Having both boys and girls in our home, it is relatively easy not to think of toys & games in terms of ‘boys toys’ and ‘girls toys’. Gabriel is just as likely to be found playing with a doll in its stroller as he is to be crashing cars and Evey loves to explore how things are built and how they work just as much as she enjoys painting her dads face with make-up! Here are some of the things we have built.
Lego has always been a fun way for us all to play together but Evey has become particularly enamoured with it since she discovered Lego Friends. If you are unfamiliar Lego Friends in one of the newer Lego worlds (introduced in 2012) that has the same kinds of building and adventure sets as the Lego you are already familiar with but with more realistic mini figures and rather more pink, white & purple that traditional sets.
However, don’t make the mistake of thinking these are all ‘girly girl’ sets. There’s plenty of fun to be had with Emmas Workshop, Stephanies Soccer Practice, Olivias Exploration Car and Olivias Inventors Workshop. Personally I would love to have all of these sets – My very own Heartlake city complete with the Grand hotel & all of the houses – I might even allow Evey to watch me play with them, if she asked nicely! You can see more of the sets and discover some crafts, colouring pages and more on our Lego Friends Pinterest board.
They also integrate seamlessly with the other sets as you can see here where Evey is playing with her Friends vet & birthday party sets and some regular lego (the plane provides a flying vet service to animals in the wild!)
An entire world has been created around this theme. The characters live in Heartlake City and you can even watch their adventures in the Friends series and the new the Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship programme on Netflix.
Also new on Netflix is LEGO BIONICLE: THE JOURNEY TO ONE. Now, we have never been interested in the Lego Bionicle line – Lego City and similar sets have always ruled in our house, but we gave it a go & you know what? I’m very glad we did – Gabriel absolutely loves it! It is easy for him to follow the instructions but has a bit of an older feel to it than some of the regular Lego sets. He built the articulated robot like figure in no time at all and the biggest bonus is – it’s seems very resilient to flying & crashing! Even when it has been riding accross the Lego Bionicle universe on the back of the vicious feline monster of swivel chair.
Because of his sensory issues, Gabe has a tendency to be pretty heavy handed with his toys and many a Lego helicopter or plane has met an early end when it inadvertently crash landed and disintegrated on touchdown. His Bionicle figure has withstood a number of such hard landings without incident and still remains intact. This means Gabe can watch the show, play with the figure and not have to ask me to reassemble it every time he lands – AWESOME!
His smile when he plays with his Bionicle figure says it all. I’m so glad Netlix sent us this to try out because we would never have thought to buy one for him and it is one of those rare toys that he enjoys that is age appropriate. This can be a big issue when other kids of his age (9) are around and he is playing with toys more suited to a 4 year old. Bionicle will actually help him to fit in and interact more easily with kids his age- something that is HUGE for a child with autism.
Other great kids programming on Netflix at the moment includes: