Creating with LEGO Bricks Exercises my Brain!

Many of you know I have a fascination (ok, actually an obsession) with LEGO bricks! I’ve managed to incorporate them into my work, but my favorite activity is to use the bricks for my creative play.  Yesterday Tim and I traveled to the Franklin Institute Museum in Philadelphia to see an exhibit called “The Art of the Brick”, created by artist Nathan Sawaya. I had high expectations for the exhibit and it didn’t disappoint!! The pieces on display had as few as several hundred LEGO bricks all the way up to several hundred thousand bricks. Some of the sculptures were larger than life!! I was mesmerized and inspired!!       

What I hadn’t expected was to have been equally as inspired by another exhibit at the Franklin Institute, one called simply “Your Brain”. To say it was fascinating would be an understatement. There were at least 25 interactive exhibits that helped those engaging with them to better understand the brain and how it works. We loved it!    

As a child of a parent with dementia, I’ve become fascinated with how the brain works since Mom’s diagnosis.Tim and I both interacted with every area of the exhibit!! I focused on the parts of the exhibit that examined the benefits of exercising your brain and the importance of the creative side of your brain. I learned more than I had ever expected. There was a section on Alzheimer’s disease of course, which was actually very emotional for me.   

I definitely knew that the creative projects I’m building with LEGO bricks are helping my brain, but I didn’t know how much! I’m praying that the more I play, the better my chances will be of keeping dementia away!! I may not be building art like Nathan Sawaya, but I’m building pieces I’m proud of, and building hope that I’ll be able to use my brain fully until the last day of my life. I was so inspired by our trip to the Franklin Institute that the first thing I did after working out this morning was to build the 3-D mosaic below that I really love! I give thanks for my Mom’s encouragement to build and create, and one of my favorite things to do in life is to build creations with her! In spite of her dementia, her brain still remembers how to play with LEGO bricks! Love my Mom!  


5 thoughts on “Creating with LEGO Bricks Exercises my Brain!

  1. Thank you, Loretta and Tim, for your trip to FIM and your pictures. The LEGO sculptures (that’s a good name for them, I think) are incredible and your pictures of some of the brain-related exhibition are wonderful. And when you wrote about constructing your 3-D mosiac, the image that arose in my mind was a time before watching you build a LEGO construction – your concentration, your choice of a piece, then, reconsidering, removing it, and replacing it with another, and continuing that process through to completion and your satisfaction. I almost could “hear” your mind working as you created. Praying the fruition of your hope of the good effect LEGOs has and will have on the dynamic and lively life of your brain. Much love

    • Dear Paul,

      How amazing that you remember my LEGO construction techniques, and you certainly have me pegged correctly!! I treasure the many hours of building we shared in the kitchen, though I don’t think we ever talked about the connection between building and the brain. You would have loved both of the exhibits!!! Some of the LEGO builds were simply unbelievable!! In the Brain exhibit my favorite interactive station was a safe that presented you with an escalating series of numbers. When you typed the correct number on the keypad, the safe opened and revealed a cool fact about short-term memory!! It went all the way up to 10 numbers. I did fine up until 6 numbers and then failed miserably!! But it was a blast!!

      I’m saving a building project for you for the next time we come down to Clevedale!! We can keep our brains alive together!! Much love to you!

      • “How amazing that (I) remember (your) LEGO construction techniques”? Ah, my dear, it’s only because I took the time and attention to observe you, and then surmised how your processed/worked. As for “a building project for (me)” – woo-hoo! Great! Much love back atcha!

  2. WOOOOOOWSERS!!!! AMAZING!!!! I am speechless really!!!

    You are doing PHENOMENAL things to help your brain stay active!

  3. Thanks Kim!!!! It was really an awesome museum!! We can’t wait to take Kendal to places like this because it was beyond awesome and we learned a TON! YEP, I’m keeping my brain alive in every way possible. I’m hoping you’ll be stuck with me, and my brain for years and years to come!!

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