The Story of the LEGO Brick

This is guest post by Alex Johnson

LEGO Company is on the mission of ‘inspiring the builders of tomorrow’, while many dream to work for their offices full of slides and wonder.

The LEGO Company are no strangers to allowing people to see what goes on inside their organisation. With the hit LEGO movie released in February 2014 and their new ‘Brickumentry’, the LEGO group are bigger than ever. While their gender neutral playsets has been developing since 1974, LEGO has reached a peak of their gender neutrality with their new playsets of female scientists.

Most recently they allowed Channel 4 into their head offices and factories in Denmark in a documentary called ‘The Secret World of Lego’, a programme that showed millions of viewers how the LEGO brick has changed the lives of many children and adults.

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4-Year-Old Funees

They’ve been in good form recently! Must be something to do with this ‘turning 4’ thing.

Jake & I were having scooter races in the garden; Ellie would normally join in but she was trying to get her ‘baby’ (dolly) asleep in the swing.

He’s fast, & was winning most of the time. Have you tried cornering in 1 of those things? Not easy!

The times I was winning were when I had a bit of a ‘head start’. Hey, it’s not my fault if he’s too slow off the mark!

Even then though I was out of luck: he’d shout “I’m pausing the game! I’m pausing the game!”. That meant I had to stop.

That Temple Run has a lot to answer for…

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A New Game!

Jake has invented a game!

Everyone else has to close their eyes while he goes away to find a toy which he then hides under some paper.

Once hidden away we’re allowed to open our eyes. Next he tells us the sound that the object’s word starts with, & what colour it is.

We then have to guess what it is, asking questions if we’re not sure:

“Is it soft or hard?” “Can you eat it (in real life)?” and the like.

Once guessed it becomes someone else’s turn to find & hide a toy for the rest to guess.

He came up with this completely unbidden, all by himself, with no help at all from anyone else.

I’m proud as punch!

I wonder if there’s time to get the board game out for Christmas? Mr Hasbro?

By the way, games marketers: it’s copyright already, so don’t go getting any funny ideas, OK?

Dinosaurs! And Magic

We enjoyed our recent visit to the Dinosaur Park.


As well as the obvious Jake & Ellie really enjoyed playing with a baby dinosaur newly emerged from its egg. Ellie in particular: she had to be dragged away protesting as we left! There were also great tube-slides down dinosaurs’ necks which they spent a long time on.

I was quite interested in the sets of standing stones there & their history, but that will probably have to wait until our next visit.


There were certainly plenty of dinosaurs!

This one is Mammasaurus’ Mum, apparently



There was a hidden lake! I was very impressed when Jake identified this as “a crocodile, or an alligator”. A big one!


Watching over Wales?


The watering-hole:


There was also a recreation of a stone-age village there, including a preserved ‘real’ spring held to be sacred by the Druids. People had thrown coins into it & Jake was fascinated by it. I attempted to explain by saying that people believed that when they threw coins into the spring that something magic might happen. So of course I had to produce a coin for him to throw in! He was very excited.

At home that evening I was playing music from my iPod wirelessly from my little bluetooth speakers. Jake wanted to know how the music was coming out of the little box.

After toying with the idea of trying to explain bluetooth technology to a 3-year-old I resorted to the Daddy Pig solution: “It’s magic!”.

I can’t tell you how excited he was! Jumping around the room like a mad thing, he decided that he had made magic: that this was from his throwing the coin into the magic water!

He went to bed a very happy little boy 🙂

Could It Be Magic?

There was a lot of magic in the air this morning.

In the car on the way to playgroup, using a PlayDoh stamp as a wand, Ellie decided to turn Jake into a Princess.

Jake wasn’t too happy about this.

“No! I’m Jake!”

“I turned you into a Princess!”

“No! I don’t want it! I’m Jake!”

“You’re a Princess!”

And so on…

I felt I had to intervene. A full-blown magic battle can get ugly: I’ve seen ‘The Sword in the Stone’!

“Ellie, Jake doesn’t want to be a Princess; could you turn him back into Jake please?”

Princess Jake was still protesting, so I repeated my request.

Ellie: “I have!”

“OK, thank you, good girl”

Fortunately Jake was able to confirm his change of status, & seemed happy with his current form.

So much so that he decided that he needed to do some magic too. I’m not sure what he was using as a wand; I think it was a ‘Horton Hears a Who” DVD.  I hear improvised magic is often the most effective!

He wanted to turn me into a frog. I’m not sure why.

“Jake, I don’t think you should turn me into a frog while I’m driving. Frogs can’t drive can they?”.

He seemed convinced by this so for the rest of the journey, as far as I know, nobody was turned into anything that they didn’t want to be.

Winter’s back here, it’s cold & wet. As we got out of the car we got hailed on.

So once inside, & after a bit of very British complaining about the Weather, Karen & I got Jallie to do a magic dance to bring the Sun back. So when it gets sunny again you know who to thank!

Dangerously there was an actual Harry Potter wand there.  Or possibly it was a stick from Karen’s garden; I’m not sure. Either way it looked the part, so after a couple of well-cast “Expelliarmus” spells from Jake I found myself back home much sooner than I expected!

Wot So Funee?
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