Nothing beats playing Lego blocks with your toddler.
Not only does it introduce and teach the child design patterns and the paramount importance of perseverance but it also aids in the development of social skills and fine motor skills.
As in most things I do, I like to really up the ante and take it a bit further by introducing Life Lessons along the way as we play together.
You see, before my son builds anything he must complete an EPA Environmental Impact Study. Many play sessions, this means that he ends up building nothing since he can't persuade me that his building won't have a negative impact on the environment.
However, there is a bright side to this. You see, he has learned that If he can't persuade me to approve his EPA Environmental Impact Study that he should then try bribing me, err, entertaining me by offering chocolate chip cookies or gummi bears -- under the table of course.
Once that is done, he has found he can start building - well, I mean, he has found that he can start planning to build.
You see, to keep this as real as possible, I also make sure his building is properly zoned and permitted and that it follows all Use laws in terms of parking, handicap access and so on.
Once that is done, he can start building.
Often we never start as it's then way past his bed time.
But that, again, is another lesson.
I should note that for the few times he has ever been permitted to start building in the last six months, that I'll then act as an inspector, checking his building out -- much like any government inspector, I relish screwing him around, just screwing the poor baby toddler silly until he gives up and is in tears.
I'll force him to make changes here or bring things up to code there. Even if everything is fine -- in fact, especially if everything is fine.
Again, he is smart and he has learned that a proper response is a steady, under the table supply of chocolate chip cookies or gummi bears -- and that that goes far.
If I'm feeling generous I may even accept Swedish Fish instead.
In any event, this process goes on and on....and eventually he came finish. But just, just when he has finished the crowning touches of his beautiful Lego Land Office Tower, guess what happens?
Yet, you guessed it, it's time for me to come in as the State and first Tax him into oblivion and then, even if he wipes out all his Gummi bear stash he has left to give to me, I'll whip out my Ace in the Hole -- Eminent Domain.
And seize his building and property.
To mix it up, I would like to add that other times I'll re-enact the bussing in of the "Share The Wealth" crowd for violent protests "Share The Wealth" protests.
I did this last Sunday and, by golly, if the little fella wasn't in tears. All before he picked up one of his large Tonka trucks and whacked me straight across the face, nearly breaking my nose.
"It's my building! Hands off", he cried out.
The little fellow learns fast.
Life Lessons From Legos...