Toys are amazing. Who among us could forget our favorite childhood toy? Odds are you may event still have it in a box in the attic, or even on display in a spare room or den (my own Care Bear play set graces one of the book shelves in my basement craft room). At the very least, you probably have photos of your childhood self with the favored toy lovingly tucked under an arm. Toys— especially the great ones — have the ability to jump start imagination, inspire play, and become objects of endearment, even into adulthood.
The really great toys also have staying power—many have remained virtually unchanged over generations. Such toys tend to be high quality, open-ended, and are often deceptively simple in concept and design. The perfect example of such a toy is LEGO. Long considered one of the best building toys available, LEGO bricks come in a variety of colors and hundreds of shapes and sizes. A bucket of LEGOs contains limitless possibilities and can be used over and over again with different outcomes every time they’re dumped out onto the table or floor. They’re also timeless and loved by all ages—brick building clubs are just as popular for adults as they are for children. They inspire experimentation and critical thinking skills, and everyone from artists to engineers can relate to and appreciate their creative potential. Few toys can bring families and multi-generational groups together to play like LEGOs!
I’m very excited to be a part of CMA’s LEGO exhibition and programming, Think Outside the Brick: the Creative Art of LEGO, and our collaboration with COSI and their LEGO Castles exhibition. Between our two museums, we’ll be sharing with Columbus some incredible LEGO creations and LEGO-inspired art. I am especially excited to be managing our first-ever LEGO building contest, “Let’s Go LEGO!” Finalists for the competition will have their work on display at CMA and will win some great prizes. The contest is open to children (ages 6-12), teens (ages 13-17), adults (18 and older) and families or groups (at least 1 adult working with at least 1 child ages 4-17).
We have three fun and interesting categories to choose from:
• Imagination (build a creation that responds to the question, “What does imagination look like?”)
• Columbus200 (build anything you like using exactly 200 LEGO pieces)
• COSI’s Castle Challenge (build a castle that defends against dragons, catapults, and battering rams).
More details and submission information for the contest can be found at on our LEGO contest page. The deadline for online submissions is October 14, so pull out your LEGOs and start building—I can’t wait to see what the Ohio brick-building community creates!
If you have any questions about the contest, please contact me at Dayna.Jalkanen@cmaohio.org.
Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.
Dayna Jalkanen, Educator for Family Programs