Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The follow-up to my LEGO followers...

Blogs have all different kinds of identities. In the "serious" blogging world, some would say that every blog needs a theme if it's ever going to become anything. There are fabulous cooking blogs, how-to craft blogs, blogs on families' adoption journeys, how to manage your money blogs, political blogs, home improvement blogs... plus everything else in between. Something that pulls readers in and keeps them coming back for more.

Here we have no theme or topic that keeps you on the edge of your seats. Good thing we never planned on becoming anything. Heh. But one time we did mention our slight obsession with LEGOS, and we made all sorts of new friends! I think I feel our rise to fame coming on. :)

Anyway, we got all sorts of questions after that post. So for Mitchell and all of you other LEGO fanatics out there, this post is for you... Q: Where do you store your LEGO sets once they're built?

A: Tyler built these wooden shelves in Trey and Chase's room a few years ago (imagine desk tops on each side underneath the shelves, which Tyler hopes to complete when life slows down a bit... hahahahaha). We got the idea from a Pottery Barn magazine, and I had lovely design dreams of color-coordinated decorations and cute little labeled bins placed neatly on each shelf. But boys don't care about that sorta stuff. They want Husky toolboxes filled with LEGOS in their rooms instead. So this is one of the main places where they store their LEGOS that they want to keep as sets.

Other storage spaces? Every square inch of my house.

Q: Do your boys keep their LEGO sets intact to play with them, or do they tear them up after they build them?

A: They actually do a little of both! Sets always get built according to the directions, and they leave them intact for at least a couple of months. If it is a particularly large set, or one of their favorites, they leave it built for longer than that.

Take this Hogwarts Castle. It's not getting torn up any time soon. We do, however, try to encourage the boys to break up a lot of their sets after they've enjoyed them for a time. We feel like part of the fun and skill building happens when they build their own creations from their imaginations. We have sets all over like this one below:

This is Jack's latest creation, straight from his own head... a Ninja Training Station. I wish you could see all of the detail in there, like the weapons storage area, the security cameras, and the cafeteria ('cause Ninjas have to eat, you know). He'll build a set like this, then will keep going back to it for a couple of weeks straight, making small changes to it as he comes up with new ideas. Then he'll bring it downstairs, pin me in a corner, and talk about every itty bitty detail for what seems like days. :)

It's interesting to see each boy's personality come out as they play with their LEGOS. Jack's favorite part is definitely coming up with his own creations. Trey likes to build sets according to the directions, because it's a means to an end for him to play with the final product. Chase is what I like to call our builder-in-training. It's been fun to challenge Jack to spend time teaching Chase simple little ways he can build using his imagination. We've totally seen Chase's confidence skyrocket, and he and Jack have had some great LEGO bonding moments.

And for the record, I'm a little shocked that I got a picture of him with his shirt on.

Q: I never thought of separating and storing LEGOS by color. Why did you choose to do it this way?

A: Our hope was to encourage the boys to rebuild some old sets that they had torn up. We have a bin full of all of their instructions, so they can simply sort the pieces they need (Remember that page in the instructions that has rows of pictures of all of the pieces included in the set? Nice.) and build the set all over again. So much easier to find by color.

Q: What are your suggestions for LEGO storage with a small baby in the house?

A: Oh geesh, keeping LEGOS out of an infant's mouth (or out from under Daddy's feet) seems like an impossible task, doesn't it?! And it seems like we have always had a baby in the house. Our first strategy was a pretty obvious one: we moved all of our LEGOS upstairs. Of course pieces made their way down the steps for show, but for the most part, the baby gate kept these little choking hazards at bay. Although we found no method fool-proof, when our kids were a little younger, we used to keep all of our LEGOS on our old train table. The boys were just old enough that they had lost interest in playing with the train set every day, so this became a great way to spread LEGO pieces out and keep them in one spot. The more pieces we got, the less user-friendly it became, but it worked quite well for a while. The best part about the table was that there was no expectation to keep pieces separated and organized for any length of time.

Ok, now it's your turn!

What are your favorite LEGO "solutions" around your house? We'd love to learn some tips from you (because like it or not, it looks like these little guys are going to be around for a very long time)!


Anna Walker said...

I love the built-in shelves! And, keeping leggos away from the toddler is the name of the game in our household currently - keeping her from chewing them AND tearing them up!

Cocoa Bean Photo said...

OMG that storage is the best! I have seen some smaller versions but there is no way that would do with my 4 boys! We have collected so many over the years. That is a great size! Love the blog!

beSlightlyAskew said...

Awesome tool box storage. We started keeping each LEGO set in a ziplock bag with the extra pieces and instructions. When they were done playing with that set it went to its ziplock bag for storage. I'd love a bug huge chest with lots of drawers someday when we have the room.

Anonymous said...

Where or where did you get that storage box?