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Imagination Beats Wii

By SAMANTHA DELLINGER, Smart Mama

I’m happy to say the Wii has nothing on my son’s imagination.

Our Christmas morning was filled with the usual ripping of paper, followed by piles of empty boxes that covered the floor.

When all was said and done, my husband had to hook up a Nintendo Wii and assemble some Lego Star Wars ships.

I was sure the Wii would be the highlight for my 5-year-old son, Vincent. He had been asking about a Wii for some time.

I thought that once the video game was hooked up he’d be immediately engaged in some game for hours.

But, I was pleasantly surprised to see my son sitting at the dining room table with his father, who was putting together the Lego ships.

Vincent and William spent the better part of the morning working on the Starfighter and Separatist Shuttle.

Vincent put together the little figurines of R2-D2, Han Solo, robot droids and a bunch of other alien characters that I didn’t know the names for. And William painstakingly put each block together.

“You do realize Vincent will have that ship taken apart in minutes,” I said.

“Yeah, I know,” William said.

Meanwhile, Vincent watched patiently as his dad worked.

“Dad, are you done yet?” Vincent asked.

“Almost,” William replied.

“Why don’t you go play the video game Dad hooked up for you and sissy,” I suggested.

“No, that’s OK, Mom,” Vincent replied.

I was really delighted by Vincent’s choice to wait for his dad to finish building the Lego ships, instead of running immediately to the video game. It was nice to see father and son spending time together. And I could tell they both were enjoying the project, too.

It took an hour, but William finished building the ships. And no one was more excited than Vincent.

“Done! Now be careful Vincent,” William said.

“OK, Dad. I will,” said Vincent as he grabbed the ship and proceeded to fly it in his tiny hands.

We both knew it was only a matter of time until Vincent broke the ships.

But, there was something more I knew as I watched Vincent play. He set up his little Lego men to battle on some distant planet. He zoomed his ships in the air and occasionally crashed them. That’s when the ship’s mechanic (Dad) would be called in to fix the damage.

I knew the Wii was fun and had a lot of bells and whistles, but what it didn’t have was the creative freedom of the Legos.

Vincent has played the Wii since Christmas, but he’s definitely having more fun with his Legos.

And I’m having just as much fun watching him make believe.

“This is the best Christmas ever!” Vincent yelled on Christmas Day.

I think it was, too.

Samantha Dellinger is the graphic designer for Smart. For more Smart Mama columns, click here.

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