I never thought I would walk away from last night’s LEGO® KidsFest in Charlotte feeling inspired and hopeful. I really thought it was just going to be a fun time that involved a lot LEGO bricks, but it did much more for me than that.
I know it’s just the way the world is, but I sometimes get really frustrated about jobs being outsourced, products being made in factories involving unethical practices, too much dependence on technology, plastic toys that may never biodegrade and so on. I also worry that the human ability to be creative and imaginative is deteriorating.
But then I have experiences like the one I did last night, and I begin to feel hopeful.
Often times, when we take our boys to events, the stimulation is incoming with a lot of noise, music, rides, characters, etc. What I loved about last night was that the kids had to create their own stimulation. While the directors of the festival offered millions of LEGO bricks, scavenger hunts, game boards, race tracks, models and more, the fun came from within the child.
The excitement came from the kids and teens (and adults) creating, playing, learning, thinking and watching demonstrations. Even when we walked around the models, we analyzed how they were built and talked about how long it took the builders to create them. I loved it.
Furthermore, my favorite part was learning tons of new facts I never knew about LEGO.
Did you know?
1). The LEGO company will be 84 years old this August and has always remained a family-owned business.
2). Laid end-to-end, the number of LEGO bricks sold in only one year would stretch around the planet more than 18 times.
3). The LEGO name is an abbreviation of the Danish words “LEG GODT” which means “play well.”
4). LEGOs or Legos is not the plural form of the word LEGO. LEGO is a company that makes LEGO bricks, so the if you’re playing with a bunch of “LEGOs”, you’re actually playing with a bunch of LEGO bricks.
5). There is a LEGO periodic table. Who knew?
6). More than 4 billion LEGO mini-figures have been made since 1978, making them the world’s largest population group.
7). Before LEGO designers had computer programs, they used brick paper to design figures and models. After watching one of the demonstrations last night, the boys received a brick paper notebook. Super cool!
8). The LEGO group patented the brick with familiar tubes inside and studs on top on Jan. 28, 1958. All 2×4 LEGO bricks manufactured since have these exact same measurements.
9). There are only 8 master model builders in the world. A master model builder is someone who builds life-style models made with LEGO bricks. In fact, 2 of the 8 (Paul Chrzan and Dan Steininger) were at LEGO KidsFest last night, so that was really cool to see them do their demonstrations.
10). On average, every person on Earth owns 86 LEGO bricks.
Both boys had a lot of fun. The KidsFest planners did a great job offering a variety of activities for kids of all ages. The only thing I would warn you about is that it feels very crowded at times, but be patient. The lines go quickly for the scavenger hunts and games, they have multiple demonstrations and believe me, there’s enough LEGO bricks for everyone to play with. Also, do a walk-through when you first get there and make a mental priority list of all of the things you want to make sure you do before you leave.
After leaving LEGO KidsFest, I asked the boys what their favorite part was.
Case said his favorite part was “everything that had to do with Hulk.” The boy loves Ninja Turtles and superheroes, so this was not surprising. I helped him make the little one on the white square.
And Brooks said his favorite part was “playing in the Mixels section.” Mixels are LEGO creatures that can be mixed and matched to create different characters. Both boys made a Mixels figurine and then got to put their creations in the trophy case which they loved, of course!
The main thing I want everyone to know is that LEGO KidsFest is for people of all ages. For upcoming tour stops click HERE.
There’s something about playing with LEGO bricks that is relaxing and meditative. It works one’s brain in the best way possible. It even made Mommy feel like a whimsy kid again. And that, my friends, felt so good.
This is a promotional post conducted in partnership with LEGO® KidsFest and US Family Guide. In compensation, my family was provided with four tickets to LEGO® KidsFest in Charlotte, NC. As always, opinions are 100% my own.