There’s no shortage of LEGO building ideas and this fact makes LEGOs a great hobby to share with your kids. Almost anything a child enjoys is, or has at one time been, included in a LEGO collection. Kids get to build castles, spaceships, underwater adventure scenes, and so much more with LEGOs. Also, because LEGOs fit together in so many different ways, children are really only limited by their own imagination. Not only a fun hobby, playing with LEGOs encourages creativity and analytical thinking at the same time.
Most LEGO kits come with their own design instructions. You can also look online and find a ton of LEGO building ideas to keep your child engaged for quite some time. The LEGO line caters to a wide range of ages and many adults even find the activity fun and highly addictive. Adults also have turned their passion for LEGOs into a collecting hobby.
LEGOs started in 1932 when the founder of a toy factory chose to put together two Danish words to name his company. “Leg Godt” means “play well” and Ole Kirk Christansen, the founder of LEGO, thought that it was a perfect fit.
The LEGO toy factory started with wooden toys and then moved onto plastics that paved the way for the first LEGO brick designed in 1949. While the plastic bricks weren’t immediately well received (customers were used to wooden toys and viewed plastic toys as cheap), as LEGO improved the brick design and introduced a variety of LEGO building ideas, the product really took off in the next decade.
The LEGO Company has continued to evolve and introduce new and exciting product lines over the years. Regardless of interest or age, there’s bound to be a LEGO set and fun LEGO building ideas for your child.
LEGO Fun Facts – Did You Know?
- LEGO produces 19 billion bricks per rear. Their manufacturing process is so controlled that only 18 out of 1 million bricks are considered defective.
- LEGO building ideas are almost endless. With only six, 8-stud bricks you can build hundreds of millions of different design combinations.
- LEGO manufacturers more rubber tires per year than Goodyear.
- Germany is the largest market for LEGO followed by the United States.
Getting Started With LEGOs
Getting started with LEGOs is easy. All you need are a few bricks and some LEGO building ideas. It’s also helpful to understand the LEGO lingo…
Bricks: the most basic part of any LEGO set. The brick can be made of various shapes, though most of them are square or rectangular of various lengths and sizes.
Stud: the small, raised part on top of the LEGO brick that connects to other bricks.
Figures: the little people that come with your LEGO set. The most common, standard figures are an inch and a half tall. These guys are also known as minifigures or minifigs.
Base Plate: the large flat piece that many sets come with. The base plate acts as the ground, and is great for stabilizing larger structures.
LEGO enthusiasts have also coined their own LEGO-lingo. Some of the fun terms include…
HOG: Hand Of God; this is what the minifigs think of your hand as your move them around.
LF and NLF: LEGO Friend and Non-LEGO Friend
MOC: My Own Creation
Dark Ages: The period in your child’s life when he or she abandons LEGOs for other interests such as cars, dating or sports.
With the basics of the LEGO language down, now it’s just up to you and your child to get started. Take a trip to your nearest toy store (Toys-r-Us is a popular store for LEGOs) and pick up a starter kit. The age ranges are clearly marked on the packaging to help you gauge what sets are most appropriate for your child.
While we doubt your child won’t fall in love with LEGOs, don’t go overboard at first with your purchases. Buy a kit or two and see how your child does. If her interest explodes, you can always buy more kits or, better yet, bulk bricks and accessories. Your child can then come up with her own LEGO building ideas.
As far as toys go, LEGOs aren’t cheap, but well worth whatever you spend to get started. Depending on the size and type of the set you start with, you can pay anywhere from $25 to $150 or more for the highly specialized sets. To expand your set, however, you can get accessory packs for much less.
Playing With LEGOs – The Steps
Once you get your kit back home, go ahead and find a nice flat area to build in, like a table or smooth floor. Have your child pull out the pieces and instructions. Following the instructions the first time or two will give your child a better understanding of how the pieces fit together.
As your child assembles her kit, encourage her. Praise her when she puts the pieces together correctly and provide gentle guidance if she gets stuck. The more positive you make the initial building experience, the more likely your child will fall in love with the hobby.
As she gets the hang of it, encourage your child to come up with her own LEGO building ideas. This is where the fun and imagination elements really start to kick in. No matter what the finished creation looks like, always provide some excited “ooh’s and ahh’s” to further encourage your child to create.
At the end of each play session, ask your child to put away her bricks and accessories. While LEGOs are extremely durable, there are some delicate parts that can break. This will also help prevent lost pieces. Also, if you’ve ever accidentally stepped on a LEGO brick with your bare feet, you know it’s not the most pleasant experience!
LEGO Tips And Tricks
The following tips and tricks can help your child get the most out of his or her LEGO building ideas…
- Easily add to kits by buying packaged bricks and accessories. These brick packages are cheaper and will also help your child explore his own LEGO building ideas more easily.
- Does your child have a favorite color? There’s no reason she can’t paint some of the bricks and add her own personal touch.
- Watch infants closely when LEGOs are present as the pieces can pose a choking hazard.
- Go online with your child and search for new and exciting LEGO building ideas. In addition to the LEGO company site, there’s tons of free information on the Internet about creative design ideas.
Growing The LEGO Hobby
As your child gains confidence with LEGOs and wants to do more with them, here are a couple of ideas to consider…
- Graduate your child to a more advanced LEGO product line.
- In addition to creating objects, work with your child to start creating LEGO cities and towns.
- Plan a fun trip with your family to LEGOLAND.
- Keep your eyes open for local LEGO exhibits. Usually jaw-dropping, these fun events provide a wealth of LEGO building ideas.
Related LEGO Resources
Check out the following resources for more LEGO building ideas…
LEGO.com – official home of the toy building brick. Provides product information, company history, news, how to join the club, new software, links, and more.
LEGOLAND – official site of LEGOLAND California and Florida. Learn more about the park attractions, buy tickets, and plan your trip.
Lions Gate Models – site provides a variety of fee and free LEGO building ideas.
Related YouTube Videos
Check out the following videos to learn even more about starting this hobby.