too :)

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49 thoughts on “Lego: Brief versus Design”

  1. Wow, you’re such great parents for setting them challenges like this! If the hubster and I were to do something similar based on our jobs we’d be saying something like “right you’ve got a taser and a baton but you’re also combat trained – faced with drunken, mouthy, aggressive nominal who won’t get in the back of the van, what do you do?” and then wait to see who excels at conflict resolution :-) [well, this is based on the hubster’s job, not mine !] X

    1. Ha! This really made me smile! That sounds like quite a good challenge really :) Yes, engineering and project management are a little tamer… although construction sites can get a little aggressive :)

  2. What a great idea to set a challenge like this and see what they came up with. Must have been fabulous to watch Sara especially how they interpreted the brief. Just lovely and very impressive! Thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

  3. I love this, such a good idea and something I will have to try with Monkey in the years ahead. Really interesting to see the differences when you give 2 children the same instructions #whatsthestory

  4. What a great idea and fantastic lego models. It is really interesting to see how children respond so differently to the same project.

  5. I love this so much. It’s brilliant. They’re so incredibly different – but I know my 4 and 5 year olds would create something entirely different too! My younger one would be the crazy car with all additional features, my 5 year old would stick to the brief precisely :D

  6. how very true, great how the imagination adapts the instructions, but then because of that hasn’t complied with them, but both are still very worthy of praise and congratulations.

    1. Absolutely, it was a great activity, the boys both enjoyed it and we thought the models were brilliant :)

  7. That’s a creative exercise, and yes, it really brought out their personalities! I think it’s a good thing to not follow instructions sometimes, I’m like that too :)

  8. That’s really interesting…and unusual. Most siblings are the other way round with the older one being the more sensible, following instructions, wanting to please, diligent, while it’s usually the younger that’s more wayward and creative.

    1. I know, it’s quite surprising, but we can now anticipate they will both react to something, it’s very interesting to see :)

  9. What a fab activity – and a brilliant outcome! You’re so right that encouraging confidence in their own personalities is so important, and it sounds like you’re doing a pretty awesome job with your boys :) x

  10. Lego is great for the imagination and it looks like your two certainly rose to the challenge. It would make a good task for a rainy day, or one for the school holidays perhaps. Thanks for the idea!

  11. Great constructions boys! We do this with our children but with pictures. We might say draw a castle and the different interpretations are amazing, #letkidsbekids

  12. What a great challenge. We love lego, really like it that they have designed girl friendly ones. My daughter spends hours designing and changing her designs. Lovely post.

  13. Pingback: Let kids be kids linky 17/6/14 - Let Kids Be Kids | Let Kids Be Kids

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