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The bomb went off in my sons room... 40+ sets in 1000's of pieces.

DeadareusDeadareus Member Posts: 264
edited October 2012 in Everything else LEGO
My 4 year old had a play date friend come over today while I was at work.

40+ of the 50+ sets that were displayed in his room have been completely demolished and were in pieces on his bed when I got home. ugh. (Every DC/Marvel set over the past 2 years and dozens of SW sets)

It's a hard thing being this neurotic/OCD with children.

While I want my child to play with his Lego, I would prefer if the smashing be done with the large bin of spare bricks that are available for he and his friends to create, build and smash as they please. Not the countless Star Wars/DC/Marvel displays located all over his room. BUT where is the fun in that right? I get it... sort of.

Last time this same friend came over the same thing happened on a much smaller scale (DC only) and we talked about which Lego is for smashing and which is for playing but not deliberately taking apart. He seemed to get it and there has been no issue since (about 5 months), until today.

All 40+ sets are in pieces in a bin now outside his room. Not for any sort of punishment but for lack of any other place to put it. I doubt I will have any of it back together anytime soon though as it will take several hours to sort and put these sets back together. His room looks completely bare without the Lego displays.

I may take the opportunity to clean and bag several of the sets and put them in storage. But the sorting and finding each brick will be incredibly time consuming task, something of which I have very little of right now.

Am I expecting too much from my 4 yr old to not destroy the display sets ups in his room? Playing with them is one thing. Having them fall apart is natural and fun to rebuild. This was something completely different.


  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    I feel for you, truly and deeply. But seeing as how the sets were in HIS room, ehhh, he's four, friends and excitement will always overrule what dad might have said in some other life. My son is six and himself extremely meticulous, but when friends are around the moment's fun wins out over everything else.

    If this happened to me, I would bag the chunks of sets you most want to retain and keep the rest in overflow. If they are his and the completeness factor is more a neurosis than a necessity for a good sale, you'll be able to find the needed pieces "one day" should you ever need to. Or have the time. You never know, tomorrow he may tell you Anakin is missing his correct hairpiece and voila! Father and son are harmonious again!
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    I am sorry this happened to you, but he is 4. My son started collecting at 3 and is now 16. He is very OCD about it now. However, just about every kid that came over wanted to break them and make new things. My nieces are 6 and 3 and we just shut the door to the Lego room and have a huge box for them when they come here.
    I think you just have to keep the ones that you want to stay built in a separate area....otherwise they will end up all mixed up. We had a few years of that when we started. I didn't expect anything else as that's what kids do. Now that my son is so picky about his Lego pieces, I can understand your frustration. Good luck!!
  • thenosthenos Twin Cities, MNMember Posts: 436
    Just about to say that. We're having the smashing problem with a 9 year old who wants order and a 5 year old who wants chaos. It takes very, very little effort to smash lego sets to pieces. The 9 year old and I are working on off limits areas for the 5 year old, and also what boundaries are acceptable for her friends playing with her Friends (that was tonights drama, a friend was over and rearranged Olivia's house poorly).
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    @Deadareus: I think the reality is that the kid is 4, and s/he might be a little rambunctious, especially if a boy. Although, if a friend is unduly influencing him/her to be more destructive than s/he would be otherwise, I would be a little concerned about that (beyond the inconvenience of a few smashed Lego sets).

    I don't have a kid yet (we only want one), but I think our game plan is going to be to have separate Lego. I'll have mine, wife will have hers and the kid will have his/hers. That way, the kid/friends can smash their own Lego all they want, and my Lego stays nice. Perhaps it's easier said than done, but that's ideally what I would like. I don't think I'll want to bother trying to ensure our kid keeps his/her Lego pristine.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    4 years old is the key here... I have a 4 year old and she isn't allowed in the Lego room at all, for just this reason. She'd take everything apart if she wasn't controlled.
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,967
    Am I expecting too much from my 4 yr old to not destroy the display sets ups in his room? Playing with them is one thing. Having them fall apart is natural and fun to rebuild. This was something completely different.

