Today a trip to the Lego Store was inevitable. The kids were restless and we were resorting to the iPad for entertainment. Our almost 2-year old wanted to run around the mall but we had to make him sit still so we can finish with work. With a video playing on the iPad, the kids were safely gathered together, busy getting entertained.
Yes, it truly is convenient AND handy. But early on, the husband and I have agreed not to give them too much screen time because it does more harm than good. Sometimes, though, we’re left with no other choice.
Then a Lego Store came to sight. The bright yellow walls lured the kids to come in, and I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s always a good idea to visit a Lego store because they have a play table where kids can build and be creative. Korbin, our toddler, ran immediately and looked around stopping at giant models and big boxes.
“Do you have money to buy it?” I ask. “Twenty pesos mommy.” I then told him he could get anything from the store his money can afford. He started scouting for that 20-peso deal, starting from the tiny pieces which cannot be bought by the piece, definitely. So I had to explain it to him. I had to repeat the value of money to let him realize it’s not easy to earn it so he has to think things through before making a purchase. He’s still having a hard time applying it especially when faced with new things he really likes. I know, at the back of his head, he believed we might change our minds and give him the cash anyway. I can’t blame him. For a time we were too weak to say no. But we wanted to start teaching him the value of money from now on. It may be a bit late but I know we’ll get there. At least in that moment, he handled his frustration like a big boy and that was enough.
Our only girl was happy building different looks for her mini figures. She was not suggesting we buy for her. She was merely enjoying what she was doing, and I think that’s a good attitude! She proudly showed us the minifigures and we encouraged her to do more.
We spent a good half hour inside just exploring. The kids were looking around and passively learning something. Kenzo realized there are a lot of pieces there he already owns and ditched the idea he has to buy something just for the sake of buying. Chloe said goodbye to her built minifigures and happily walked out of the store satisfied with the joy it brought her. Korbin dropped his Lego blocks the moment he saw us walking to the door and said goodbye to his new found playmate.
The kids left the store entertained, if not completely happy (because we didn’t get them anything). I left the store with these key takeaways: 1) we don’t need to spend money to have fun, 2) we use this opportunity to teach our kids the value of money, to learn to appreciate things from afar, and to accept that we cannot always have what we want, 3) there are a lot of other ways and venues to entertain our kids without spending, and lastly, 4) we can walk away from a good experience and bring with us all the learnings and memories that come with it.