Getting Creative with Kids: Lego with Dad

An Interview with Warren Nash

Looking for a few off-piste ways to ignite your kids’ curiosity over the half-term? We’ve got just the guy for you! Our very own Warren Nash happens to be a real maestro with Lego. In fact, he literally wrote the book on it! Lego With Dad is a treasure trove of original ideas that you can bring to life with your little ones. It’s amazing what a kid can learn from problem solving, persevering, and thinking outside the box with Lego. So, without further ado, let’s get to our chat with Warren…

What sparked your inspiration to write Lego With Dad?

I’ve ALWAYS been a fan of Lego from a very young age up until my adult life. I say you’re never too old to play with Lego! When we had our son in 2018, we bought Duplo for him, which naturally got me really excited about playing with Duplo and Lego together.

Playing with bricks with my son got me thinking. It occurred to me, wouldn’t it be great to make a book of Lego creations that are perfect to build as a family? Most importantly, I wanted it to be inclusive, which is why there are builds for all skill levels and you don’t require any fancy bricks to build what I’ve included in my book.

I also wanted to show people how great Lego is to build family bonds. It’s a brilliant activity to enjoy as a family and to pass the time with.

Why do you think building Lego is such an enduringly engaging activity?

Lego is such a great toy because it’s always re-inventing itself and continuously sparking the imagination. It really encourages you to think outside the box and problem solve. What’s more, if you make a mistake with something you’re building, it encourages you to step back, re-think, and try again!

The possibilities really are endless when it comes to Lego, and as I mentioned earlier, people of all ages love it - it’s not just for kids. The older and more experienced you get, the more complex things you’ll create - Lego grows with you.

What are your favourite parts of doing Lego with your son, Chaz?

What I enjoy the most is how he surprises me. As a parent, I think it’s easy to think you know what your child’s capabilities are. But on so many occasions, I’ll turn my head and Chaz will have built something new - a car, for example. My reaction usually goes something like ‘WOW, WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO DO THAT’!

Even better is when you see his imagination flowing. He might be building a dog or a crane, for example. But then it’ll transform into a dog-crane! It’s just so much fun to see his skills and confidence with Lego develop and see how much fun he has playing with what is, in reality, a very simple toy. It’s also a great, fun way to spend time together.

How do you feel these sorts of activities help kids to learn?

I feel it encourages kids to use their initiative and imagination. It also teaches us that it’s OK to make mistakes and often you won’t get it right the first time.

When I was younger I learned a lot about problem solving with Lego. I’d set myself challenges which would keep me occupied for hours trying to riddle them out. With lego, most things are possible if you put your mind to it.

How did you come up with all these fantastic creations?

A lot of the creations in my book are builds I used to make as I grew up playing with Lego. However, creating this book gave me an excuse to put my thinking hat on and come up with lots of new ideas, too.

Many of my new ideas in the book include games and activities which require an additional non-Lego element, which make them even more fun to play with. For example, I love the shadow puppet theatre build, which uses the torch on your phone, or the Lego maze which uses a marble on a base plate. Though, my favourite creation in the book is the Lego cable car, which I have fond memories building for the first time as a boy with my dad.

What other sorts of activities do you feel help to bring kids’ imaginations alive?

Anything practical, really! On a recent rainy day we built an assault course in the house which was great fun for everyone. It made us view the house in a completely different way - seeing what we could crawl under, jump over, and use as obstacles.

I also find involving kids in general day-to-day activities helps build curiosity and agency - even a trip to the supermarket! Rather than viewing it as a place you have to drag your kids around, get them involved and give them a list of items they need to pick off the shelves. It gets them asking questions about what different foods are for and what they taste like. It even encourages them to want to help with cooking and baking back at home, which can be a handy bonus!

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