For The Love Of Lego

Legos are to Simon like scrapbooking is to me. Life.

They are often his activity of choice. He checks out for updates, watches Lego videos online, gets the free magazine in the mail, and always wants to visit the Lego aisle at Target.

He goes through phases of interest between the different themes but mainly it's been Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lego City, and now, of course, it's all Harry Potter (that's big on his Christmas list).

When we moved a few months back, packing up the legos and deciding how to organize them took some time. I decided to buy a bunch more plastic drawers in two sizes. With the help of a couple neighbor girls we broke down most of the ships (previously sitting on a large metal shelf in his room) and separated each set into it's own drawer. It was quite an adventure.

After we broke down the sets to fit in the drawers there were still lots of pieces not belonging to any particular set so for those we separated the remaining parts by color.

For his new room in this house we set up two Ikea tables along one wall to create a desk area (these were previously under his loft bed in the other house). At some point he might do his homework here but for now that happens at the kitchen table and this set-up is really mainly for play.

On top of those desks are XL lego baseplates. I'm thinking I might adhere those to the table but for now he can move them around if he wants.

His bedroom has a pretty big closet that already contained built-in shelves. Amazingly those shelves seem like they were built just for those plastic storage containers.

Another thing you might see in the photo that we use are cookie sheets. Cookie sheets have been great for keeping all the pieces together if he wants to move from the dining room to his bedroom.

He's often got a little pile or two or three with drawers pulled out and people being prepared for battle.

Simon's very much a direction follower and doesn't have much interest in making up new ships or places. He follows the written instructions precisely and wants each item to be built just like he sees on the box and in the directions. It's so cool to watch him put one of these sets together.

We keep the instructions for each set in a couple large binders (each set of directions is inside a page protector). This set up has worked pretty good. He goes back to the notebooks when a set breaks apart or he wants to rebuild something. This is also a reason that separating the extra parts by color has worked so great for him - it's easy for him to identify what he needs in the book and then go to the matching color drawer.

Still on my list to do is print out small images of each set to adhere to the front of the drawers to help identify the contents.

I think he's pretty happy in his new room.

Lego, we love you. Thanks for being a part of our lives.

And Simon, I hope Santa brings you that Hogwarts Castle set. It looks so cool!

I asked Simon if he wanted me to capture him explaining what he was playing last night and he got excited. Here's Simon, in his own words:

Simon Edwards: Lego Harry Potter Quidditch Explanation from Ali Edwards on Vimeo.

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  1. Megan

    2010-11-20 16:21:28 -0500

    Simon needs a trip to LegoLand! You should tell Santa to make that happen for the whole family.

  2. Melissa

    2010-11-20 17:49:57 -0500

    My 28 year old brother just bought his first house and took his Lego's with him. He doesn't play with them but the are still organized. I am 11 years older and have fond memories of helping him build some of his first sets. We talked him into pulling the out for my daughter & sister's daughter. They are certainly timeless toys. I'm sure Simon will have many more years of Lego Love ahead of him.

  3. Solgunn

    2010-11-20 19:08:09 -0500

    Your son is adorable! I wish my son (6) was into lego..sigh! :)

  4. Michele

    2010-11-20 19:14:50 -0500

    Great organization! My son (who is now 11) has always been a big fan of Legos. I will be sad the day he outgrows them. Luckily, even at age 11, he still enjoys the kits and coming up with his own ideas. We use the cookie sheets, too. Whenever my son gets a new Lego kit, he empties all of the pieces on the cookie sheet and gets to work.

  5. Susan from Colorado

    2010-11-20 22:40:10 -0500

    Ali your post took me back many years when my own son, who is now almost 35 loved his Legos. So did his dad and my husband spent hours making a wooden container with many many compartments for all the sizes and shapes of Legos. Back then Star Wars was big and our son had an imagination full of fun adventures with his Legos. Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life with us all. You have a marvelous family!

  6. glee

    2010-11-20 22:54:57 -0500

    What is that big hanging on the wall behind his desk???

  7. cat123

    2010-11-21 00:02:55 -0500

    so incroyable ! so cute !!!

  8. Elizabeth

    2010-11-21 11:57:25 -0500

    That is so neat! Thank you for reminding me to document this with my boys as well. They're now 13 & 14 and have been lego boys for years (Bionicles) - we have virtually every Bionicle ever made and pieces out the ying yang! But I love the creativity and joy.... Thank you for sharing :-)

  9. Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    2010-11-21 12:12:01 -0500

    Hi Ali, such great organization ideas, I am showing this to DH because I HATE

  10. Brenda in Sunny SoCal

    2010-11-21 12:14:07 -0500

    WRONG BUTTON, I Hate the way everyhting is on Ziplocs. We have his original childhood legos in original boxes AND my sons in his, but last year "his brother" gave him a box woth 2000 random pieces bought online for him to build whatever he wanted and not make the sets incomplete...

