Do you have lots of LEGO sets hanging around that need a little love? Here are seven ideas to help make new and old LEGO bricks exciting and encourage your kids to hone their engineering skills with this favorite classic toy.
A few months ago, we nearly donated our entire bin of LEGO bricks. We have probably fifty sets of LEGO from a variety of series and levels, but the boys hadn’t shown an ounce of interest in them in months. We even had two unfinished Technic car sets, this Bugatti and this Porsche, that our boys couldn’t get motivated to attack.
With calendars cleared, the boys have quite a bit of time on their hands. I’m sure you can relate. Initially, they didn’t take to the idea of pulling out their LEGO sets. Then I told them I would get started on the sets myself, and they could join me if they felt so inclined.
I called their bluff, and it worked like a charm. I pulled out their unfinished Technic sets, and they set to work in just a few minutes. I barely touched a brick, and they kept busy with their projects for a couple of weeks.
We’ve been trying a few other ways to fill our Blursdays with LEGO. While I am very grateful for the extra time we’ve had together, I’m done with quarantine. My boys are too. But while we don’t have a choice…
7 Ways to Help Kids Rediscover LEGO
… the boys are honing their engineering skills with all things LEGO. Here are seven ideas for ways to encourage your kids to play with their LEGO bricks. Let us know if you have any other ideas. We’re always open for suggestions.
Create A LEGO Challenge
Being creative is often easier and more interesting when given some guardrails, even though that’s counterintuitive. Having a specific challenge in mind eases overwhelm of what to build, pits builders on the right track, and gives kids a target endpoint.
You can create your own challenge or follow along with another challenge. For example, we have been following this daily challenge from @snapologyphilly and the boys get excited when they have a new goal for the day.
Leave The Bricks Out
This one might be tough for those who dislike messes. But the truth is, kids play with toys that are out and available. They are far less likely to dig through buckets for things they can’t find. We dumped out our large bin of LEGO bricks and let it sit on the floor for about a week. The boys played far more creatively while the bricks were out than when they were packed away.
Related Reading: Check out all our posts about LEGO.
Set Up A Work Station
If they are working on a complex LEGO build, set up a work station that you can leave in place until the project is complete. For example, we set up a card table so the boys could leave their work-in-process LEGO projects out for a few days or weeks and work on them over time. It’s so much easier to jump in and out of a project when they don’t have to set up and put away the project each time they want to build.
Build An Old Set
Rebuild an old set or finally build the set you never started. Dig out the instructions and get to work. Rebuilding something they’ve tackled before may not feel quite as exciting as tearing open a brand new box, but it will be great once they get started!
Watch LEGO Masters Show and Copy Them
LEGO Masters is a reality show where LEGO building experts and enthusiasts compete against each other to create a specific scene with LEGO bricks. The boys love this show and have watched all the episodes. It’s pretty incredible what these builders imagine and bring to life. A couple of weeks ago, my boys set out to take on the bridge-building challenge and recreated their own LEGO Masters bridge build, including adding weights to measure how much weight they could hold.
Listen While They Build
Fight the urge to expect kids to sit still and listen to a book, audiobook, or podcast without moving or fidgeting. Play music, an audiobook, or a kids’ podcast, while they build LEGO.
Sometimes we play the audiobook or podcast out loud. Other times, we let them listen through headphones and immerse themselves in another world. This is especially effective when they need a little reset and some time to themselves. They build away while listening to their favorite tunes or stories.
Build LEGOs Together or Next To You
We don’t all have time to sit with the kids and help them through a complicated set, especially those of us who are juggling working from home with schoolwork and childcare. If you have time, build together. Your kids will love it!
If you can’t build, set up a building station next to your work station. You may have to check out their work between emails or memos, but it’s better than screens.
Have your kids pulled out their LEGO bricks? What are they building while they are stuck at home? If they are athletes, they might also like using LEGOs to create activities to keep them up and running around.