Lego Week 1

Picture of large aeroplane made in LegoWe’ve been doing ‘Lego Week’ this week. A long time in the planning, and perhaps not as spectacular as it ought to have been given that, but it’s going well so far.

Mainly designating a day or week for something just gives me a little inspiration and the kiddies a sense of occasion that makes us approach some of the same learning we’d be doing anyway with fresh enthusiasm. (Do I sound tired? I’m tired…)

 

 

Picture of Lego-themed Name Badges

 

 

Key to the sense of occasion is of course the name badges we all *have* to wear.
Tip: print lots of copies so they can be replaced throughout the week

 

 

A (8yo) is completing a lapbook over the course of the week, E (6yo) is doing less structured activities and worksheets. All with some more or less tenuous link to Lego.

Picture of A doing copyworb in a Lego-themed lapbook
Copywork
Lego-themed graphing
Graphing
Spelling colour words on a Lego-themed worksheet
Spelling

For each day I’ve created a ‘new’ Lego kit for A and E to do after their planned work. This has involved finding instructions online or creating my own, and then attempting to build them with our Lego, and then stalking eBay for the missing pieces to complete (or very nearly) the original designs. This has been time consuming, and involves a session each evening after the kiddies are in bed to put together the kits for the next day (because we don’t have enough to prepare all the kits at the same time).

I must say that our approach to Lego is old skool. I mean that our Lego is all standard bricks, none of your fancy pre-moulded shapes that only lend themselves to one thing. The backbone of our Lego collection is my OH’s childhood sets. I think we’ve only got half a dozen curved shapes, that came out of free gifts in the last few years. And all our Lego people have smiley yellow faces. So there.

To me the whole point of Lego is using the same pieces for different things. I mean… look at these garden fences making perfect windmill sails!

Picture of a Lego windmill

So we can’t make most of the instructions on Lego’s own website, but fortunately there is this fantastic resource – love the work that’s gone into the metadata.

I think all the kits I’ve put together are from the 70s and 80s, before Lego really started to change.

Picture of a Lego model of a Boeing aeroplane

As an aside,  I also found myself entirely baffled the other day by a discussion on one of the forums I’m on about the best glue to use to stick Lego models together.

What?

Why on earth would you stick your Lego together?!?

But apparently this is a thing! People don’t like building the kits, so they build them once, stick them together then play with the result.

Well, each to their own, but that simply does not compute in our household.

One of aims of this week has been to get the kiddies to move away from Lego as basically a vehicle construction system. This has been largely the result of A’s proclivities, and partly the result of the Lego we had. So I’ve been particularly happy with being able to add a lot more roof bricks, doors and windows to our pool, which as I hoped has had the immediate effect of creating a housing boom.

Picture of a sprawling Lego house

But in the name of diversification I’ve also had them making marble runs:

Picture of a small marble run made from Lego

and mosaics:

Picture of a mosaic made from Lego

(I feel the above picture warrants some explanation, as it came like a flash from E’s head. It is a French person – see the flag on the finishing pole? – walking a tightrope above a river.)

And we’ve been looking at the amazing things that you can create out of Lego, like the animals at Philadelphia Zoo, and this brilliant printer.

M has been happily doing counting and pattern-matching activities, colouring and building the kind of things 3yos build.

Thanks go to Twinkl for some of the resources we’ve been using. We subscribed to the paid service a couple of months ago when there was a large discount, and it does save me a little time sometimes. Some other resources are here.

We had originally planned to do this during a half term, so we wouldn’t have to keep running out to our various clubs and classes, but the day job precluded that. But we did manage to take a special trip to a local ‘Discovery Centre’ where they have giant ‘Lego’ which the kiddies have remembered and talked about from a long time ago – youngest didn’t remember it at all, so that was great. A tenuous link, but worth it!

Picture of a play area with life-sized Lego bricks

Picture of a play area with life-sized Lego bricks
Building a full-sized Lego house

I haven’t had the time, capacity or money to do any themed food, etc this week, but there are loads of ideas out there on the web if you’re looking. I did manage this with the left-over pastry on Sunday:

Little Conkers Lego Week

We’ve also watch this official Lego propaganda, I mean film a few times now.

Well… at least when the table looks like this, you know it’s been a good afternoon.

Picture of a table covers with Lego-related mess

Click for Lego Week 2.