Uniquely Human

The Challenge AND Reward of Using Our Hands To Build With Models and Construction Toys.

It’s a uniquely human trait to use our own hands to craft, create and turn nothing into something. To turn what was once useless into something that serves an important purpose. Over thousands of years, we’ve learned how to turn a rough rock into an arrowhead … weave reeds into a basket … and create skyscrapers and precision automobiles in the modern day. The desire to experiment, build and accomplish the new and incredible is hardwired into our DNA.

Why using our own hands to accomplish something is so appealing to us occurs on a very deep level; a level deeply ingrained in our minds: The challenge and the reward!

Take a simple project like repainting your bedroom. You could simply call a painter, write a check, and within a couple of hours, you have a fresh coat of paint. But if decide to paint the room yourself, you know you are in for a bit of work. It’s not always easy to paint coats evenly, or be precise around edges, or get hard to reach spots. But when you finish the task you set out to do (imperfections and all!), you know you’ve accomplished something. Nerve centers in your brain fire, releasing natural feel-good chemicals. And every time you see your freshly-painted room, those chemicals in your brain will release again, bringing you that same feeling of accomplishment and confidence!

The same principle holds true when it comes to the toys we play with and the hobbies we have. Take a video game for example. Sure, a video game is challenging and can be “won” and that makes you happy. But how long does that feeling last? Probably not long after the console is turned off. Because it’s not tangible – you can’t “touch” beating Level 3.

But creating something with our own hands strikes our unique pleasure centers on both levels: It is both challenging AND rewarding on a long-lasing level. Take building a model: We look at a collection of complicated parts, tools, and materials. It looks confusing at first. But then, something truly incredible happens. Our uniquely human ability to problem solve and create starts to take over. It’s an adrenaline rush. We try different approaches, and many of them fail. But, eventually we complete the task we set out to do. It was challenging, but that challenge only makes the final accomplishment all the more sweeter! We can hold our victory in our hands!

We feel good because we accomplished what humans have done for thousands of years: Taking nothing, and turning it into something we can be proud of! Taking on a challenge, and accomplishing it! And that great feeling sticks with you much longer than an accomplishment you didn’t use your own hands and creative to build!

When it comes to a video game versus a construction toy, the construction toy has the unique ability to tap into our minds to build a lasting sense of victory, accomplishment and happiness!

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