Lego For a 5 Year Old?

Posted by admin on September 15th, 2011 filed in Beren, Birthdays, General, Lego, Toys

A lot of people have been asking me if Beren’s ready for real Legos, since his birthday is next month. Well… I just don’t know. I think that he is interested in them and would enjoy them, definitely. But… I don’t think he’s ready to put together anything complicated or follow directions with many steps. Maggie is not ready for Lego. I’m not sure she’s even ready to be around Lego, and if Beren had them, she’d be around them. I don’t think Beren’s ready to be responsible with his bricks, like keeping them in a safe place and remembering to put them away when he’s done with them. Another concern is that Lego sets are expensive. While he might be excited about an $80 set, he will still probably get frustrated with it and then we’ll end up putting it together for him. He’ll play with it for a while and then lose all the pieces. There are probably a lot of non-Lego toys that $80 could buy that would be more suited to his ability level. And if we waited another year for Lego, we wouldn’t have to worry that a really expensive set would get messed up because we gave it to him before he was ready for it. In another year or two he’ll be ready for the really exciting Lego. This year though, I’d say stick to small, uncomplicated, inexpensive sets. Ones you wouldn’t feel too bad about if they ended up getting lost at the park or something. An alternative that he’s really enjoying is Fisher Price Trios. He makes cars and “super heroes” daily out of them. Sometimes, robots. He especially wants more wheels. We were thinking of getting him the Gears Set.

14 Responses to “Lego For a 5 Year Old?”

  1. Travis Says:

    I think I got my first lego sets around 5 or 6. Can’t remember. I know I got some from the store and also the ones they had when McDonald’s still gave out cool happy meal toys.

  2. admin Says:

    But you didn’t have any younger siblings to feed them to like candy!

  3. youjane Says:

    Yeah it was around that age for me too. Probably 6 years old. Mom just stuck us older kids in the playpen with the Legos and let the little one cruise around outside.

    5 is a bit young as we learned with our nephew. Needs more know how to make the blocks do what the imagination demands.

  4. admin Says:

    I do think Beren would experience a good deal of frustration with them if the set was too complicated. Even when he’s just doing free style duplos, he can become frustrated if things are not fitting together like he wants them to.

  5. Ron! Says:

    We had legos at a very young age. My brother was younger, but we never had an age problem. BJ just kept my toys out of his mouth or else 🙂 but all kids develop differently, so BJ and I lived a much different life.

  6. Lindsay Says:

    I had a set of my own around age 5. My older sister would have had her first set at least two years before that and I never had a problem, but she was a girl and more careful with her toys. As Ron and Jody have said, it may still be too young for some kids.

  7. Aloysius Says:

    Five or six is about when I got started.

    Here’s a geekgasm for all the other lego fans who read this blog (I know who you are):

  8. Drew Says:

    I’m not sure if I was 5 or 6 when I started, but I definitely understand your sentiment. Besides, by this time next year the Lego superhero sets should be coming out.

    I’ll say this for what it’s worth – one of my best memories is when I got the big pirate ship for my 7th birthday. I wasn’t really ready for it, so my dad and I spent the whole afternoon at the dining table putting it together. I kept it assembled in my bedroom until I left for college and it’s still upstairs right now. Even if a set might be stretching the boundaries of what the kids are ready for on their own, it may still be worth it.

    I think it keeps coming up only because all of us have such great memories of playing with Lego as kids. You’re just in the unlucky position of being surrounded by friends who are excited to share this sort of thing as soon as we can.

  9. Aloysius Says:

    Perhaps I will go to my Dad’s this weekend and get all my old Lego blocks out of storage. Then Beren can try them.

  10. Ron! Says:

    I actually called my mom to find out what our household was like with a little brother. We had a pretty good conversation about child development, and how kids (and households) are different. She confirmed that we did have toys that were above my brothers age range, but between her and me, he learned quickly what he could and could not do. She also mentioned (this I did not know) that most of my toys were above my age range. I would play with things and constantly push for more complex stuff. If it was too complex, I didn’t really get frustrated, just determined. So BJ wasn’t never dealing with toys meant for kids 2 or 3 years older than him, but rather 7 or 8. She mentioned a lot of differences though. My brother would never sit still, but I had zero problem with it. So when I was Berens age, I read the paper, did jigsaw puzzles, read books, etc, my brother ran around like his ass was on fire. My mom really wasn’t prepared for it. Kid 1 entertains himself, talks too much. Kid 2 screams and runs too much.

  11. admin Says:

    I agree that getting my Lego pirate ship was a very clear and exciting memory.

    I’m not going to say not to get Legos for him. I think he’d really enjoy them. I’m just going to offer the disclaimer that there is a good chance the set will not survive the year intact and I don’t want you to feel bad if something really expensive gets ruined. We’ll do what we can to keep all the pieces together, but kids will be kids, you know?

  12. admin Says:

    Heh, maybe I should say we’ll only accept Legos as gifts if they come with some sort of storage container with a lid!

  13. Drew Says:

    You’re dead on about the storage requirement.

    On the other comment, I can only speak for myself but I think you may be misunderstanding the intention of those of us who want to buy Lego for your kids. In no way do I expect you or Beren to be a curator of a collection. They’re toys! Like you said, kids will be kids. Maybe the pirate ship was a bad example because me, my brother, and my sister all had other Lego pieces that we kept in a huge bin. Some ended up with mystery candy shoved in them, some ended up scuffed up and/or dirty, the full gamut. They were played with to hell and back, though, and turned into more bizarre contraptions than I can think to imagine names for. Hardly a one could be called a sculpture like you see on the blogs these days.

    I’d never expect a set to hang together. Hell, I still don’t keep sets all together myself after I take them apart. The only important criteria to me is whether any given kid gets the idea, can build it once, and would have fun with them again whether it’s rebuilding it or throwing it together as something totally different. That’s a kid that a Lego purchase is never wasted on, no matter the gender or age.

    Really, if you give the word I have at least one or two sets here right now still in the box that I’d give to Beren. Not huge ones, but ones I think he’d have fun with.

  14. admin Says:

    This morning I asked Beren what he wanted to do today, and he said, “Build things!” Seconds later, he clarified, “Build trucks!” So I think the ability to enjoy Lego is certainly there.

    I think one point I’m stuck on is how expensive Legos are. If we buy the kids something that costs anything over $20, it’s with the understanding that they are going to take care of it and try to keep it nice. Well, we try to keep everything nice, but I’m not going to exert myself trying to save a $3 toy from the intensity of child play. If I bought a child a $50 present and then saw a month later that it had been combined permanently with Play Doh and left in the yard, I might feel kind of sad. Not angry or anything, just a little disappointed. I don’t want to let anyone down if the Legos end up getting abused.

    But, you make a good point. We could try some Legos for this birthday. Maybe all Legos could come with a storage container? Even those small Rubbermade or Sterilite bins with lids would be fine. Ziplock containers might even work. I think Beren will have fun with the Legos, and even if the big designs are too advanced for him, he can start learning how they fit together now.