    While, there is the basic answer of yes, he is only 4, I do think it depends on the child.
    My son had just turned 4, he built the Atlantis Typhon Sub, Neptune Carrier, and the Power Miner LavatraZ and Claw Catcherwhen he had turned 4. He played with those sets every day for six months, and then still played with them after that. He would have freaked if those sets were destroyed, and there was no way he would have done that himself. Things would have been exponentially worse if any of his friinds would have broken his sets. Those particular sets did slowly loses pieces over time, since they were heavily ahead with, but that was about it.

    With him, yes, I very much expected him to keep his big sets together, but we had a fee sets that were 150 pieces or less, we both seemed to naturally understand that those sets could be modified to "make them better" as he stated. I saw that as a good balance between creative building, and knowing what to do.

    Now, do I think that is a standard expectation for most 4 year old kids? Probably not, and I can think of a few from preschool, that I would have probably steered them away from his room, and simpy brought a few sets in a different area for them to play with.

    On the otherhand, when he was 3, I did leave my Winter Toy Shop out, and he did mange to ruin it a bit. I am still looking for a few pieces. :-/

    I think you know your kid best, and age expectations vary. For my kid, 3 was too young, but 4 was not.

    It sounds like he does well keeping the sets together when it is just him, but the issue is when his buddy comes to play. I think that is a very different dynamic, since there is a bit of that peer pressure setting. It can be hard to say, no we can't break these. Articulating that is generally an older age requirement. My son at 4 could not have articulated that, because he would have been so upset, he would have moved straight to sobbing hysterically.

  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    There are lots of different views on this, and none of them can be exactly "right"...just like people have different parenting styles.

    If I put myself back in "childhood mode", my wish would be for my parents not to buy me toys that had strings attached like this...

    Maybe later down the road you can use this as a good lesson in patience as you work with him to rebuild the sets. It will be a lot of work but could teach him some crucial organizational skills (but I think you'd need to wait a few years for that).

    On the other hand, if the sets are for your admiration and benefit, then I'd consider taking them out of his room and making them off-limits. I have built the modulars with my friends and we keep them at my friend's house on a shelf. He has a 5-year old who naturally wants to play with them, but understands they are "Daddy's Lego" and he has his own free bricks and sets with which he can build...when he gets a few years older he will be allowed to play with "Daddy's Lego".
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited October 2012
    I have an (almost) 2 year old, and I let him play with sets only if he's supervised. The batmobile is his favourite, but I built Shelob last night, which I'll introduce to him this morning and I think might be his new favourite.

    As for when he gets older, mixing sets up and building your own thing is healthy - as well as being the whole beauty of Lego as opposed to, say, airfix. I know it'll be hard to accept though so I understand your pain.

  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,187
    Yeah I am still trying to get my 4 yo boy to understand that most of the Lego in the house is mine and that he can borrow them for play. He has Hero Factory, Hot Wheels, Transformers, Mega Bloks, etc that he is free to bash....
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,804
    I had a similar issue with my son who was 4 years of age at the time. This was a key date for me. It was the day I learnt to let go. Whatever sets he is treated to, I no longer give a damn about what the boxes might look like five minutes later or whether he's butchered the official model once made to make a helicopter with 36 wheels! Afterall, I'd rather he used his imagination than merely follow the instructions like his Dad. Just let it go. :-)

    My sets are different kettle of fish. He is a allowed to play with them, with permission, and usually supervised at the time.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    :) Good advice @flump

    It is so easy to forget... LEGO is a toy... for kids... to have fun with...

    I'm still working on that myself... While my UCS collection is strictly off-limits, I'm learning to just let them do whatever with the kids stuff.

    My OCD is kicking in, I can feel it! :)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,570
    Many wise responses in this thread IMHO. My 4-year old has his own LEGO, lots of it, and he does what he likes with it. This generally involves building the original set, playing with it for a while, and then breaking it up and mixing it with the rest of his LEGO; Interestingly, there are a couple of specific models that he plays with almost every day and won't dismantle, but they're in the minority. Daddy also has his own LEGO, and my boy can already respect that boundary so it's all good.

