Legos are one of those toys it’s easy to have an abundance of. Just a few can feel like too many.
Lego pieces are little. They get lost. They’re hard to organize and worst of all, they hurt like heck when you step on them. Many a household has decried “No more Legos!” only to find themselves “blessed” with more.
But Legos are also a great source of creativity, imagination, and independent play.
Here are a few outside-the-kit ideas for Lego-loving and Lego-hating households alike:
1 | Corral Your Legos – One of the primary problems with Legos is that they are hard to clean up. There are numerous organizing systems out there. But my favorite system is free – lay down a sheet before the kids play. They can sort to their heart’s content, and you can tidy up the mess in no time flat.
2 | Get the free Lego Club Magazine – Lego has a free publication that they mail five times a year. Lego Club Jr. is geared toward fans ages six and under while Lego Magazine is geared toward children ages 7 and up. Go here to sign up.
3 | Go To a Free Lego build – The Lego store hosts a monthly mini build. Toys “R” Us also holds occasional in-store builds. Both events are free. Be sure to check the times and arrive promptly, supplies at these events go quickly!
4 | Attend Lego camp – Lego camps have become very popular extracurricular and summertime activities. The classes are instructor-led and offer lessons in engineering, robotics, and architecture.
5 | See if your library holds Lego events – Many public libraries now host Lego free plays. These open plays are a great way to discover new Legos and meet other Lego lovers. Go, explore, play!
6 | Check out the Lego Ideas book – While you’re at the library, check out Daniel Lipkowitz’s Lego books. These oversized books aren’t step-by-step instructions for Lego creations, but they do show you new and innovative ways to “unlock your imagination.”
7 | Motorize your Legos – If model building just isn’t cutting it anymore, take your bricks to a whole new level with motorized parts. These motors and gears add power to your Lego play, including making things fly!
8 | Put a New Spin On Your Legos – Therapists sometimes hide little Lego pieces in putty or Playdough and then have kids dig the pieces out. It’s just one of the many ways to creatively use Legos. My kids love it when we freeze Lego pieces (especially the Minifigs) in water and then use spoons to “excavate” them from the ice. For more ideas, Google “Lego marble run” or “Lego candy machine” to find a treasure trove of inspiration and How To videos.
9 | Make a Stop Motion Video – Lego has a free Movie Maker app for the iPad and iPhone. The app lets you turn your Lego masterpieces into movies. Your kids can now yell Cut! Action! and Take Two! with the best of them. (Android has an app called Clayframes that is supposedly comparable. It’s $2.99.)
10 | Swap minifigs at Legoland – Do you know about this Legoland tradition? If you visit a Legoland park, you can bring your minifigures (or buy one there). Legoland model citizens (aka employees) wear their minifigs on their nametags. Anytime you see an employee, you can request to swap.