Friday, August 1, 2014

Lego Club: July 2014

This year the boys are part of an invitation only Lego Club. It was actually their own idea, but took a little help getting up & running. Basically, they wanted to start a Lego Club & invite a few friends over to build things with them.

While I had no qualms with the idea I suggested we brainstorm ideas on how it would all work out & from there we pulled together a few ideas.

We ended up with once a month meetings, we simply picked a neutral type date {i.e. 1st Monday of every month}, a theme for each meeting which would be disclosed upon arrival, & a challenge of what to build. My kids were pretty giddy about it & were open for inviting everyone they knew over, but I suggested a limitation, at least for a while, on how many people were invited to join us. The idea wasn't to be selective, but to keep things calm as we all found our feet. We've been meeting for a few months now & while not all invited have come at the same time yet, each meeting has been a hit for those who've joined us.

While I haven't taken photos of each meeting I did remember to snap quite a few at our latest meeting, & I thought I'd share how simple we keep things. First off all our lego is now housed in our giant rumpus room which is on the second story of our home. In fact it's the only thing on the second story of our home. Pretty much all the lego that is not built in some fashion or another is inside those big drawers on the bottom of the table. There are shelves on the side which hold various containers of other things & built projects on the other side of the room you can't see.  Children are welcome to build wherever suits them, & most choose to build directly on the white table as it's closest to the drawers. The basket in the middle of the purple table holds bases. Lego Bases are pretty expensive here where we live, so rather then shell out a few hundred dollars upfront I spent $40 on a few of the larger square bases. I went with a couple of grey, blue, & green. I then pulled out one of my boys smaller square bases & used that as a guide to cut the bigger pieces into smaller ones. It was pretty quick work with "the knife of exact zero" & a cutting board.

I pretty much kick my kids out of the rumpus room after they help tidy it up the day prior to our meeting. Then I take over decorating & setting up. Why do I kick my kids out? Here's the thing, the idea is for it to be a fun challenge, but my boys would be so eager to delve in they'd start planning all about what they'd build. I haven't got an issue with that, & there are no winners or losers in our challenge, but I like it to be just as much as surprise for my kids as it is for the other children.  The lego table is decorated with some of our Lego Books as well as books about the theme we'll be taking on that particular month. Really they are just for inspiration, we don't read them aloud or anything. Those who finish building can also peruse through them or those who choose not to build can do the same thing.

I tend to flag a lot of lego pictures on Pinterest. My eldest can look at a picture & whip something up in a matter of minutes. His latest goal is learning to make round items from square objects & he opted to google for some help options. It's a slow process, he's learning, but he's really happy with how it's going. As for our club.. I printed out a variety of pictures of winter things for our last meeting. Some included pieces & instructions, some did not. I had a total of 9 pictures hanging up this time I think.

This easel greeted the kids at the top of the stairs & helped block off the office from the rest of the play area. It was just a few ideas of things we, here in Australia, might see in the winter time. Just in case people needed a little extra inspiration. Lots of these ideas were worked into various builds this month! That's pretty much it, then the kids are off & running which can last anywhere from 40-60 minutes. 

Anyone who wishes can put their piece{s} up for display on our table for others to look at. I, personally, love looking at the various lego builds. I'm always astounded by how each person can give a lot of detail in a small amount of time & space. None of our boards were white, children covered them with white lego to represent snow. 

These penguins were a fun & easy build. We had patterns on the wall for 2 different types of penguins, & this was the easier of the two. We had a few in different colours testing out which looked more realistic with the mouth & foot colour, but in the end this was what made it to the table for display.

Jayde made antartica, everyone thought the little white circle at the top was a satellite, but apparently it was an umbrella, thus the blue piece on top was rain! Funniest thing about his build was that I totally forgot we have a beautiful beautiful book about Antarctica I could have put out, but forgot about!

His scientist got stuck in a snow pile. I thought it was a very clever way to show what had happened!

One of their friends built this park scene. I love the way the sidewalk was cleared for the business man, who cleverly remembered his hat!!, to walk down. Did you notice the snow build up in the trees? 

See the tilt to the back of the park bench? This was awed over for days about how clever it was to remember that park benches aren't always made at right angles! 

Our youngest bildet made this fun snowmobile, & then I picked it up to check it out & the front fell off. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I had a clever builder near by who could help put it back together for me!! We've been impressed with our youngest builder's constant use of wheels! I have a few challenges ahead I'm really curious to see how wheels will be worked in, all though we never require that anyone has to build on theme!

Morgan made this Winter Clothes Shop. There is so much intricate detail in it we all kept finding new things! Seriously, I think this child could build anything out of lego. This is an overhead view of most of the shop. but the two characters on this side are having a snowball fight, see how the lady was splatted in the face with one?

At the back of the shop a happy customer was building a snowman, see her rolling the next portion?

This happy fellow drinking his lovely warm drink threw us all a little. We thought he was, perhaps, wearing muddy boots, but they are, apparently, ice skates.

Shop entrance, I'm surprised that fellow wasn't shouted at to hurry up & close the door before all the cold air got in!

Front window display. Check out those snowpants! Can you also see the front counter there too? That's the screen to the cash register. You can make out the side window towards the right which had tops for sale on it.  Can you see a pile of snow there in front of the window?

We've got some pretty clever builders attending our meetings, haven't we?


Matthew said...

That looks like so much fun! How much Lego would you need to have in order for all the kids to have a decent amount to work with?

Nancy Ann said...

What a great idea. I am curious as well, how much Lego to do something like that. I wonder if I could do something like that with our neighborhood kids.

Kendra said...

We invited a total of 5 families, only 4 were interested. All up we have 10-11 kids. I have enough boards & then some by the way we cut them. As for Lego..

We use to have one of those clam shaped kiddie swimming pools overflowing with lego before moving it to the table. I do know libraries who work with less lego, say just a small rubbermaid tote full.

I also saw ideas where people purchased a few of those "mixed lego piece boxes" specifically for Lego club & also had people bring their own personal lego to use.

I think it's really going to depend on how many people you have. Truthfully we could probably host another dozen children with our lego quota.. a little can go a long way, especially if the boards they are working on are smaller.

I even saw suggestions to ask Lego specifically for contributions for lego clubs. I didn't feel the need to do that, but some people reported great success with doing just that...