  11. Terri

    2010-11-21 12:43:14 -0500

    I've looked at a lot of LEGO setups and this is the first one that I thought would realty work for my DS8. Right now all his sets are dumped into one bin and when we brought home the latest one, he balked at putting it away. We compromised on a ziploc in the bin but this is clearly the solution we've been looking for. I let him read the article and he especially loved the cookie sheet idea. Thanks to you and Simon for taking the time to share.

  12. Koren

    2010-11-21 21:58:40 -0500

    oooooh eemmmmmmmm geeeeee !!! please cup that sweet little face in your hands one extra time from this teacher/mommy. :-D I love listening to kids explain their life. Thanks for sharing!

  13. nicole

    2010-11-21 23:22:33 -0500

    I was the same way with my legos.. instructions only!!

  14. Katya

    2010-11-22 00:11:17 -0500

    Hi Ali, I finally managed to watch the video (don't know what changed but it opened). Thank you or sharing! I love the video - it's great that Simon has such an interesting hobby.

  15. Yvonne

    2010-11-26 12:56:07 -0500

    Thank you Ali for sharing that. We are huge into Legos here with three children. When the oldest started with Duplo (Baby Lego) I started taking pictures of the things he built. I continued this during the last years (he is nearly ten now) and for his next birthday I will be preparing one of your mini-albums with all the Lego pictures of 8 years of building.
    A big Thank you to you for letting me enter into the scrapbooking world via your books and now online!

  16. Karen

    2010-11-27 08:29:44 -0500

    Love it and the video. What a cutie! Simon knows the secret as to why LEgo clubs are so popular . Was interested to know what the large hanging object was on the right side above the table. Printers box holding Lego figures???? Love the notebook idea . Thanks and Long Live the LEgo.

  17. Missus Wookie

    2010-11-27 14:09:48 -0500

    my 18 year old still loves his LEGOO - and designed a desk that he does do his homework on but also gets used for building. We took part in the recent LEGO mural world record which was fun and Star Wars:

    We've also used glass shelves for Star Wars ship display - to give the impression of floating. Fun to hear Simon explain Quidditch :)

  18. Lexi

    2010-11-27 15:47:57 -0500

    My 5 yr old little guy's obsession has begun so I really appreciate the organization tips here! Thanks! Aven would love to play on that table with Simon!

  19. tara w

    2010-11-27 17:11:32 -0500

    Oh Ali! I can't believe how much Simon reminds me of you - he definitely has your way of speaking - I could hear your voice in his. This made my heart swell and I have to admit - I am tearing up!
    Love from a far away friend.

  20. Jen L

    2010-11-30 15:04:20 -0500

    I'd just like to tell you that your idea of putting the instructions in a binder is a complete stroke of genius. I did it today and was thinking you are a clever, clever girl. I think i'll do it for all the warranties/instructions for appliances and such too. We have four boys in the house and we are crazy crazy crazy for the lego. thanks for sharing!

  21. Taylor

    2011-01-07 05:57:54 -0500

    Hi Ali. My son Ian (age 7) loves lego bricks more then anything else and after my antique book business crashed last year, he inspired me to start a new business involving personalizing Lego’s with kids faces. It's really great for capturing that perfect time in our children’s lives as our kids will only be this age for a split second and one of our minifigME’s can take all their playful dreams of today and freeze them for a lifetime. Keeping these magical moments reflected forever in one of the most beloved toys of all time. Please feel free to take a moment to check out my new site at (even if just for the fun of it) ~ * FREE shipping if you mention you saw it on Ali’s site! Thanks for taking a look and always Remember to take the time to HAVE SOME FUN OUT THERE!!

  22. Rosa

    2011-02-20 09:45:43 -0500

    I just stumbled across this post (as I am rather new to your blog). SOOO glad that I did. Thank you for the wonderful ideas for organizing legos and for Simon's video (made my heart melt). I have already incorporated the binder idea and my 8 year old son said "mom, thank you for making this binder for me. I love it." It's the little things... if you have come upon any other ideas for organizing legos (or anything else for that matter) I'd love to hear them. I check your blog daily now! :)

  23. Stefanie

    2011-02-27 22:21:41 -0500

    Very sweet post :)

  24. Michelle M

    2011-08-05 11:16:11 -0400

    Ali, I read this entry back in November and have tried to do some of the same things to organize my son's Legos. For the page protectors, do you use all the same size? Some of the instructions we have are about a half a page size and my husband would really like to find a different sized page protector for those? Any suggestions? Thank you!

  25. then there was order … our day of Lego organization | my five freds

    2013-07-26 09:15:18 -0400

    [...] couple years  ago I ran across this post by Ali Edwards on how she organized her son’s Lego collection. At the time, Ryan’s [...]

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