    I think keeping large numbers of exciting built models in the room of a 4-year old with the intention of them not being broken up is unrealistic. If they're his then I think you've got to let him do what he has to do....
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Great thread. I do feel for you though @Deadareus, two shelves collapsed on my Lego city (also dumping loose bricks into the mess). I picked up some of the bigger chunks but it's pretty must still all sat there, in ruins. I just added an AC mothership to it so that I can pretend it's meant to be like that :-( One day I'll sort it out ( I hope!)
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    My 8 year old still makes a mess but sometimes he becomes smart enough. He has a cousin and they meet up every sunday afternoon and go through like 150 or so mini figures and make a serious mess :P sometimes I have to sit and get it back together but, kids are kids, its fun for them so its cool really. But I do feel for you @Deadareus, if I would be living close by I would offer my services to clean the mess :)
  • SupersympaSupersympa SwedenMember Posts: 534
    been there done that ;)

    with my 6 years old, rule is simple at our place: Lego room: no play - His bedroom: whatever he wants to do with his friends or himself.
    It happened again last night when he had a sleepover friends, they played so much with lego building houses, airplanes etc etc...
    He has all SW and SH minifigures in some yellow collectors box, so he know where they belong and what is in there....just in case.

    I showed the lego room to his friend, with my presence and locked the door after.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,037
    Much wise advise here. One other thing I thought to add is that just in my opinion and experience 40-50 sets in a 4-year-old's room is way too much. Especially if they are only meant for display or light play.

    Kids can get overwhelmed by that much stuff, and can also cause them anxiety when their friends come over. Having less toys, displays and other trinkets actually frees up space not just in their room, but also in their mind and soul. Space nurtures creativity and a feeling of freedom and peace. (Just look at the LEGO designer's offices!)

    I would say give him 5-10 sets maximum, plus a box of loose bricks and put everything else in storage (or display it in a kids-off-limit area). If he or his friends breaks those 10 sets it is easy to help him put them back together.

    As he gets older and can handle more responsibility, and if he continues to be interested in LEGO, the sets put away can be reintroduced in his collection one by one. Kids actually don't mind receiving "old" gifts. In fact, it could be a really pleasant surprize, often even more than new stuff - because there are emotions and nostalgia attached to finding "old friends".
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    It sounds like the chord everyone is striking here again is that if you want or expect to keep a set complete and intact, better have it off limits. Which is why when I read that the sets were in his room rather than your's the reaction is drastically different. @tamamahm makes the observation that the sets your child receives and builds him/herself are likely to be the ones best cared for, and based on my own experience I agree completely, though of course there are exceptions. The general guideline for LEGO amongst kids and parents (when the latter are concerned to keep their collection collected) is, bluntly, mine and thine. "Let 'em play," absolutely, just not with mine!

    @akunthita also makes a good point, that the sheer number of sets or quantity of pieces can be overwhelming, diminishing the importance of any one set, not to mention "that piece!" The moral of the story is: give your kid free reign in their room but keep the key to your's.
  • gifinimgifinim UKMember Posts: 174
    My 5 year olds are really good at not smashing their sets to pieces (except accidentally of course), and know to stay away from the few sets that are on display in the living room. If the sets are in their rooms then they are fair game to be played with - as much as I'd like them to keep them fully built up and in pristine condition, that's not what LEGO is for!

    The worse they do now is swap the hair/heads around on every minifigure they can get their hands on. Swamp monster with Stephanies head? Done. Pink Space Girl with male pirate head and Wolverines hair? Yep (looked quite good!)

  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited October 2012
    Watching children play with lego i find really interesting. I've seen kids that like to build, kids that like to play with built sets, kids that like to dismantle built sets (calmly), kids that like to demolish built sets, kids that like to build creatively, kids that like to build just so they can demolish. Some kids i know just stick to one of those, other vary from day to day or week to week or just seem to progress with age.

    Not only should we not forget that lego is a toy, we also shouldn't forget how easy it is to impart onto their characters our our traits. I am more than a little worried about making my child have OCD tendencies - and thats at my level where each theme (star wars, superheroes, ninjago, castle, city, various space themes, dino hunters etc) has its own bin and they stay separate and beyond that its free to do as they want (theres also a big old bin of just anything else, mostly my old odd lego parts, pick a bricks and the occasional set that finds its way in there - the lego set graveyard). Its also quite a mixed message for a four year old to understand - heres some lego to do as you want but this lego is different, yes its made of the same bricks, yes it comes apart and goes together, but its different and you can't play with it. I can see how a four year old might have trouble with that when its in his room.

