It has been a long time since my last post but Happy as a Dane is still here and has lots of things to share with you! First of all, my family and I just went to see the new LEGO Movie 2 and we all thought it was awesome in a very Danish way as not everything has to be awesome and happy all the time. As they sing in the theme song: “things can’t be awesome all of the time, it’s not realistic expectations but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make everything awesome in a less idealistic kind of way…” What a great message to send to children and adults, that you can’t expect life to be sugary sweet at all times. If that’s the expectation you will only get disappointed in life which is not the same to say that you shouldn’t try to make life as great as possible. An important aspect of Danish happiness and childhood is realism where children through stories are prepared for the unavoidable struggles of life.
I am also a big fan of the LEGO movies’ very Danish messages of team work. There is not one perfect hero in the LEGO movies – in fact when Batman presents himself as the leader of the team he is ridiculed because, as they sing in the theme song: “everything is better if we stick together”. The movie even shows how a pair of siblings learn to get along with LEGO play after years of battling each other.
Moreover, this movie is a great way for parents to bond with their kids as it is funny for both adults and children! It has so many funny references for adults which the kids somehow seem to get, or at least they get that their parents are amused and they like that! The parents are truly laughing instead of the usual flat “haha” which is all I can usually come up with for other kids movies. Right now our four year old son quotes the LEGO spaceman, Benny, singing: “Now I finally get Radiohead” even though he has no idea who Radiohead is, yet he loves the phrase just as much as we do. Maybe because he can see that our laughs are real for I am sure he can tell that a lot of my laughs are not that real when it comes to kids movies.
The day after we watched the movie we went to a LEGO store nearby to get some building platforms so we could really start fostering a new generation of masterbuilders. When I asked the young sales representative where to find the platforms he curiously asked “so what are you planning on building?” He clearly meant me, not my kids, even though they were standing right next to me. “Eh, just kid stuff” was my baffled reply as this young sales representative kept trying to engage me in a conversation about all sorts of cool LEGO projects I could do on my bookshelves. Apparently, it is cool and totally acceptable for adults to play with LEGO now. I had no idea but my husband told me that this is a “thing” on Flickr. When I was a teenager I felt like I had to pack my LEGOs away out of fear that my peers would discover that I was still playing with LEGO. In fact it was my absolute favorite toy. It was a sad day when I decided that it was time. So I am excited to hear that it is not only ok but even cool to play with LEGO up into your teens, tweens and adulthood because playing is so important for our creativity and happiness throughout life. I know I sound like an advertisement for LEGO (which I would happily do!) but no I am not sponsored – this is written out of pure love for my childhood’s favorite toy and a wish to pass this on to modern children.
I know that a lot of LEGOs now come in sets with all these little specialized pieces – especially LEGO Friends – which is great in its own way but I really want to encourage parents to get boxes of just LEGOs where children and adults can create their own masterpieces and learn to use their imagination because there is nothing as beneficial, fun and creative as being absorbed in open-ended play. LEGO is an abbreviation for “LEG GODT” which means “PLAY WELL” in Danish. So here is what we just bought for our children to nurture an environment of good play time the Danish way 🙂