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Five year old son successfully built a Lego set meant for 6-12 year olds over 3 to 4 days.

He did it with very little help.

Is this common?

If not, what does this mean?

Should we do something focused within this area of interest for him?

He is about average at most other activities.

  • 1
    It means you and your son have a completed lego set, for one! – tuskiomi May 23 '17 at 19:21
  • My three year old does jigsaw puzzles labelled “6 and up” by himself. I suspect those numbers are a bit... forgiving, like some clothing sizes. – Robert Atkins Apr 13 at 18:41
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Five year old son successfully built a lego set meant for 6-12 year olds... Is this common?

Yes, it's quite common.

The age range on the boxed toy is not based on intelligence or aptitude. It is put there to comply with recommendations, most importantly whether the toy is safe for the child to use.

In the US, the agency responsible for determining recommended age ranges for toys is the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most toy manufacturers use these guidelines.

With respect to Legos, the Commission states:

One should place primary emphasis or importance on the following characteristics when determining the age appropriateness of interlocking building materials:
•Interlocking/Loose Parts
•Motor Skills Required
•Number of Parts
•Size of Parts

Our kids started with Duplos and early Playmobil (the figures of which - earlier Playmobil, that is - our pediatric neurologist friend called "little trachea people" because of the choking hazard they represented.) While they liked Playmobil, they didn't much care for Duplos and quickly took to Legos well below the recommended age limit. So, that meant they had to be supervised initially when playing with these toys (which to me was quite entertaining and informative. I loved the conversations my kids had while playing with Legos as I sat quietly in the background.)

None of my kids build anything, none are engineers, etc., even though they insisted on keeping their Lego toys (as opposed to donating them) into their 20s. I guess that made them Lego nerds, but in our case at least, their early interest in Legos didn't translate into any particular cognitive bent or skill.

Age Determination Guidelines – Relating Children’s Ages to Toy Characteristics and Play Behaviour. PDF
Toy age guidelines – lessons from Lego and The Simpsons

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I don't know whether it's common or not but my son could certainly do that; he first got into Lego aged 4 and it really clicked with him (in fact he's only just growing out of the Lego obsessed phase now at 14).

With him it didn't particularly translate into advanced spatial skills or a design flair or anything like that. He's just an ordinary boy who likes Lego a lot! Only you or people close to your son can comment on whether the same is true in your case.

[Edit to add: having thought more about this, I guess it does show persistence and determination, which are good traits. To stick with something difficult until you have completed it is a useful life skill.]

The biggest thing you probably need to be aware of is that your bank balance is lining up to take a massive hit over the next few years! That stuff is not cheap!

  • 1
    I can $$$oooooo relate! – anongoodnurse May 21 '17 at 13:23
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    What bank balance? My step son loves Lego and yeah I've now no money. It's so expensive. – Bugs May 23 '17 at 7:14
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    Interestingly i was super in to lego as a kid... as an adult im still in to "making things", spending most of my times messing with 3d printers and electronics and the like... – Trotski94 May 23 '17 at 11:40

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