Here’s what makes Legos unplayable for 100-year-olds:
It is perfectly fine for anyone 100 years or older to play with Legos.
There is a long-running joke that such activity is prohibited because many Legos packaging labels have age recommendations from 4 to 99.
There isn’t really an upper age limit to who can play with Legos.
So if you want to learn all about why 100-year-olds can’t play with Legos, then you’re in the right place.
Let’s jump right into it!
Which Legos Are Bad for 100-Year-Olds?
Technically speaking, no Legos are bad for 100-year-old users, but I’ll get into that part a little later.
First, I should probably clarify what kinds of Legos we’re talking about.
After all, Legos come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, and they come with different age recommendations too.
So, for this question, we’re really talking about all forms of Lego brand building blocks.
From the really big, basic ones for toddlers to the super advanced specialty kits that cost hundreds of dollars, we’re going to discuss all of them and whether or not they should be used by people who are over the age of 100.
Why Wouldn’t 100-Year-Olds Be Able to Play With These Legos?
Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s talk about the real question.
Why shouldn’t someone over the age of 100 be able to play with Legos?
This idea stems from the age recommendations that you will often see on Lego packaging.
Each package has its own age recommendation, and they will vary according to the toys in question.
Two common recommendations that you will see are “4-99” and “6-99.”
These recommendations mean that the Lego company is suggesting the toys are fine for kids from the age of 4 all the way up to adults of the age of 99.
The other recommendation starts at the age of six, but the overall meaning is the same.
The thing to understand is that this recommendation isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.
While Lego does recommend that very young kids don’t play with the toys (as they can be a choking hazard), the idea of this recommendation is to say that adults of all ages can enjoy Legos and it’s fine.
Putting the age limit up to 99 years is a cheeky way to suggest that Legos are meant for everyone.
It’s not seriously suggesting that once you hit 100, you should give up your passion for building blocks.
And, you can see that clearly when you look at more Lego labels.
Many of them don’t have the 99 age included.
Instead, they say “4+” or “6+.”
These labels suggest that as long as you meet the age minimum, anyone can play with Legos, no matter how old they are.
Why Can’t Younger Children Play With Legos?
While we’re talking about this, I should probably clarify something.
I’m telling you that the upper age limit is really more of a joke, but the lower age limit should be taken seriously.
How can I justify that?
Well, the minimum age recommendations come from two places: a concern for safety and a concern for fun.
Let’s start with safety.
If you’ve ever seen Legos, you know that they’re small enough to fit in the mouth of a small child.
Because of that, they are a potential choking hazard.
If you give them to infants who are too young and small to know better, the Legos could end up causing a choking situation, and nobody wants that.
According to the Lego company, kids of the age four and up can play with the larger-sized blocks without any risk of choking.
Kids over the age of six usually know enough not to choke on Legos, even if they’re playing with the smallest blocks available.
As for fun, that has more to do with motor skills and dexterity.
If you’ve ever raised a child, then you know that they aren’t born with all of their motor skills.
Babies have a hard time controlling their bodies, and dexterity develops as we age.
On average, four-year-old kids have enough dexterity to play with a lot of Lego blocks and have fun, but some of the smaller blocks might prove tricky for kids of that age.
Obviously, this will vary from kid to kid—as no two people develop at the exact same rate—but Lego is playing the large average with this recommendation.
When it comes to the smallest blocks, they are usually fine for any kids over the age of six.
At that point, most kids have enough dexterity to have fun with all Legos.
If you look hard enough, you might find a set that has an age recommendation higher than six (I didn’t see any when doing research for this article).
If that’s the case, then it’s more likely a recommendation based on dexterity and fun than a safety concern.
So, Should 100-Year-Olds Play With Legos? (4 Reasons)
With all of that covered, let’s circle back to the original question and remove any doubts.
Despite what some of the labels say, there is no reason to assume that Legos would be problematic for users over the age of 100.
Granted, as people age, they sometimes lose dexterity and motor skills, and in that state, Legos could prove frustrating.
But, that doesn’t mean that Legos will be frustrating for everyone at that age, and there certainly isn’t a safety concern.
In fact, there are reasons to believe that playing with Legos at such an age could provide mental and physical health benefits.
I’m going to take you through all of those just to really drive home the point that anyone can play with Legos as long as they can do it safely.
#1 Mental Engagement
It’s not the most fun topic, but various forms of dementia do exist, and in the vast majority of cases, they plague the geriatric among us.
This isn’t to suggest that everyone will suffer from dementia, but it’s common enough to create a general sense of concern for most of us.
I did not find direct studies that suggest Legos prevent or minimize dementia, but logically, it’s possible that they could have that effect.
After all, Legos stimulate creativity and logic when you play with them.
The creativity is easy to understand.
You can build whatever you want out of your Legos; the only real limit is your creativity.
As for logic, it’s more present than you might assume.
If you follow instructions to build a Lego kit, then you have to intuitively reason out the instructions and keep up with them.
That stimulates logic.
Even if you aren’t following instructions, you have to exercise logic in order to assemble your Legos into the creation you have in mind.
After all, there are severe limits to how you can connect the blocks.
Unless you can pair your sense of reasoning with your creativity, you won’t successfully build anything.
So, while I didn’t see studies that directly link Legos to reductions in dementia, in general, stimulating your brain in creative and logical ways has been shown to combat dementia.
It’s entirely plausible that playing with Legos is very good for people, even those over the age of 100.
#2 Fine Motor Skills
Unfortunately, cognitive decline is not the only thing that we have to face as we age.
Physical problems also eventually show up for everyone, and those problems can include issues with fine motor skills and dexterity.
The rest of this explanation is going to closely mirror everything I just said about dementia.
In general, studies have shown that engaging in activities that use fine motor skills and dexterity can help you mitigate the decline in these areas that are associated with old age.
As an example, people who knit tend to have better motor function at extreme ages than people who don’t.
Once again, I didn’t see studies that relate specifically to Legos, but we have already clearly established that Legos do engage fine motor skills.
It’s not a massive logical leap to suggest that Legos might involve enough fine motor skills that playing with them will help you retain functionality as you age.
With that in mind, it’s yet another reason to think that 100-year-old users would benefit from playing with Legos.
This isn’t really about health.
I mean, sure, I could point to studies that suggest having fun on a regular basis is good for hormonal regulation and can help you live a longer, happier life, but anyone who has made it to 100 has probably already done a lot right in terms of general health.
Instead, I want to focus on the fact that it’s perfectly fine for a 100-year-old to have some fun.
If that fun happens to involve playing with Lego blocks, then why not?
Plenty of people enjoy Legos, long past any age that is generally associated with childhood.
If it’s fun, then playing with Legos should be just fine.
The last idea here is that playing with Legos could prove to be a social exercise for people, regardless of their age.
Is it so hard to picture a grandparent playing Legos with their grandchildren?
That’s a social engagement that many people seem to like, and it can certainly be good for people over the age of 100.
And, this doesn’t have to limit itself to grandparents and grandchildren.
If you’re over 100 and have people to play Legos with, then, by all means, it seems like a healthy way to get some social engagement, have a little fun, and maybe squeeze out some minor health benefits along the way.