Did you know there is no such thing as “LEGOs.” Its true. LEGO is a brand name and the actual product is LEGO brand bricks.
LEGO bricks are a marvelous product. So fantastic in fact that the design hasn’t been changed since 1958 yet the company is still producing a wide variety of sets and creations based around that simple 2×4 brick.
Of course, they have added other brick shapes and designs over the years. The most popular of which being the the LEGO Minifigures. Everything from the classic red shirt and yellow head to the elaborate movie characters, LEGO has made sure there is something for everyone.
Despite the wide variety of premade options available, the type of people who are most drawn to LEGO’s products (ie creative people) just can’t seem to help themselves from taking things a step further and creating their own custom LEGO designs.
There are multi-step processes and complex ways to customize your own LEGO minifigure, but for children who are just starting out designing their own LEGOs, the process can be simplified greatly.
For this project all you need is a printer, a printer-friendly sheet of adhesive-backed paper (can be purchased most places office supplies are sold), some coloring pencils/crayons/markers/paint, a pair of scissors, and a basic LEGO minifigure that you want to customize.
Simply print out the Template for Custom LEGO MiniFigs (click here), have your child color in the pieces, cut out, and apply to your LEGO minifigure. The printable has enough templates to cover 15 LEGO minfigs, if you need more than that then just print out a second page. (Perfect frugal fun activity for a LEGO birthday party or playdate!)
Your child will love the sense of pride that comes with creating their own LEGO minfig, and you’ll love how easy it is to look like a supermom in their eyes!
This post has been part of The ABCs of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings series.
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As I’ve stated before, we are pretty big fans of Jack Kirby around here. I know most people love Stan Lee and while they did work together, I just really believe that Kirby hasn’t gotten the public appreciation he deserves. Lee may have been the idea guy but Kirby was the artist. The two of them together created most of the characters we know and love today- Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and dozens of others can all be accredited to the dynamic duo of Kirby and Lee.
One of the great things about comic books, besides being a beautiful art form, is that they encourage reading. LittleMan first sparked an interest in reading on his own not because of the many, many books we had around the house, nor because of our daily read-aloud time. No, he was content to be read to and never learn to read independently. That was, until he found comic books. (more…)
Like most geeks, I am a big fan of the show MythBusters. I love the way the show encourages viewers to analyze things rather than just believing something because thats what they heard. I also especially love how they blow stuff up.
While MythBusters target audience is slightly older, I find that the show is usually engaging enough to pique the interests of my kindergartner, and what could be better than getting children interested in science as well as learning to scrutinize information they are provided from less than reliable sources.
I knew I wanted to find a myth that even my small children could bust on their own but I couldn’t figure out what sort of myth to present them with. Luckily a myth was provided to us through our day-to-day interactions in life.
LittleMan was explaining to SunnyGirl how magnets work (and specifically why her magnetic letters wouldn’t stick to wooden furniture) when he turned to me and asked, “all metals are magnetic, aren’t they?” (more…)
In case you didn’t already know, instructables.com is an incredible resource for geeks. From cosplay to crafts to techy builds, Instructables has a little something for everyone.
Here are some of my favorite Instructables, some of which I’ve made and some of which I wish I had the time/talent to make but don’t: (more…)
One thing I’ve noticed among my fellow parents is that those who are gamers tend to have children who start gaming at an earlier age than their peers. I’ve also noted that parents who play MMOs specifically, tend to have a better understanding of the game and know how to keep their children safe in the online world. So while their children might start gaming at (for example) 6 years old, they are more likely to have a positive relationship with the game than another child whose parents are not well-versed in MMOs and who let the child play without precautions at (for example) 15 years old.
This is a general statement based on personal experiences, not meant to be an attack on any one type of parent. Of course I realize there are always exceptions to the rules. If you are not a gamer and your child plays an MMO then it is very likely that you’ve done your research into it before-hand. But if this is all new to you then perhaps I can offer up a few tips that might help. (more…)
I am a huge fan of George Takei and absolutely love the way he has used his fame to speak out for equality for the LGBT community as well as to shine light on what happened to the Japanese Americans during WWII.
Fans of the original Star Trek know that this is nothing new for the cast and writers of the long-loved sci-fi. Star Trek has been the model of equality since its first airing, uniting all races of humans and aliens in a single star-ship and a common goal. Most notably, they cast a black woman to play the part of communications officer Lieutenant Uhura during a time when blacks were still fighting to end segregation in the south.
Years after the fact, we are all still talking about the first interracial kiss on television. Simply ground-breaking.
As a geek, often we find ourselves feeling isolated. Alone in our quirks. I noticed just the other day when I logged onto Facebook and there was a discussion on a geek parenting page about the Oscars. It was no surprise that pretty much none of the self-proclaimed geeks had watched any of the Oscar-nominated movies as they were all too busy playing table top games and reading books and admittedly watching “less popular” movies.
I believe it is this detachment from mainstream society’s interests that leads us to want to gather with like-minded persons. Online we have countless websites, forums, and social pages dedicated to our individual fan-doms. In real life we frequently can be found in large groups at comic conventions, Magic tournaments, and of course the Renaissance Fair.
When I think of the Renaissance Fair and all things medieval, I can’t help but reflect on the castles we visited when we lived over seas. Amazing structures, castles are. Studying castles lends its self to all sorts of things such as architecture, war strategy, history. (more…)
I got the bright idea to make a solar system with the kids. Me being the perfectionist that I am, my first instinct was to do a papermache solar system to scale. Any of you who know anything about space know how laughable this idea would be to try an accomplish with a kindergartner. Those of you who don’t get the joke, hop on over to Think Zone and plug some numbers into their solar system model calculator:
If you want Earth to be 1 inch in diameter then you’re looking at placing Neptune at least 8 km from the sun. If you want Neptune 2 feet from the sun then Earth would be 0.0001725 cm! Crazy.
So I gave up on any thoughts of accuracy and just decided to keep it fun and easy.
We started out with 1 sheet of construction paper per planet, some scissors (to cut the construction paper into a square shape), crayons, solar system flash cards, and an origami book with instructions to make a paper ball (these instructions could also be found via youtube). (more…)
If you’re a crafty geek then you are well acquainted with the stuff.
From Pokeball roses made out of duct tape to TARDIS I-pad covers made out of duct tape, we geeks seem to have taken the phrase “you can fix anything with duct tape” to a whole new level, now its “you can make anything with duct tape.”
And this fact has not gone unnoticed by the big cheeses at Duck Brand duct tape. They went from the original silver duct tape advertised mainly for its fix-it abilities to offering a wide range of colors and designs. Their website has a section specifically for duct tape craft and activity tutorials. Every year they hold a Stuck at Prom competition and geeky teens across the country participate by making their own formal attire entirely out of duct tape. (more…)
My children, like most all children, love costumes.
For that reason, we have a wealth of licensed character costumes.
Licensed character costumes are great, we love them. However you can’t deny that there is something special about letting a child create their own costume, of their own imagining. If you need any evidence of the greatness that is children’s superhero designs, then I suggest checking out artist Alex Law’s Tumblr: Little Girls are Better at Designing Superheroes Than You. (more…)