Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A New (Lego) Adventure

So... back at Thanksgiving, we bought (unseen) the Lego Movie because it was on sale at Target for $6. We all sat down and watched it the next day and just loved it. The kids thought it was hilarious and immediately wanted to start building stuff. Unfortunately, we didn't own any Legos. Unbeknownst to the kids, though, we had plotted to purchase, and also to have gifted to them for Hanukkah, a couple of Lego sets. Now, as I mentioned, we've never owned the real Legos. We've had Duplos and MegaBloks, but the traditional tiny Lego pieces were unknown in our house, primarily due to the choking hazard with the littles, but also because of their reputation as in-home landmines. But once the movie was introduced to the kids, there was no going back.
Ezra's penchant for building airplanes has been documented on this blog before, so getting access to more things to build airplanes with was simply irresistible to him. What they actually got were sets like an Airport Firetruck that came with a big jet engine and a Construction Hauler. I made a deal with them before we started: I would build it by the instructions one time and then they were free to do what they wanted, but they were on their own after that. I think the firetruck lasted a day before he took it apart and built a jet.
Later, we used some Barnes and Nobles gift cards to buy some small sets that were specifically geared to make airplaneshelicopters and race cars, each of which either I or Olivia built one time. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the race car lasted less than 30 minutes before he reconfigured it with wings.
I should point out that Ezra's not alone in his unbridled creativity. Gabe is very much of the same mindset, though he does tend to build some different vehicles than just planes. Olivia has also been found from time-to-time building herself some impressive things. Emma received an adorable Lego Friends set, though she has been more inclined to dismantle rather than build with the small pieces. The Duplo set she got from her Aunt Nancy and Uncle Charlie has been more her speed.
 In an effort to prevent a ridiculous mess, I searched for storage ideas and found a few people that suggested an Ikea piece for which you can buy bins of various sizes for sorting the Legos by color. While this seemed a little OCD to me at first, I realized that it's kinda the way the instructions tell you to build things: grab 4 red of this shape and 3 black of this shape and 2 yellow of that shape. So sorting by color actually did make sense... While there are more than 6 colors, I didn't see a strong need to sort out the different shades of gray or brown into their own bins. Perhaps when we get into the larger sets, we'll look at expanding our storage with a second unit. Every week, I make then go through and sort the bins out since they tend to just toss the pieces in the bottom bin when in a hurry.
As far as the landmine factor goes, we do find Legos around the house, but it hasn't been the terrible disaster I initially expected. It's a bit frustrating to pick them up in the vacuum, which then requires me to sift through the dirt to retrieve them, but for the most part, we've kept a pretty good handle on them so they're not all completely lost.

So, if anyone's looking for birthday or Hanukkah gift ideas, look no further than the Lego section. :)

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