    The way I see it, at the moment with a 4 year old and a 6 year old if it gets broken I can fix it, but i want the pieces easy to find to save me time. By the time they're 8,9,10 they'll be able to rebuild any set they like from a mass of pieces and at that point I think all the lego, every piece (well maybe apart from a couple of special sets) will be thrown together and it will be up to them if they want to sort it or leave it as a big mess - its what I had and its what I loved. If they want to keep sets made for display or break them up will be up to them. Truth be told i'd rather they were using every last piece for mocs, being creative and intelligent with Lego rather than admiring a set on a shelf. My best lego moment, bar none, was watching with awe as my little boy started playing with a bunch of my old cogs, axles and especially some of my linear gears. That he put together a rack and pinion without any kind of help and used it to make a sliding gate was joyous to myself and my wife (civil/chemical and mechanical engineers by trade) - even if I'm not sure it really needed seven interconnecting gears spanning the width of 32x32 baseplate!

    My only real concern now is that they'll give away odd parts to friends when they come round to play, most can be replaced easily but some and minifigures not so much - but inevitably some will get lost so I'll try not too worry too much.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 519
    The Death Star survived!
  • AnseltheCatAnseltheCat Member Posts: 141
    A wonderful and amusing set of images @throttleon
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    The fact that the Death Star still stands says that you will survive this mess!
  • Marc2501Marc2501 Member Posts: 48
    ^ Ouuch @throttleon
    i hope that you could rebuilt it again :/
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    Oh, I just noticed the AT-OT on the floor. Best of luck @throttleon... I think you'll need it.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    @throttleon So what is the full story? Was the door not locked?
  • throttleonthrottleon Member Posts: 17
    Actually this is his Lego room and I'm glad he plays with me that is the purpose of getting them for him.....he and his buddies love to play there...I'd rather have them use their imagination and play with Lego than only play video games (which they do also).....

    This is pretty typical of the room and if I go in and mess with anything he knows right away and knows what I touched!

    Every month or so I tell him it's clean up time and we go in and spend a week putting eveything back together properly and if I can't find a piece or want to know where the head is for a minifig he know's exactly where it is....

    He gets to play and I get to do what I like most about them...again and again and out great for both of us!

    So although it looks trashed...for us, it's just Lego being played with and they go back together and if there are any pieces missing and we just can not find them, there's always Bricklink.....

    By the way there is no lock on the door...besides this is right off his bedroom and he has a door directly into it from there.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,804
    If ever there was an appropriate time to say it...

    .....'Shit a brick'.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    @throttleon WOW! This is very cool, both that your son has this room, and that it really works for you both. Thanks for sharing the photos!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    flump said:

    If ever there was an appropriate time to say it...

    .....'xxxx a brick'.

    I have a request... can we please keep cursing off these forums?
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    ^ Laugh of the day no doubt :-)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    flump said:

    ^ LOL. Tell you what, you stay on topic and I'll refrain from cursing. Let's see who breaks first.

    Apologies to those adults I may have offended. Quite apt I thought. :-)

    But.. but.. Think of the children!!! Poor little Timmy might read that!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,804
    edited October 2012
    ^ For ****'s sake, you lasted all of what, 43 minutes? Poor, very poor. Cr*p in fact!!!

    Over 16's forum btw so little Timmy ought to not be looking over Darth's shoulder at the highly offensive material he is reading. Apologies Timmy Texas.

    Strike one! Moving on.......
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    @flump post watershed UK time so no need to bleep yourself :-)
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    Your Lego room is amazing @throttleon, although it looks like you are just about at capacity :)

    As far as 4 year olds go, I have one (Son) and he loves his Lego, all his sets are his free to play with, but he is for the most part very gentle with his Lego, and his vehicles general stay in one piece, probably something to do with having an AFOL for a father.

    From my experience this is not the norm though; most 4 year olds love to smash Lego to pieces, built a tower or something and smash it to pieces again. My son is at a point now that he will put a lot of his built sets into a large plastic storage contain and we will place it in another room when other children are coming over.

    I think that it is asking a lot to expect other children not to play with Lego; the best option is to keep anything you do not want trashed\played with out of site when they visit.

