After much deliberation, one of my favorite memories of our Christmas with the Robertson household was our game of Creationary. The boys got this game for Christmas. The idea of the game Creationary is very similar to the popular game of Pictionary, where you select a card and draw a picture for others to guess at. Only with this game, you use Legos to build your ideas, rather than drawings. Essentially, you will roll a die which determines the category you will build from, and then you draw a card and use Legos to draw the item in your given category. The idea sounded simple enough when we sat down at the table to play.
Though I don’t completely recall who went first, the first lego creation I remember seeing was Patty’s.
I quickly guessed correctly that this structure was a bed, and we moved on. This all seemed easy enough… Her next turn went very similar. She had made what could only be described as a very obvious lego fireplace. This continued on and I had no problems guessing nearly everything constructed. (And yet, I couldn’t inspire a single soul to guess the things I was making…) Though the others at the table may have disagreed with my idea of an obvious lego artwork, everyone agreed that what was clear was that I had a knack for guessing abstract objects. Oddly, I was not the only person who had a specific strength, but we’ll get to that.
It became immediately clear that Ryan and all of his Lego building youth experience had a distinct advantage. He instinctively understood which Lego pieces were made to form with others and had no problem creating works of art that would pivot, hinge or take unusual curvy contours. It seemed that even the cards designated “hardest” building level could not slow his creative talent.
Ben was starting to be known for his ability to guess precisely what you had already guessed just moments before. “THAT’S A FIREPLACE! I got it!” (This comment following immediately after I guessed “fireplace” correctly.) Ben declared himself a winner and gave himself at least partial points for each round of Creationary we played. His score rivaled my own very closely.
The best Creationary moment of the night was probably Jake’s creation. Jake had an unusual way of building with the legos. I am having trouble defining precisely how his visions and building stragies were different than those of the adults, but it has something to do with the idea that he didn’t chose to connect most of his pieces. While we were busy trying to create 3 dimensional imagery, he chose to line up legos creating a flat, 2 dimensional picture for us. Just as the adults were creating in 3D, it was apparent that we were all also guessing in 3D. We sat throwing out guesses randomly as Jake built, getting no where near his intended idea, when out of nowhere, Ben yells, “IT’S A SWIMMING POOL! I GOT IT!”
Jake looked up from his creation of a grey Legos loosely arranged in a rectangle. He was beaming and confirmed Ben’s prediction. Ryan, my mother-in-law and myself all sat stunned staring at Ben and Jake. How could he have known it was a swimming pool? And with that, Ben jumped up from his seat at the table, and professed (very dramatically) that this game was much too easy and he was was finished! Patty and I bust out in hysterical laughter. Then, we settled down and convinced him to try creating just one time himself. (To this point, he’d only been guessing.)
Ben drew his card. He thought carefully about what he was going to build as he looked through all of his available Lego arsenal. As he started to create, he pulled all of the yellow blocks available to him and dumped them in front of him. Unlike Jake, he was going to build a 3 dimensional object. Unlike the adults, he was not going to connect the Legos to make this happen. He was carefully placing Legos where he decided they needed to go, then rebuilding them when they fell because they were not secured. Before too long, we had to stop him, and let Ryan give him building guidance.
Soon after Ryan helped Benjamin with his creation, we called it quits on our game. We concluded really quickly that this was a game that was a challenge for all ages and skill levels. I was truly amazed that such a simple idea entertained a three generation span. What a great gift that was! Thank you, Patty and Tim!