Lego unleashes Michael’s creativity
Michael Magatogia’s mum Melanie Boeck is a big advocate for Lego.
‘‘I would bring out the Lego and this toy would facilitate speech and language therapy for my son,’’ she said.
It also helped him win the Matamata region of the National Lego Building Competition recently.
Michael started playing Lego when he got his first set at age three.
‘‘He would make spaceships and then we would pretend-play; ‘Whooooosh! I’m a spaceship’,’’ Boeck said as she mimicked and described her son’s sounds and actions.
From that onomatopoeia, their conversations evolved into discussing the different parts of the spaceship, and role-plays.
Michael’s first Lego set was of a spaceship.
Melanie connected Michael’s love of spaceships and flying objects with her life-long love of Star Wars.
‘‘Not only did the Lego help my son want to speak- to communicate his passion for this toy, and space and spaceships and characters – it also helped him create dialogue.
‘‘He was pretending to be Luke Skywalker – a jedi on a mission to save the galaxy and it was so amazing.’’
As well as using Lego as part of Michael’s speech therapy, building those spaceships also helped his fine motor skills.
Boeck, who lives in Rotorua, was such a fan of the building blocks that she has driven to Matamata several times to ensure that her son could enter the National Lego Building Competition, which is run by Toyworld. Matamata Paper Plus have a Toyworld section.
The Toyworld in Rotorua has been closed for several years.
Boeck and Michael came to Matamata again on June 8 to collect his prize for winning the Matamata region of the competition.
The national champion of the National Lego Building Competition gets to go to Legoland in Malaysia, which Michael’s winning regional display was a Lego replica of.
Boeck will take Michael to Legoland in Anaheim in California later this year on the way to visit Boeck’s home country of Canada.
Michael won his first Lego competition in Auckland in 2014; he was the competition’s Under 6’s champion at only age four.
Winning the Matamata region of the National Lego Building Competition gained Michael Magatogia and his mum Melanie Boeck $100 worth of free Lego from Matamata PaperPlus, which is owned by Graeme Guilford.
Star Wars Lego is a favourite for Michael.