The building blocks of a perfect story

Finding that one piece that fits all the major themes of our 2018 holiday issue

By Ken Partridge

 

I’ve always been a fan of Lego. I have bricks in my collection that date back to Christmases of my childhood, plus all the ones I received last year. I routinely regret all those blocks that got left behind when I moved out of my parents’ house as a young adult. They were probably still tucked away somewhere in the attic when the house was sold.

I never stopped collecting or designing new creations with them, even though there was a long period when I kept them hidden away from view. It wasn’t cool to be an adult who played with what was generally considered a children’s toy. Thankfully, those days have passed. Today society embraces and even venerates the inner geek in each of us, leaving me free to talk about my hobby and even to display some of it in my office.

So, when I heard The Discovery Centre was opening a new Lego display (see page 16), how could I not include a story in this issue of Our Children? It’s a perfect fit. It brings together in a few pages all the major themes of this edition.

To me, Lego is inextricably tied to Christmas. There was always at least one set under the tree when I was a kid. I always bought some for my own kids and continue to do so for my grandsons. There may be a set or two for me in there too.

Lego is the ultimate toy for the middle R of the environmental mantra: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. I reuse the same bricks over and over again. Ones I’ll receive for Christmas this year will fit together and work with the ones I received as a child. I can even make a case for recycling, since I’ve passed blocks from my collection along to others and have acquired bricks from families looking to pass along collections they no longer want. I can’t really include reduce, though. As my wife will regretfully attest, my collection never seems to get any smaller.

On another front, Lego is now moving toward sustainable bricks by switching from plastics derived from petrochemicals to one made from plant-based materials. That ties in nicely with our cover story this issue (see page 10), which focuses on reducing the waste usually associated with the holidays and its impact on the environment. These greener aspects also reach into our story on how classrooms are incorporating more aspects of environmental stewardship into the regular curriculum (see page 14).

And finally, the use of Lego teaches kids many important skills without them even knowing they’re learning, or education by stealth as Ryan McNaught, a Lego certified professional, puts it. Finding ways to help our kids grow and learn is what Our Children is all about. See? The perfect story.

All of us here at Our Children and Metro Guide Publishing wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Joyous Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Festivus—whatever reason you celebrate, may light and love fill the season.

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