Category Archives: LEGO

Skating in the Imaginarium

Noah’s pining for a skate. Since stepping off the ice at Parc Monseigneur-Nadeau’s outdoor rink, he’s been waiting to lace up again. Our regular morning outings at Cole Harbour Place aren’t happening for us this week.

His desire is palpable, bubbling, ready to burst. Noah usually pipes up once a day, “Papa, when are we going skating?” I don’t think we can wait until our next regular Cole Harbour date. I need to check other rink schedules for public skates.

In the absence of getting to the rink, Noah turns the family room and the upstairs hallway into his own private ice surfaces. This is a pretty standard move. They become the arenas for his beloved hockey games with myself, or Nellie-Rose as his doomed-to-lose opponents. The atmosphere here is quite heady with daily dosages of Olympic hockey and Noah’s own brand of early morning, mid-afternoon and evening indoor pick up games.

What is quite remarkable however is Noah’s invention of skates for floor surfaces. He fashions blades with Lego blocks and glides around the basement floor as if it was the most natural thing to do. By now I’m used to seeing Noah and Nellie on their multi-coloured blades but I continue to marvel at the inventiveness that has such transformative powers for Lego blocks. I no longer exclaim about the ingenuity of it all each time I see them but I still smile deeply at the imagination that makes this all possible.

Nellie-Rose is smitten with the new skating technology. She has no ‘real’ skates of her own and hasn’t been on the ice this year. These ‘skates’ put her and Noah on a level playing field. Her recent interest in hockey, gauged by her willingness to play with big brother, has gone through the roof.

The first series of the Lego skates was made with single blocks. Version 2.0 is made with double blocks making for a more comfortably fitting skate. There has also been some experimentation with the blades’ length. The longer blades are hinting at speed skates. Nellie is quite steady on her feet. She moves in an actual skating motion to get her and her Lego from place to place.

Noah takes his ‘skates’ to bed at night maybe in an effort to dream them into real blades. Our lad’s imaginarium is certainly hard at play. It’s great to see him fashioning the world around him and having fun in the process.

This morning he thumped me 10 – 4 in the Eastern Passage gold medal Olympic Classic. That’s right, he was Team Canada.

I’ve got to track down the manufacturer and get myself a pair of those specialty skates for our downstairs scrimmages. Maybe they’ll help me win a game or two.

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Leggo my LEGO

Wheels, Wings and Wave got the crowds out to the Discovery Centre this weekend. When we left the special event for subscribed members, there was a line winding along Barrington St. waiting to get in.

Everyone came to see transportation themed LEGO creations that include the S.S. Titanic (approaching the 100th anniversary of its sinking), a space shuttle and vintage cars along with assorted trains, planes and helicopters.

There’s a Formula One car large enough for kids to sit in at the entrance. It’s sure fired to get little kids’ engines revvin’. Inside there are two six lane race tracks for legomobiles that the kids build on site. The racing ‘circuits’ are at kitty corners to each other just off the main exhibit area.

Noah was a racing fool at both stations. At the second, he assumed the starter role pulling the lever to lower the barrier that allowed the cars to start rolling down the incline. His happy smile was beaming as other racers looked to him to get things rolling. This is a fun for sure venue with the hands on racing and the gasps of wonder at the scale and precision of the incredible models.

We also met a family of three kids at the racing emporium who I had last seen on a Halifax – Ottawa flight in October. The biggest was a couple of years older than our lad. He was a sweetheart with Noah helping him reconstruct cars and opearte the race gate. Both of them had a good feeling with each other.

After about 35 minutes we mosey along to the second level to check out old favourites. There’s the big wooden truck that kids can climb in and sit behind the wheel, the sandbox with graders, dump trucks and other excellent types of heavy machinery, and the slippery and sticky at the same time bubble room.

Alexa was with us on our previous outing and tried to entice Noah into the spinning chair. It was one of her favourites as a kid. It was a convincing ‘no’ from Noah on several occasions that day. Alexa’s request must have softened him up though because he leaped into that chair and buckled his seat belt following our massive bubble fabrication party of two. It was spin city and we’re not talking politics.

We finally had to leave to go and pick up Alexa for a supper out in The Passage. I’m always happy to see her, give her a little squeeze and hear her latest news. Noah likes to tell her his own stories and play around with her cat TonTon when we drop by her place.

We’re on for at least one return visit of the LEGO exhibit. I for one would like to get in a little more racing time and go head to head with Noah – maybe a best four out of seven challenge – to determine the champion of the universe.

Thanks to the great staff who always have time to engage with the small ones and when the occasion permits to involve them in adventurous experiments like blasting off home made rockets. See you soon.