I don't think I need to go into detail about how great LEGO is. Everybody plays with it -- we have a big tub of LEGO in the playroom (actually we have two big tubs -- one holds regular sized LEGO, and one holds DUPLO bricks), and I don't know of a family or daycare or school that doesn't. It's one of the best toys for building and themed play around, and any holiday list that doesn't include one LEGO set or another is simply crazy.
I do have one beef with LEGOs for kids 3Po and Jammy's age; that is, age 4-6. I know there are geniuses out there who can assemble LEGO Millenium Falcons before they lose their first tooth, but my boys aren't like that, and some of the complicated sets frustrate them. They're too old for DUPLO but too young to assemble the Star Wars or Power Miners or Castle sets. They need a grownup's help to put it together, play with it for a couple of days, then it breaks and the pieces go into the big LEGO bin. All the weird-looking parts get lost, and they can never put the set back together again!
So I'm glad to see that LEGO is coming up with more playsets for younger kids like the new My First LEGO®. We were given a My First LEGO® Fire Fighter building set to try out; here's what we thought of it:
The new My First LEGO® sets have regular sized LEGO bricks in the basic square shapes, with simple instructions that young children can follow. Here's what LEGO has to say about their My First LEGO Sets:
My First LEGO® sets in three classic themes are the perfect way to acquaint young builders with the LEGO build and play experience. Comes in three themes: Fire, Pirates and Castle. Fun and affordable stocking stuffers and travel companions, you can play with each set individually or collect all three for expanded building fun! 117+ pieces. Age 4+. Available for $9.99 at www.LEGO.com.
This LEGO set is the perfect level for my boys! 3Po and Jammy built the fireman's house with zero help from me, which did wonders for their confidence and my workload. Then they took it apart and rebuilt it using the alternate building ideas. It didn't take long, so they got near-instant gratification and we weren't left with a half-finished piece when dinnertime rolled around. The finished result is simple but fun to play with (they thought the mini firefighter was pretty cool). I liked that the set uses mostly plain square bricks, with none of the specialized pieces that are so difficult to find when they're buried in our big LEGO tub. The age range says 4-7 but it's such a simple set that I would downgrade it to 4-6 -- and I think it's absolutely perfect for that age range.
I can't really think of anything negative to say about these sets. Even if your 4-6 year old accidentally breaks his model, it's simple enough for him to rebuild it quickly, and the parts are so generic that he can rebuild it easily, substituting parts if necessary.
All I can say is, I hope LEGO brings out more themes to add to the original three -- maybe even a girl-themed one like the LEGO Belleville?
The Bottom Line
My First LEGO® sets are easy enough for beginning builders to assemble on their own, yet cool enough to play with alongside the more complicated LEGO sets. It's a great present for a child who has just graduated from the DUPLO sized bricks!
I received a sample in order to review this product, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.