Sunday, January 28, 2007

Legos + No TV = Stanford ??

I was chatting with one of our neighbors who works at Stanford. He asks the incoming freshmen what they did to get into Stanford and has found two common themes: Legos and no TV.

I told this to Kevin, who then busted out the Lego Mindstorms Robotic kit I got for him (yes, for Kevin, not Lucas) about 6 years ago.
There was no lag time in getting Lucas up to speed with the new Legos -- they are a big hit! Besides, he's really been in a building phase lately. Legos and the Kapla blocks have been taking up a lot of indoor play time.
As far as TV goes, no, we still don't have one. That's not to say that Lucas hasn't been exposed to any screen-based entertainment. Thanks to YouTube, we watched the original Frosty the Snowman a number of times during the Christmas season. And the Incredible Machine is perennial source of amazement for all of us. Because of Lucas' fascination with the skateboarding kids at the school playground, I showed him a video of the amazing skateboarding and waterskiing dog that I saw on Yahoo. Plus, Lucas has watched some Animal Planet at my mom's house, though I've since asked her not to after he told me that some of the things he sees on Animal Planet are a little scary for him, like the lion chasing the animals and eating them (thanks mom, for making sure the shows are age appropriate).

Lucas has only once asked about TV.

Lucas: Mommy, why don't we have Animal Planet?

Me: Because we don't have a TV.

Lucas: Oh.

People tell me how much their kids learn from the educational videos and I don't doubt it. Lucas has been learning the same things whether in school, from us, or from books, so I don't really think he's missing anything from not having a TV. And he's definitely having fun with his Legos and other building projects. So for me, that's good enough.

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