Playtime with mummy has been on the increase in our family, since I've been doing the Incredible Years parenting course. In the four weeks since it began, I've deliberately focused on spending time engaging in child-led play with each of my kids, and seen great results. There's more laughter, less growling. My kids are hugging and kissing me more and are even nicer to each other.
We've played hide'n'seek, car races, the memory game... games little ones love and the big kids have happily joined in, but I was racking my brains trying to think of things I could do to play with Dash, to get on his level and engage in things he enjoys.
Then I got an email from the nice lady at Lego offering me a Lego game to try and review. I turn down most review offers, but this one really was perfect. So of course I said, yes please.
In the car on the way to football training, I told Dash, "Hey guess what? We're getting a Lego game to try out for FREE!"
"What? A Lego game? Meanage*! Which one? Is it Battle of Hoth cos I saw that in the Lego club magazine and it looks awesome!"
I look at him blankly, "Er... um... I think it was Battle of something... can't remember..."
"I bet it was Battle of Hoth! Wanna bet? I'll bet you fifty cents!"
It was Battle of Hoth. A new Lego Star Wars game based on the opening scenes of Empire Strikes Back. Couldn't be more perfect, because Dash is a major Lego Star Wars fan. I mean, he's a Star Wars fan from way back and when he got into Lego, it's the Star Wars stuff he's been collecting and building.
When the game came in the post (the very next day) Dash couldn't wait to begin building it.
"I think we should wait til later," I told him, "you know, when Scrag is in bed!"
Yeah right. There's a brand new Lego game waiting to be tried out and you want him to WAIT? Come on, mother, that's torture.
So in spite of my reservations, we opened the box. We built the game.
It's pretty straightforward, even for a Lego novice like me. Dash did the tricky bits (creating the ATAT's and other gizmos), while I stuck to my strengths and clipped squares onto circles...
It was all going so well. Here we were, bonding over Lego...
The game was built in about twenty minutes; we read up on the instructions (straightforward rules but with plenty of scope for upping the ante as we got familiar with the game)...
and the Battle of Hoth began...
The sound of our laughter drew a crowd...
Dash generously said the others could join in. He's come a long way, my son has, from the days when he threw a tantrum if he didn't win. Playing with him is a pleasure.
We tried to explain the rules to Scrag, we really did. When that failed, we even gave him his own Patrol Unit and said he could move it where he wanted, as long as he didn't touch the other pieces...
But there's a reason the game is for ages 8+
It's right there on the box. I should have known better.
We shouldn't have been surprised when the screaming started...
Sigh. The Lego-bonding was fun while it lasted.
We finished the game as best we could, with the sound of a human air raid siren ringing in our ears.
Dash whipped my butt (he was the Rebel Alliance with Luke Skywalker, I was the Galactic Empire, with Darth Vader, so it's fitting that the good guys triumphed.)
Next time we will wait until the three year old is safely in bed asleep.
And there will be a next time, because the Battle of Hoth is a fun game. And a great way for me to engage and have quality time with my Big Boy.
Epilogue: Overheard yesterday, as Dash showed the Lego-mad neighbours his new game.
DASH: "Look what my mum got for me cos she's a blogger...The new Battle of Hoth game!"
THE NEIGHBOURS: "Awwww lucky!! That's meanage*!"
*"Meanage" = new kidspeak for "awesome" "cool" "wicked" and other outdated "fantastic" words
It’s time to get those bricks out and get creative. LEGO® New Zealand in conjunction with Toyworld stores are searching for the nation’s best LEGO builder in 2012.
Entries for the annual competition open on Sunday April 1st 2012 at Toyworld stores nationwide.
To celebrate this competition Lego is offering my lovely readers the chance to win your kids some extra bricks to build with for the competition in the form of a LEGO® Creator Log Cabin.
All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your child would like to build for the National LEGO® Building Competition and you will go in the draw to win ONE OF TWO LEGO® Creator Log Cabins.
The TWO winners will be announced here on my blog on April 2nd and LEGO® will send you out a prize pack.
Description of LEGO Creator Log Cabin:
Packed with great details, such as an open fire with chicken, wooden logs, tree and opening doors and windows, this log cabin is an ideal base for a wilderness adventure. Minifigure with backpack, paddle and canoe included. For something different, rebuild it into a country retreat or a river hut
Giveaway open to New Zealand Readers only. Sorry :(