Another dot in the blogosphere?

Let go of LEGO

Posted on: July 7, 2015

When the papers and MOE announced that students and teachers would receive free LEGO sets for SG50, those who cared cheered.

Others saw an opportunity to make money off the sets knowing that there were AFOLs (adult fans of LEGO) and other LEGO fans who would pay a tidy sum for the sets. Perhaps these fans do not realize that they can buy the sets after National Day or they cannot wait till August. The sale of the sets prompted the Minister for Education to urge recipients to treasure the sets.

My wife, who is a teacher, received her set before my son did. But that did not stop him from opening the set and building the Cavenagh Bridge. He also used his own spare parts to complete the Changi Airport control tower because each set does not contain enough parts to build all three.

Being the avid reader that he is, my son examined the booklet that accompanied the set. He was critical of this page.

His complaint was this: According to this page and his age, he should only build a Level 1 structure even though he is capable of a Level 3 structure and improvising.

My son is well aware that these are only guidelines and that practically all LEGO sets have age recommendations. But he has a point. Does having these guidelines create creative barriers? Does having instructions to build a certain way with set objectives stifle imagination?

Most educators who use LEGO know that it helps to start with structure and build towards freestyling. But kids already know how to build from their imaginations. It is adults that make rules and create barriers, and not all of them make sense.

The adults who were inspired to make the LEGO sets an SG50 present had a wonderful idea about soft selling the building of Singapore. It must have cost a sizeable chunk of taxpayer money, but I doubt many will question if it was money well spent.

But here is a free and more important lesson. We should be learning from kids how not to limit imaginations with levels or objectives. If they are to build their future, we should not restrict them to our past.

1 Response to "Let go of LEGO"

Kwan Tuck Soon: RT @ashley: A lesson from #sg50 LEGO… #edsg via


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