Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Fun 2014 - Lego Challenge - Building a Model Without Buying the Set


From time to time I like to pull out a manual from one of our long dismantled, and well scattered Lego sets, and send the children on a scavenger hunt through their toy box for the pieces to put the set back together.  This weekend, I upped the difficulty of the challenge, by printing instructions from the Lego website, for a set we don't own, asking the children to try, and create the model (in this case model 6615 - the Lego Eagle Stunt Flyer pictured above in red, with photo credit to lego.wikia.com) from the Lego blocks we already have.


At first, the children declared the task impossible.  We don't own an airplane set.  We would never have the right pieces.  Surely, I wasn't suggesting taking apart any of their precious creations to build something new (get these kids some Kragle already)?

Undaunted, I started building myself, with the few scrap pieces they were willing to let me use.  It wasn't long before I was joined by a newly formed team of master builders searching for pieces, offering advice, and ready with criticisms for each new substitution we had to make.


"Our" plane didn't turn out exactly like the picture, but the children were pretty impressed with what came out of their scrap blocks.


The thinking involved in the process was very much the "this is what I have - that is what I need - so how do I get from what I have to what I need?" kind of thinking used in high school geometry.  But, don't tell the children that.  They're already scanning through the Lego website for the next impossible model to build.

9 comments:

Angelic Scalliwags said...

Another brilliant idea! I'm so pleased I have found your blog, this is definitely an idea for my son to try out. He loves legos and he loves the challenge of building something from scratch. Thanks for sharing!

Bella@artclubblog said...

What a fabulous idea to go beyond what your lego was packaged for. Lego is so wonderful, and your plane did turn out to be quite impressive!

Phyllis said...

I love this! There is so many great things in this post. I love the frugal aspect, as it seems that it extends the life of Legos, gets them thinking about how to make cool projects from what they have, and like you said, extends their thinking abilities. I also love the fact that you were undaunted when they refused your suggestion and forged ahead, working on it yourself, and therefore, drawing them in. You are brilliant.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Phyllis - Or maybe just stubborn:)

bloggingastrid.com said...

Great idea. It's also a good exercise in distress tolerance, because it's somethign you really need to persevere on.

Ticia said...

I've often thought about printing off some Lego sets like that and giving my kids that challenge.

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I love this idea! My son has done this a little bit with our LEGO set - we have a lot of pieces, but only a handful of sets.

Bethany said...

Great idea! I have oftentimes wondered why new sets have to be bought when one great set could build anything!

robbie @ going green mama said...

Funny thing is...when we were growing up we mixed up all the Legos into a giant mess. And loved every bit of it. I am always surprised when kids keep them separate, etc. I think you miss out on so much of the creativity!