Legoland, Billund

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When you think of LEGO bricks and Legoland, you think of toys and playtime, right? Right. But LEGO bricks are so much more than a toy. Children gain a lot of knowledge about the world around them when they play with LEGO bricks.

Legoland Billund

My husband took this picture of us.

A visit to Legoland is always fun, but it can also help you focus your child on building if you have ventured too much into screen time. Many people get lured into “educational video games” and forget all about the box of LEGO bricks they have in the corner of the play room. I say it is time to give LEGO bricks another chance. Your child will find the joy of building and story telling all over again.

Miniland Legoland Billund

My favorite part of the park was Miniland.

I have always wanted to take my children to the closest Legoland to us, which is in Florida. We never made it. Instead, we visited the Legoland Discovery Centery in Atlanta. Continue reading »

It was great, but small and, well, just a Discovery Center.

Dragon Castle Legoland Billund

My husband and children went on rides together. I don’t do roller coasters.

When I realized that we would be in Sweden for 23 days, I knew we should be able to make it to the original Legoland in Billund, Denmark, where the LEGO Group got started. Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter and toy maker, realized his biggest success were interlocking wooden blocks. As he perfected his product, with help from his four sons who played with the blocks, plastics were becoming more available. This was happening in the 1930s and 1940s. The LEGO brick went from wood to plastic and the world was never the same.

Legoland Billund Driver's License Course

The first thing they wanted to do was to get their LEGO Driver’s License.

Today, LEGO is the world’s most powerful brand. The company’s motto, created by Christiansen, is “The best is never too good.” He encouraged his employees not to skimp on quality. I wonder what would happen in my homeschool if I took that as my motto.

I am not talking about perfectionism here. Just an insistence on quality. Quality time with the children when they need me, quality books, quality curriculum, quality meals etc. In our quest to “do it all,” I fear that we skimp on quality just so we can get the quantity done.

Girl at Miniland Legoland Billund Boy at Miniland Legoland Billund

I don’t know how that applies in your homeschool, but I have a pretty good idea how that translates for mine. And that, my friends, is why we travel. So that when we come back, we can see our lives in a new light, and challenge ourselves to go to the next level.


Scandinavian Field Trip

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The magic homeschool airbus took us to Stockholm, Sweden this week. I know. It’s a bit cheesy to call an airplane the magic homeschool airbus, but I just could not resist altering the magic school bus into our own version. If you know me a bit, you know I have lived in Sweden before immigrating to the US. I still have friends there and when one of them invited me to her home, it was very hard to resist.

Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden

We poked around at the idea and when things started falling into place we realized it was meant to be. The idea is to give the children a taste of some of the places that have meaning to their mom, introduce them to some of the friends who have touched my life along the way, but also expose them to the gorgeous city of Stockholm – one of the most beautiful capitals of the world.

We will go to other places as well, chasing the northern lights in Kiruna, for instance, or playing at the original Legoland in Billund, Denmark and even check out Copenhagen for a day. But Stockholm is our base.

Storkyrkan, Stockholm - where royal weddings and christenings take place

Storkyrkan, Stockholm – where royal weddings and christenings take place

We spent Day 1 walking around Gamla Stan, The Old City. Think cobblestone streets, the Nobel Museum, changing of the guards at the Royal Palace, Storkyrkan (the Royal Chapel where Crown Princess Victoria got married), and old buildings dating back to the Middle Ages. It is from this area that the city of Stockholm grew. If you want to be really specific, it all started in Stortorget – the Great/Big Square.

Nobel Museum

At the Nobel Museum

Today, you can have icecream from a street vendor or a wonderful meal in one of the many restaurants with terraces around the Great Square or visit the Nobel Museum. But many centuries ago, this was the trading post which started the city of Stockholm. It all grew from this square where people met to buy and sell goods.

We ended the evening with a walk around the island where we are staying. Stockholm is an archipelago in Lake Malaren and many call this beautiful city the Venice of the North. It was fun to dust off my Swedish vocabulary and interact with the locals in their native tongue, although most Swedes are fluent in English. The kids can already say hello and bye in Swedish.