    @cheshirecat as much as it pains me if pieces of Lego are lost, if my Son loses a piece well, what can I do? I know as a child I lost heaps of pieces, it's just part of playing with Lego. As you pointed out, I do not want to in still OCD tendencies in my son, and I think if we don't allow our kids to be kids they may grow up resenting this wonderful thing we call Lego.

  • DeadareusDeadareus Member Posts: 264
    @throttleon WOW~!

    @everybody :

    Thank you so much for all the helpful responses. It is greatly appreciated.

    I've learned quite a bit from reading the responses over the past 2 days and I've also done quite a bit of self reflection towards what I would like to impress upon my son in regards to his lego and how or how not to play with it.

    The easy answer is I do not want to restrict or discourage his creativity nor do I want to impact the quality of FUN that he has with his Lego.

    (@nkx1 We've also had a chat about peer pressure and how it's ok to tell friends that you don't like to play with your toys that way when they are in his room playing with his toys.)

    With so many sets now in pieces I think I'll be selective in the sets that I put back in his room and cut down on the sheer amount as well (thanks @akunthita).

    Most likely the DC/marvel stuff will go back in his room and he can do with them as he likes. If they get disassembled that's fine. If he wants to leave them heaps that's fine. If he wants to have them mixed together that is fine as well. Most importantly, if he wants help putting them back together to display after the havoc has been wreaked I will gladly sit and assemble them with him again.

    The Star Wars sets I may start to put into storage until I have a room of my own to display them. When this happens it will be understood that these sets are ok to be played with BUT they are to be kept together (or at least not intentionally smashed).

    All this leads me to another question... Is the lego collection ALL his or some his and some mine? Can it just be "OUR collection"? I hadn't given any thought to this up until I read some of your responses.

    The short answer is the sets were given to him as gifts therefore they are ALL his.

    I love giving him Lego as a gift I think I've always viewed it as OUR collection and kind of expected that it would always be just that...OUR Lego collection. I'm realizing for the 1st time that this may have to change. Particularly when he gets older and wants to do his own thing (No TMNT in my collection thanks!). Not to mention there is a baby sister in the family now and she will most likely want in on the Lego fun as well.... I'm hoping.

    He has expressed an interest in Lego Ninjago recently and has asked his Aunt for a set for Christmas.

    I guess it's time to start separating HIS collection from MY collection from OUR collection (with plans for HER collection as well).

    Living and learning in the life of a Lego family. If these are the sort of problems I'm faced with in everyday life there's not much to complain about I must say. Grateful for that.

    Thanks again for all of your suggestions and responses. It's greatly appreciated.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,804
    ^ Wise words and congratulations. :-)
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,967
    While I mainly am here as a 'parent' buying sets for my kids.
    The holiday sets and the Haunted House are mine. I let the kids build them. I let the kids play with them before they go up on the shelf for display. They are packed away for the rest of the year.
    I specifically bought an extra Santa and two extra skiers with series 8, just for me.

    I really like your idea of down-sizing and packing away. I started doing that in preparation for Christmas anyway. The Atlantis sets are packed and put away. Right now, my son just has out the police station and some Ninjago. For my girls... Hogwarts definitely had some sort of battle. I will be putting it back together sometime before Christmas. One of the girls will receive Medieval Village to supplement Diagon Alley, so it will be nice to have the HP sets back togetherfor that.

    I actually think the timing of this explosion is good. Figure out what he may be getting for the holidays that would be new and go in his room, and remove some of the other sets for now.

    Good luck!!

  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    edited October 2012
    This is one if those things that I love to see on the forum.
    BTW If he has sparked interest in Ninjago get him Lloyd ZX ASAP. You may never have another chance to grab him at MSRP (so many acronyns). He's an essential for Ninjago Fans.
  • MandarineMandarine Member Posts: 31
    Love this topic! I have two sons. One is five (going on six) and the other a year younger. The eldest is meticulous with his sets. He loves building them together, and plays with them as playsets endlessly. He won't let his younger brother near them, and has perfected the classic reflexive "Stop everything. Don't move. Drop to the floor" when a brick gets knocked off accidentally, or when he is modifying his sets! He will not rest until the missing piece is found! He loves nothing more than falling asleep with his favourite set on the night stand, so he can stare at it as he drifts off. It's so cute. Though there have been a couple of times when he's accidentally knocked a set off in his sleep and has come running in to our room in the middle of the night, terribly upset, to wake me up so I can piece it back together. In the dark. Argh.

