My Son, The Lego Genius?

Here's a couple of the Lego creations my son, Felix (4.5 years), has come up with recently.


I don't know what the benchmark is for the creativity of others his age, but, to me, this seems quite advanced. Note the attention to the symmetry on the "craft" in the foreground.

He can also build a Lego model from scratch using the instruction leaflets. While he gives us cause for concern in other areas (mainly his speech), it makes me feel a bit better about things when I see there's a budding engineer in him.


  1. That is very impressive

  2. Are you training the replacement Warren Elsmores' of this world? Combining the power of Notes/Domino Development (or any other kind of Dev for that matter) with the Genius of Lego construction? You know, you just might be on to something there.

  3. Dragon "took" my comment. :-) You may want to seek out and attend a LEGO Conference; they are amazing and the builders are, IMHO, extremely outgoing and free with their knowledge. We attended our first LEGO conference last year, BrickFair, and will attend this year's installment. It's a bit of a hike for you, but I'm sure that there are similar events close to you.


      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Wed 8 Jun 2011 06:34 AM

      I spoke to Warren Elsmore about Lego briefly at UKLUG. I'll probably take Felix to the next Lego get-together he organises.

  4. My younger son was very into Legos for years, and very creative with them. Compared to his friends, he was far faster and more proficient at putting together from instructions, and better at creating new designs.

    I'm not sure he could have done these creations at 4-5 years old. Felix is definitely a budding engineer.

  5. Ben, Brickworld in Chicago is coming soon if you are interested.


    June 15 through 19.

  6. Wow, Jake. From what I've seen working with kids, he is definitely showing a high degree of aptitude for someone his age. You noted the symmetry but also I see evidence of abstraction. Maybe he's picked up a few "this is how you represent x" tips from models he's already built from instructions, and maybe I'm projecting meaning onto some of the features... but yeah. A 4 year old? I'm impressed.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Wed 8 Jun 2011 10:22 AM

      It is as though he knows what he's going to build when he starts. Rather than randomly arriving at what you see above. Normally he makes planes. With wings and cockpits and everything else you'd expect.

      Show the rest of this thread

  7. you might wonder how this stuff came to have such a name?

    When the inventor made the first model his two children were fighting over it, each screaming at the other "lego" "lego" !

    lego is slang here in Mansfield Woodhouse for "please let go".

    I do realise this is a crap joke but only when compared to joke's in general, when however one compares it to the odd 'funnie' that from time to time gets posted on here I think it's OK?! ish

    LEGO is like Archaeology, interesting but of no practical use to mankind!!

    1. Oh. Sad is the day I must disagree with Jake's venerable dad, and I do so with utmost humility. Lego is an amazing teaching tool used to great effect with young robotics and engineering students world-wide. Some enterprising folk have even built useful real world things out of Lego. Young masons and carpenters alike have found early inspiration from Lego building exercises.

      Now curling... tell me curling is interesting but of no practical use and I'll give you a hearty "hear hear!" Or cheese wheel rolling... what a tragic waste of some good Wensleydale... or frozen chicken bowling. Really...

    • avatar
    • Giulio
    • Wed 8 Jun 2011 06:21 PM

    Very clever.. I understand your concern for speech development. Best find a occupational speech therapist and get the little guy assessed. Usually highly active cognitive skills suppress speech. But it's all developing in their little minds waiting to "unleash" soon.

    If your experience is on a similar course to ours, we found that our 3 yr old was doing quite sophisticated things with his hands, and there was so much going on in his head with big words he wanted to use, he just couldn't get them out yet.

    You may think it's a problem getting them to start talking.... when the reality will be just getting him to stop.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Jun 2011 03:28 AM

      We did take Felix on a government/council run "speech awareness" course, but that was a waste of time. We're hoping that - when he starts school in September - he'll get some one-on-one attention from a specialist.

      Right now we're not overly concerned. Unless he gets to school and they raise it as an issue. Then, if needs be, we'll maybe look in to private tuition.

      He does have a half-decent vocabulary. It's just certain sounds and letters he can't do. For example his name is "Beelicks"

      Show the rest of this thread

  8. That's impressive! I have a 5yo as well and he can barely get through the instructions, let alone create something himself.

    Maybe I should force him to spend more time with his Legos. What a cruel Dad I am. :-)

  9. I have to grin.

    I am also convinced that my son Gian possesses an uncanny language ability, and that young Eric is unbelievably musically gifted. I disregard these feelings as they are obviously hard-wired. When my sons were born, all the other babies in the ward were red, splotchy, screaming aliens, and my sons were utterly, completely perfect. I swear.

    To be fair though the constructions look pretty complex to me.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 9 Jun 2011 03:25 AM

      It's funny, now that I've met you I can't help but hear you voice when I read what you've written.

    • avatar
    • Mike
    • Thu 9 Jun 2011 07:48 AM

    As a dad-to-be part of me is hoping the child enjoys legos so I can "help" them.

  10. Felix is displaying superb engineering skills there, well done!

    Lego is a sound investment. I reckon we could take everything else out of our playroom, just leave the Lego, and the boys would still be just as happy. It's a splendid thing, and kids (*cough*, dads) can do such cool stuff with it.

    1. I played with lego all the time as a kid, but my sons (7 and 5) prefer to follow instructions than to free-play. Once they've lost the right bits in the big bin of lego and can't quickly follow the instructions they're bored with it. They put together the really expensive train set in a very short space of time at Christmas and haven't touched it since. I need to get the instructions off the internet and box them all up again for them!!! (Might save buying birthday presents for them for a while!)

    • avatar
    • Inger
    • Mon 13 Jun 2011 07:25 PM


    Its awesome you are supportive of his interest in Lego and of all the toys on the market, this is one that allows kids to create and explore their "spatial minds"-creating amazing designs and working their minds in ways that are "out of the box". I truly believe that kids who think this way will contribute to the world in ways we can't realize yet.

    And honestly you could have been talking about my son when you described his proficiency in Lego but his lack of the same in speech. My son is now 10 and while still a little "below average" in speech and writing has continued his love for lego designs. We have sought help for his speech and he is making progress.

    I would recommend a speech therapist if you can find a supportive one and that is one regret I have, that I didn't find support sooner. I regarded his other creative/imaginative skills as "special" (as they are) and didn't want him to lose that, but in hindsight I would have loved to have been able to give him more support in the speech area so he could share his creations with the world more accurately than he is capable of now. The speech stuff kicked in for my son eventually, just a year or two later than other kids, but these are such precious years of learning that every day makes a difference.

    Anyway, congrats on seeing the beauty of your son's creations and when he is old enough, introduce him to Lego Digital Designer :0)



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Written by Jake Howlett on Wed 8 Jun 2011

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