If you didn’t know already, I *LOVE* LEGO. I think LEGO products are a fantastic and fun way to learn through play.
So, because I already love LEGO, it isn’t that hard for my children to convince me to buy them a new LEGO set.
Which has obviously resulted in a massive LEGO bricks collection.
Pictured above is about 1/6 of LittleMan’s LEGO bricks. So maybe his collection is getting just a tiny bit out of hand.
They start out as proper LEGO sets.
LittleMan saves up his allowance and does extra chores to earn cash, I chip in half the funds matching him dollar for dollar, and we leave the store with a shiny box. Across the side you see the Ninja Turtle’s arch enemy, Shredder, and his awesome motorcycle. We take that box home and we open it and LittleMan pours over the instructions and builds it exactly as pictured. He’s proud of his creation. He places it on his shelf and protects it for days, even weeks, from little sister invasions.
Slowly, ever gradually, he will make adjustments. Remove part of the set, add in something new. Re-build, re-build, re-build.
But eventually the set gets taken apart, brick by brick, and added to his collection.
I probably should mind, I probably should be bothered. But I’m not.
Loose bricks are where the real value of LEGO comes through. Loose bricks are excellent for hands-on STEM learning, and loose bricks are amazing for encouraging creativity.
Recently LittleMan came to me and asked me to help him create a Wild Kratts LEGO set. How could I say no?
This is what we came up with…
Chris and Martin were easy enough. We just scoured our mini-figure stash for a green chest piece, a blue chest piece, two green arms, two blue arms, 4 flesh colored hands (or black if you want them to wear their CPS gloves), and 2 khaki pants pieces (or similar if you don’t have khaki pants).
For the heads, we used two flesh colored head pieces from our other sets, and since we couldn’t find facial expressions that fit Chris and Martin quite right, we just turned the faces backwards. Using faceless LEGO figs ended up having a similar effect that playing with a Waldorf doll does: the doll has no expression therefore the child’s play determines if the doll is happy, sad, etc..
The hair pieces perfectly covered the faces on the backs of the heads. Remember Martin is a dirty blonde, Chris is a brunette.
For the Tortuga, we used a circular plate that we happened to have and formed a basic dome shape with blue bricks, then added the head and feet.
The penguin and fish were from a LEGO Friends Polybag.
LittleMan *LOVES* the LEGO Friends Polybag animals, and why wouldn’t he? There is a wide variety to choose from including but not limited to a tiger, panda, ape, brown bear, hedgehog, macaw, and even domestic animals like cats, dogs, and rabbits. Depending on the animal, the packs can be as little as $3 (though the more rare animals can get pricier) and they come with a small habitat your child can build for the animal to live in. These are the perfect low-investment LEGO sets that can be built quickly and played with in a multitude of ways. LittleMan likes to match his LEGO animals to where they live on the map, group them by who lives in similar environments, and build habitats for them.
I love that these LEGO Friends animals have been the perfect companion toy for LittleMan’s Wild Kratt obsession. Speaking of which, be sure to be on the look-out for more Wild Kratts posts in the next month as we celebrate a Wild Kratts birthday. There will be sensory play, a free printable, and yes we will even be making our own live-size Tortuga!
Now on to this week’s On Beyond Zombie Linky Party!
We had some excellent posts shared last week, my favorite of which was the super easy DIY plush Minecraft toys (older kids could even make these for themselves!) from Beer and Gluesticks. Super awesome and so clever!
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