LEGO!® It’s not just for kids – Adults love to make and build stuff too!
We just bought a beach house on a very small island on the west coast. I do not mention this to brag, although I am really excited. I want to share a great story about building, making, and creating.
During our second weekend on this island we hosted four houseguests. My sister and brother in-law joined us, along with our now-adult exchange student from France and her husband. The house was just equipped with the bare necessities, so we were somewhat brave to host guests. The first person we met on the beach told us that if we wanted to meet the neighbors, we should go to the fundraiser happening that weekend. It sounded great, but the only issue was it was Viking themed. We had just moved in and, silly us, we forgot to pack our Viking costumes. Being on an island, making a quick run to the shop was not an option.
We spent Saturday discussing whether or not to go and, if we did, whether or not we should dress up. We saw the advantages of not having to cook or do dishes. Fifteen minutes before the party was set to start, I announced we could dress up with some old blankets for capes and plastic plates for breast shields. To my surprise, everyone jumped into action.
“Do you have tin foil?” asked my brother-in law, the mining engineer, without moving from his lawn chair. He had an idea to make us horns. Perhaps he’d been 'sitting' on that idea all day? “Yes, and I know we have duct tape,” said my husband, a retired insurance broker. He then began to tape driftwood together to make various types of weaponry. Our exchange student, now an English teacher, added, “I could use the names from the old IKEA boxes (we just unpacked plates and knives) to give us Viking names on the breast plates.” Her husband, a math professor, chimed in, “Okay, I guess I could use the cardboard from a beer case to make an axe.” My sister exclaimed, “I think we can make a boat!” She loves going big and, after all, she is college professor who teaches early childhood education. One might say she was on fire! I ran around covering people with blankets and used old sheep rugs as decoration for the boat.
My sister and husband rigged up a sound system with Viking war music. There was no turning back now. We made our way down our steps and along the lane to the party. We laughed at each other and ourselves as we walked. It was the first time we’d really had a chance to look ourselves—the last 25 minutes was total rapid-building chaos. It was adult PLAY in the purest sense of the word.
When we arrived people actually gasped when they saw us. There we were, the new neighbors, arriving in a cardboard boat! “Good cottage effort,” someone said. “They made a boat,” someone else whispered, and people clapped. For the rest of the night we drank cheap wine and beer and ate $5.00 hamburgers for a good cause—the volunteer fire department. We chatted, laughed, and admired other people’s costumes. We met our new neighbours who, it turns out, like to act like kids too. At the end of the night we took a shortcut home. We climbed up the side of a rock face using some old rope and the lights on our cell phones.
When I look at the photos I still laugh, because this was one of the highlights of the summer! This was definitely a “Yes, and” activity. No one said, “That won’t work,” or “We might look silly.” Everyone jumped in and created something. We took a risk, we were brave, we acted like kids, and we created fun out of nothing at all and with no time to think – we did great!
I really believe people are only truly happy when they are building, making, and creating something. If you are not smiling and having fun, you might need to grab some friends and make something! Maybe organize your own dress-up party “fun-raiser.”
Remember that something does not have to be fancy. It is not the outcome or product, it is the act of making that connects us.
I’ll end this post with a suggestion for a great book on this topic:
If you are interested in how we use play, building, and creating, in our work, please call us today 1-888-238-2608! LEGO for adults!