    On topic, he has his sets, I have mine. When his friends come to play, he actually removes his sets so they won't get destroyed.

    His brother is a little tornado on the other hand, and while he loves playing with the eldest, it often ends in tears, because the youngest likes to disassemble, alot! So he has playmobil as his "thing" and gets buckets of Lego to do with as he wishes.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    I let my 9 yr old son do whatever he wants with his Ninjago sets, which have been thrown all around and scattered, except the minifigs and spinners. Most of the other non-ninjago sets I tend to box up and store. If he ever asks me to play with them, I won't have any problem with him building and playing for a while, but I discourage mixing sets. He has a large misc. brick collection to play with which keeps him occupied most of the time.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 519
    @Mandarine ~ the description of your eldest son and his love for Lego was the sweetest thing I've read all day. I loved it!
  • MandarineMandarine Member Posts: 31
    @littletoki - yeah, he's pretty funny with his Lego. But I know exactly where he gets it from... He even lectures his little brother on how to "play" with Lego. Some of it is sinking in, as the youngest is starting to get the gist of immediately retrieving the broken pieces, but unfortunately, he also has a habit of "hiding" things. As such, Batman from the Catcycle Chase set is seemingly gone forever, as are a number of spinners and other bits... The eldest tries to be a good sport, but he's very anal about his toys!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Our 3 year old daughter is very careful with our LEGO sets. She has a lot of DUPLO sets, but she's long outgrown them in favor of building and playing with the same ones that mommy and daddy do.

  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,804
    "Eat up Hans". lol.
  • joeejoee Member Posts: 42
    I think you set yourself up for a fail. I have a 5 year old son and any lego displayed in his room is generally his lego so if it's destoryed then that's that. Any lego I do not want to see destroyed I keep up high and out of reach. But even then you're never safe with children in the house.
  • blake711blake711 Member Posts: 23
    I have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. My daughter is oldest and she likes to take apart her sets and make new things. My son the 3 year old wears on me as I will build him a large set with his help and within a day or so its in pieces. Well he is closing in on 4 now and he has gotten much better and enjoys playing with the things put together more than apart. Still I have to remember I am dealing with a 3 and 5 year old. A man I know that trained horses told me once. Kids are like animals never ask more of them than they can do or you set them up to fail. So instead of telling my son not to break his buzz light year that I repair at least once a day or his favorite trash truck or dump truck. I have taught him to try and fix it as soon as a piece falls off. If he can't bring it to me or set it aside and then ask for my help before it all in pieces. He has figured this out. He has also figured out over time he likes his items built more that torn up.

    My OCD is pretty bad so I recently took all the pieces that weren't in sets and separated them all into divided storage boxes. The kids can still play with them but the couple days I spent separating sure makes it easier now to fix things or rebuild sets they want to play with. I am very particular about legos and think that a manual is like holy scripture and you shouldn't deviate from it when building a set. The fact of the matter is though these are my kids sets and I bought them with the hope they would get the joy out of legos that I did as a child and an adult. So they can modify or change or build as they please and I am fine with it.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    When I was a kid (many, many years ago), the primary destructive threat to my MOCs my mother and her hoover. Missing pieces were usually caused by my mother and her hoover. And if any pieces broke, you could bet it was my mother and her hoover.

    Or my father with his stumbling gait. ;)

    Our neighbor's kids had two large technic sets in their rooms, #8860 and #8859. As a 10-year old kid, I could not figure out for the life of me why the father (medical doctor in his 40s) owned Lego sets, or why he stored them in his kids' room. I was even more puzzled when I learned his kids were not allowed to play with them, let alone take them apart.
  • BuildideasNOTmodelsBuildideasNOTmodels Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2012
    Frankly, I agree with mressin. The very foundation of Lego sets is to build ideas, not to build a pre-set, pre-determined model and lay it on a shelf for 20 years--never to be touched by creative minds. If you want models, try Testor.
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