Now I would never presume to suggest that Legos are only for children. I still get a kick out of putting together the colored tiles and forming them into something from my imagination. I know that my grown sons still love Legos. I also know my Associate has a love for Legos. So they are beyond confining to a gender or a age. Yet there is something to be said about the kind of toys which connect us to life AND allow us to explore our imaginations.
I did not have Legos growing up (had to be satisfied with blocks, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, etc.). But my brother and I did break off bushes to plant as trees and used our hands to make roads in the dirt of our play area as we created villages and towns. We put on our cowboy and army outfits and played out the fantasies of our favorite TV shows (black and white). We also played church. I pulled out The Lutheran Hymnal and buried neighborhood pets and birds and squirrels we had found. We set up chairs in rows and an altar and re-enacted what we experienced on Sunday morning. I did not intend to be a pastor but I am confident that not only the actual experience of weekly worship but also the liturgical play that mirrored what I had seen and heard on Sunday morning were responsible for the surprise of going to Winfield and Ft. Wayne.
Creative play that mirrors the real experience of the child's life is an effective means of reinforcing what the child experiences. What kid has not played with pots and pans or toy cars or building blocks (of one form or another)! What kid has not driven pedal cars or wagons or scooters or trikes or bikes and practiced driving on the road! So why not liturgical play? Why not play that re-enacts what the child sees and hears on Sunday morning? I strongly encourage this kind of play. Now I did not have vestments or any elaborately created sets for my playing the part of a pastor. Only my imagination and a hymnal. Some kids have more detailed sets for their play. Whatever they have to work with, it is a good thing to encourage this kind of play that resembles Sunday morning. This is not only practice for the real thing but the subtle encouragement of church work vocations. So, parents, encourage this and play along and help your children practice their piety in this kind of liturgical play. It is a good and salutary thing!
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