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Adults and Kids - How to Build Together Nicely?

richselbyrichselby Member Posts: 80
edited March 2011 in Building and Techniques
I'm curious how other AFOLs with young children enjoy playing Lego with their kids. What works and what doesn't?

When my eldest boy was 4, we enjoyed many hours building cars and houses out of basic bricks. Gradually he got into Star Wars, and he pretty much focussed on playing with the minifigures, whilst I built spaceships etc. Still fun for us both.Then the baby came along, and playing Lego is pretty tricky together. I enjoy building it, my eldest (6 yrs old) enjoys playing with it, and baby (1 yr 3 months) enjoys pulling it to bits. But it gets pretty frustrating as baby can smash quicker than we build.


  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    My child is 2 years old. I tried giving him some bricks or a basic build to play with despite the warnings but under a watchful eye.

    Aside from safety reasons, I guess the restrictions for children less than 3 is precisely because they do disassemble them as quickly as you could build anything. I guess we should wait til they grow older to appreciate it.

    Kids will be kids, sometimes even the ones that are inside of us.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    Well I have a 4 year old boy and I would say it goes pretty well when you remember if you are playing with them then it is *their* toy during that play time!

    He had some Duplo including the Whinne-the-Pooh ones but he never really took to it so I started him early with about 50 large 10x2 stud beams which he used to build towers and bridges with help way before he was three, but then the 36 months warning is about the choking hazard and there is no way he was going to try and swallow a 10x2 brick! Having said that some young kids will try and eat anything so you might want to go for something even bigger.

    Above 3 years age Lego's ages are purely about complexity of the set and build, but even when he got to 3 years I still kept a lot of the really small and fiddly bits out of his lego box for a bit longer just to be safe and to stop him loosing them!
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    On a related note how do you store and let the kids play with it?

    Our 4 year old's collection is now getting large enough that when it is tipped out on the floor it becomes a hazard (if you have kids you are likely to know the feeling of stepping on Lego well!) I was wondering if anyone uses the LEGO (or Compatible) Activity Tables and if so what you think or has any suggestions on storage that allows ease of finding parts without the need to empty it all on the floor! On the latter I was thinking of getting a 'Really Useful' plastic box like their 24.5L version which is 600 x 400 x 155mm but I can't find a local stockist and it costs twice the price of the box to get it shipped!
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,046
    edited April 2011
    TRU's Imaginarium has a pretty cool ( but smallish) Lego table that has a mesh under carriage bag along with a flippable Lego studded plate top. My mom loves it for the grandkids but I think it's a bit small.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited April 2011
    TRU's Imaginarium has a pretty cool ( but smallish) Lego table that has a mesh under carriage bag along with a dluppable Lego studded plate top. My mom loves it for the grandiose but I think it's a bit small.
    We actually bought that table for my 2 year old daughter and she loves it. I wish you could remove the Lego baseplates and attach Duplo baseplates because that's probably more fitting for the intended audience.

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    - Really useful boxes are fantastic for lego; in the UK buy them from Amazon, free shipping.
    - There was an old lego table, ebay usually has a few.

    I have no suggestions on how kids and adults should play together, but will be keenly following it .. our little one is too young yet but I dont want to overexpose him to lego and put him off, or make it 'daddys hobby' (i.e. not his ...)
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    TRU's Imaginarium has a pretty cool ( but smallish) Lego table that has a mesh under carriage bag along with a flippable Lego studded plate top. My mom loves it for the grandkids but I think it's a bit small.
    I picked up a slightly bigger table at TRU... it is sized to fit the LEGO playmats. It's a little smaller than train tables that they make for wooden trains for kids. It has a removable piece you can use to sweep the bricks into a drawer underneath (assuming you have a small collection!). When I picked this table up at my TRU, it was in the furniture aisle, not the LEGO aisle.
  • WillhornerWillhorner Member Posts: 36
    I have a 5 year old and 2 year old. Obviously the 2 year old really doesn't participate but he loves to move the pre-built car and truck sets around while his sister and i build.
    IT really depends on what we are doing as to how we build together. If its a store bought set, she goes in about 10 mins before me and sorts all the pieces into different colored piles and puts them in segmented plastic boxes. we then start. ill open the instructions and go in and grab all the parts for each step on the open page, and she will start on the first step and try to assemble it. If she runs into trouble, or there is a particularly hard step ill jump in. she gets about 80% done herself and i stay busy pulling parts in advance so she can keep building. we have allot of fun and really feel like we spent good time together after we are done.

    If we are freeform building, we pick the parts we want and empty them into a pile on the floor, and have little challenges. sometimes it will be "build a car, whoever has the best car at the end gets to keep it on a shelf in the living room for a week". Sometimes its, "lets build a spaceship, you build me some engines, or wings or a cockpit". however we do it we really have good quality time together and she learns allot while we do it.
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