LEGO Creations

Posted on

My son is a LEGO aficionado and it baffles me that I have not blogged about his creations more. Every day, he comes up with at least one new design – a car, a motorcycle, a building, or a scene of some sort. His patience and determination as he looks for the right brick are impressive.

LEGO ocean floor scene

Ocean floor scene

When he was two, we started him with DUPLO sets. He followed directions as I showed him a few steps. That was all it took. By age four (although daddy thinks it was age three actually, but we can’t remember for sure, because we are parents), we decided to get him his first LEGO set. His younger sister was two (or one) at the time.  Continue reading »

We kept them separate to avoid her putting LEGO bricks into her mouth, but nothing beats supervision. I was with them every minute of every day. Besides, even though he was four, he was putting LEGO bricks into his mouth! Sheesh, he was doing that even at five. Something about their colors, I guess.

Ninja Kai in his car

Ninja Kai drives along in his car.

Under attack, Kai zooms out of his his car...

Under attack, Kai zooms out of his his car…

Ninja Kai on his motorcycle

… on his motorcycle

So I worked with him and over time he stopped putting things into his mouth. I suppose little sister learned by seeing our reaction. She did not do it as much as he did. Besides, she had her DUPLO bricks to play with in her corner and she seemed happy with that.

LEGO Space Battle Cruiser

Space Battle Cruiser III

Detached Battle Cruiser

Sides detach

I will make a conscientious effort from now on to take pictures of his creations and post them here on the blog. He puts too much work into them. Besides, they are inspiring. Just look at this ship.

LEGO Ship

LEGO Ship


Lego Education Simple Machines Pack Review

Posted on

Last March, I decided to invest in a LEGO Education set for my son, who loves building with LEGO bricks. The Simple Machines Pack for homeschool seemed like the most basic set and a good place to start. It did not disappoint.

It presents four sets of simple machines: gears, wheels and axles, levers and pulleys. The target audience is students in grades one through three, but my son was not even in kindergarten in spring and he had no trouble building.

Of course, he needed guidance. At times, it seemed the concepts went over his head, so I did not insist on the theory. I let him building and play with his creations. He really enjoyed predicting outcomes and then testing to see if he was right or wrong.

I could follow the lesson plans easily, even though I am not mechanically inclined. The binder contains the same information as the CD-ROM, but I would highly recommend you get both, for your convenience.

Wheels and Axles, the second lesson of simple machines in this activity pack, showed my son how to build a go-cart and a wheelbarrow.

Levers provided further fun learning, with models like a catapult and a railroad crossing gate.

Finally, the fourth simple machines: pulleys. This complex model on the left is called crazy floors. On the right, my daughter is enjoying her go-cart.

We have since bought the Simple and Motorized Machines Activity Pack for our son, so the Simple Machines set has become my daughter’s set by default. She cannot build yet all by herself, as she is only three.

She enjoys watching me build these models for her. I tell her what I need and she helps by handing me the right bricks and plates – great exercise for reviewing colors and numbers in both Romanian and English.

I highly recommend both these sets for your homeschool and, if your children are small, I would definitely start with the Simple Machines Pack first to test the waters. For more LEGO projects, click here.


Lego Quest and Homeschooling, Part 1

Posted on

My son loves LEGO bricks. I started him with DUPLO bricks when he was about two years old. By four, he was asking for LEGO bricks. His sister being two at the time, I had to make sure she would not put them in her mouth. We separated her DUPLO space from his LEGO space. It worked.

He is now five and builds projects that amaze me. I keep telling myself we need to send pictures of them to LEGO Club Jr. magazine. My daughter is three and a half now and she plays with LEGO bricks as well. In fact, my children usually play together and they mix the DUPLO and LEGO building systems into neat designs and intricate stories.

When I stumbled across LEGO Quest, I knew this would be a hit with my son. I did not even have to show him. He happened to pass by my laptop and spotted LEGO bricks on the screen. “What are you doing with that, mommy?”

I showed it to him. He was hooked. He did four quests in less than forty minutes. He would have done more, but it was time to start our bedtime routine.

First, he did Quest 2: Monochromatic. He chose color white. His sister and I picked as many white bricks for him as we could until he said, “Stop. I have enough.”

LEGO Bricks Pile

White LEGO Bricks

He started building and came up with this Mini Space Shuttle.

LEGO Mini Space Shuttle

LEGO Mini Space Shuttle

Then, he did Quest 1: Create A Car. He was bent on monochromatic even though I told him he could use as many colors as he needed. He chose red and came up with this car.

LEGO Car

LEGO Car

I was ready to call it a night, when he asked to do Quest 3: Vessel. I read the definition of vessel to him: boat, airship, bowl, cup, artery, vein (blood vessel), a person (a vessel of grace) etc. He chose to make a hovercraft. Here it is.

LEGO Hover Craft

LEGO Hovercraft

When I read LEGO Quest 4 (Two-dimensional) and LEGO Quest 5 (Tool) to him, he did not feel inspired. We moved on to Quest 6: Creature. He ran to the carpet where his LEGO stash was and came up with this.

LEGO Rain Forest Bear

LEGO Rain Forest Bear

I asked him to tell me what it was, where it lived, and what it ate. He said it was a rain forest bear, it lived in the rain forest and that it rained a lot over there. Apparently, this creature eats trees, chipmunks, squirrels and cement. Before I could say anything, my son added, “Cement will not dry up in his belly.”

Here’s a picture of the four LEGO Quests he made last night.

LEGO Quest Creations

LEGO Quest Creations

I am not sure how many parts I will have to this homeschooling series, but a series it must be. It depends on how quickly he finishes the 52 LEGO Quests and how much we spread them over time. For other LEGO-related posts, please click here.