LEGO kits were one of the few toys I really did play with as a kid. My mother will tell you that I spent most of my time figuring out new ways to put them away…a little puzzle unto itself. Not as creative an exercise as one would hope for–but still, it was challenging. And perhaps because I had older brothers there was nothing unusual about the fact that I played with LEGOs. When I look back on it, I realize that most of my other friends who were girls did not do a lot of construction sets.
So when we started the toyportfolio I was particularly looking forward to trying out my LEGO skills once again. I have to tell you, it’s still a lot of fun. I’m not sure how I feel about the new pre-sorted bags that make the “oh man, where is that one little piece” search a thing of the past.
The first batch of new LEGO kits just arrived. A happy day around here – vehicles, city stations and Duplo sets for beginners.
But there is also a new tub of PINK LEGO bricks…oh my. The label on the front has two seemingly female figures (they have long “blockish” hair), a pink vehicle, and a small structure with a white picket fence. There are also instructions for making a horse (of course).
In the early 90s, pink building blocks were a big thing (not at LEGO) but at their competitors at the time. I found the themes most upsetting (a stable, a house and a mall). Why were girls not being inspired to build skyscrapers, arenas? The whole gender agenda lead to our Gender Free toy list that we put together every year.
While the prospect of pink bricks doesn’t thrill me (although I do have to admit, they are very appealing for their eye-catching uniqueness)–there is also something to be said for the research that indicates that kids benefit from playing with construction toys. Having hands on experiences with spatial relationships helps kids excel in math. Don’t we also want that for our daughters? So, I suppose — if this is the only way we can get girls to build, it has its value. I just believe that the themes need not be so limited to the spheres of home, stables, and shopping. In fact, just a tub of colorful LEGO bricks that also includes the two shades of pink here–would be fun for anyone to play with.
I’ll be interested to see how parents and kids respond when we have them tested.