Chuck the instructions! Your kids won't replicate the LEGO® spaceship, but may build a better one instead

Steve Vassallo is a partner in a Silicon Valley venture capital firm and a long-time entrepreneur.  He wrote this article a for Forbes couple years back, and we wanted to share it – it has a great message!

His article is a tribute to the creativity unleashed by building with LEGO® Bricks as a kid – the first paragraph is a cracker:

When I was 10 years old, I built a monster truck out of Legos. It had a four-speed transmission and fully working transfer case, so you could switch from two- to four-wheel drive. It had articulating suspension and steering, a snowplow, and a winch. It even had working headlights. All this meant two things were inevitable: that it would be a long while before my first kiss, and that I would one day become an engineer.

He goes on though to reflect how LEGO® has changed since his young days.  LEGO® has increasingly gone into licensing, and kits – with fantastic results for them, and skyrocketing popularity!  However, he says this has been at a cost of sacrificing some of the original magic – LEGO® today is increasingly about reproducing a “provided solution”, he says, and less about creating an imagined new thing.

He urges the restoration of a balance.  There’s no doubt that patience and fine motor skills are developed by all LEGO® activities, but we should encourage kids to take apart their kits and rebuild them into new things.  He concludes the article with this sentiment, from which the title of this post is taken:

” … when you get home from the toy store, throw out the instructions.  Your children won’t be able to replicate the Star Wars space ship. But, without a roadmap, they may find a way to build a better one.”

The image used here is a rocket ship built by adamtheant1 and shared on Deviant Art – its a freestyle creation and you won’t find the instructions anywhere!  No doubt Adam is off now creating the next big Silicon Valley world-changing startup 🙂 . Check out more of his work on Deviant Art, and share some of your kids’ amazing and magical freestyle masterpieces.

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