Am I the only mother on the planet who has Lego fantasies?
These fantasies usually consist of Legos sorted by color and organized in bins. Or, this reoccurring dream: my boys challenge themselves to reconstruct the 3 trains, 2 parking garages, 2 jails, and 3 fire stations that I literally spent $100’s (no, $1,000) of dollars on and which are now rubble in large plastic tubs.
Not that I hate Legos. I actually LOVE them! My boys have spent HOURS with these blocks building and creating. . .and yes, arguing. They have learned about following directions, spacial concepts, creating from their imaginations, and most importantly patience. Maddie even captured the Lego spirit when she wanted to play school and needed students. She created “Lego Club” which participants with complete a math sheet and then were “allowed” by the teacher (Maddie) to build something.
But, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have made five major Lego mistakes that if I could go back (what mother doesn’t wish that in some way or another?) I’d change. So, if you are a Lego newbie–those moms of 5 year olds who received their first sets this holiday season–here are the top 5 mistakes my husband and I have made with Legos.
1. Not Embracing Supergule: I’m embarrassed whenever I think of the money we’ve spent on lego sets. Sets, that now, are broken apart and in a large bin. The kids never, ever, ever want to root through those bins to find the itsy-bitsy pieces for the sets. (Believe me I’ve tried bribing them to do that!)
Only recently have we started gluing some particularly important sets together. While we don’t do this for all sets (really, who has the time?) and we like the creativity that is spawned by a plastic bin full of Legos awaiting imagination, there is also something to playing with a completed set.
2. If you aren’t going to glue the sets together, develop a system that keeps the sets together. We had three different train sets. All three sets are in the–you guessed it–PLASTIC TUB. Kids love to build the sets, play with them, and then yes, they get somewhat bored with them. What a treat if I had saved those sets in their own plastic bins (or the original boxes) and brought them out to be rebuilt in 6 months! It would be like having a new toy again!
This leads to mistake number 3
3. Have a storage system. Legos are like guppies. . .or rabbits. . .or anything else that seems to multiply overnight. My advice to nascent Lego parents, develop your storage system NOW. Think about how you are going to organize and store these legos. Check out this mom’s Lego organization. She is my hero.
A corollary to storage of Legos is to have a place to store built SETS that will spare them from the two year old brother. Nothing spawns sibling turmoil more than a wrecked Galactic Battleship.
4. Not keeping up with the Lego mess. There was a point where we had so many legos spread out in the play room that my husband took a snow shovel to shovel them back into. . .yep, the plastic bin. Have at least a nightly clean up. BUT PLEASE DON’T INTERRUPT THE LEGO BUILDING PROCESS DURING THE DAY. Wait until everyone is done building as no one wants their creativity to be interrupted
5. Take Pictures of the builders and their completed projects. You will be amazed at what your children build throughout the years. Plus, the kids are always so proud of their accomplishments. The boys have even asked me from time to time to take a picture of them with their creations. It would be wonderful to have a “Wall of LEGO ACHIEVEMENTS!” photos on the playroom wall showing them all of the cool things that they’ve constructed through their years of building.
Disclaimer: My boys DID NOT make this Ninjago. I mean they are good builders, but I haven’t bought THIS MANY Legos. . .yet.