This blog post was written for a client but all opinions are my own and it doesn't stop it being fun to read, does it?
Lara is an incredibly bright young girl; last week I blogged about her difficult behaviour and sometimes I think this is down to the fact that her mind is whirring and life isn't challenging enough for her. In general, as Lara has grown from a tiny newborn baby into a confident, dextrous young lady, I have offered her toys that I feel push her development a little and have totally ignored the age guidance for toys and followed my own instincts instead. I'm wondering whether maybe I've taken too big a jump this time.
For Lara's third birthday we asked friends and family for a number of things but particularly Lego because she had started to lose interest in her large Duplo and Mega Bloks. It was only after I had put Lego bricks down on Lara's wishlist that I even thought to look at the suggested age range for smaller, traditional style Lego bricks. Most of the sets of Lego that I looked at were suitable for 4+ and Lego City and Lego Friends is usually suitable from 5+. This didn't worry me - Lara has nimble fingers and a problem-solving brain so I thought we would go for it anyway.
Lara was given two sets of Lego for her birthday. One of the other mums at nursery had obviously gone through the same thought process and had bought Lego City for the kids at each of the birthday parties we went to over the summer. This simple fact made me feel better about the decision because other mums were thinking it was a good idea too.
As it turns out, I'm going to admit defeat on this one. Lara is still a bit too young for the small Lego pieces. We quite regularly sit down and try to help her create things with the bricks but she finds it hard work. Lara can't see her imaginative creations forming quickly enough and loses her concentration. The small pieces such as flowers and headlights just get scattered all over the floor. What Lara really wants us for us to make the cars, houses, trucks and castles for her so that she can play with them and the Lego figurines.
So the Lego City is there for when Lara grows into it. I don't know when it will happen but occasionally there are waves of interest and we will be prepared when it does. We have some new and exciting Mega Bloks instead that I shall tell you about another day!
Now I'm presented with the worry (I do worry sometimes you know) that I was pushing Lara too hard and that maybe she would have preferred a birthday present that didn't push her boundaries. In the evenings when I try to help Lara actually read the words in her story books, am I wishing away her childhood? Am I a pushy mummy?