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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 Lego.com 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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257 thoughts

  1. Susan says…
    11/18/2010

    Your first statement would match my twins as well. Great assessment (and what a great page that would make). My twins are 13 and the Lego passion remains. Their creativity and imagination to build things (sometimes from what they've seen on tv or read in a book) is amazing. What a great idea for Legos, first the drawers, and second the cookie sheets. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Susan says…
    11/18/2010

    thank you so much for sharing this...my son is just starting to get into the 'big boy' legos (as opposed to the duplo blocks) and I have been thinking about how we should organize everything. This helps a lot, thanks!! Love the video too! --Susan

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  3. Carla says…
    11/18/2010

    What a sweetheart! Yes, I think Santa is going to be busy in the Lego department this year. My son has 13 sets of Lego on his list, so far. 13! I think I am going to need storage containers!!! 13!!!! Yikes! Love the binder idea too. Thanks for sharing Ali!!

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  4. char says…
    11/18/2010

    I love this Ali! Sadly, my son (now 14) never showed any interest in Lego. All he wanted to do was write and write. His wish list for Christmas at Simon's age was notebooks and journals! Enjoy this time it is so precious.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Michelle Evans says…
    11/18/2010

    I also have a son whose world revolves around Legos. I thought he might outgrow it by now, but it still is his passion (6 years so far....he turned 10 on 10/10/10 and legos were at the top of his list!). I also helped him organize his legos by color about 3 years ago in 2 tall (7 drawers each) plastic units. He has lots of pieces, because he also inherited blocks from two older brothers. This system has worked great! He pulls out his drawers and designs to his hearts' content (and makes a mess :) ) and then can clean up and sort by color. He has to work on his floor, because his room is small and there's no room for a table. Thanks for the idea of a cookie sheet-that sure would help for designs in process! (and yes,Legos appear in his scrapbook. We try to take photos of most of his creations!) Thanks for the inspiration! Have a great day!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Kim C. says…
      11/18/2010

      I use cookie sheets for my boys legos also. They both are usually working on something and they like to move their projects around the house.

  6. Lisa W. says…
    11/18/2010

    I could not get the video to work...access denied. UGH would of loved to heard Simons voice. I gotta say that lege thing is ALLOT like scrapping. My goedness the kid is "creating" all over the place. I LOVE love he has his own space to do that, leave it set up, You know how proud he must be when he walks into his room say after school each day and see's his creations. OH I just loved this post.

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  7. christen says…
    11/18/2010

    i have a 14 year old son who still loves legos - i will be sad when they are no longer on his christmas list! they are a great part of life.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Dyana says…
      11/18/2010

      My brother is almost 30 and he still loves his legos! He has all the directions from every set he's ever had and puts the pieces all in a giant plastic tub. It's cool that he has never given them up. His girlfriend even loves them!

  8. Song says…
    11/18/2010

    I so understand - we sort our lego by shape but the labels are rather funny - small specials, flats, normal bricks, cones and circles... Our toy box which is 4 foot x 3 foot is full of clippy boxes each with some sort of description which make sense to me and my son(aged 6) and no one else it seems.

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  9. Cathy says…
    11/18/2010

    My 10-year-old loves LEGO as well. He likes to get the sets, follow the instructions to build the ship (or whatever), play with it for awhile, then tear it apart and build whatever he wants with them. I need to get a system for organizing - we have LEGOs everywhere.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. jackie says…
    11/18/2010

    i love the wonder and amazement in simon's eyes. he is truly a treasure of a son. i can't wait to see if my twin girls are going to get into legos.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Suz says…
    11/18/2010

    That video is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!
    Thanks for sharing Ali! Also, to Simon: Well done Simon! What a great explanation of the Snitch and Quidditch Set!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jeanann says…
    11/18/2010

    Loved the video! Just precious. The storage tips and the binder idea are great. Here is another idea for Lego storage. http://www.box4blox.com

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kim K says…
    11/18/2010

    COOKIE SHEETS! THAT is GENIUS!
    My kids are 10 and 14...still do the lego, though not with the same intensity as they once did. The NXT robots are great...once Simon gets a bit older, check and see if his school has Lego League. My boys started that in 5th grade.
    We're headed to Carlsbad, CA again for spring break so we can visit Legoland one more time before the 14 year old "outgrows" it. Hope you get the chance to visit there sometime if you haven't already! I'm sure Simon would LOVE it!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Sabrina L says…
    11/18/2010

    Love the cookie sheet idea! We have a big collection of City Lego's and my daughter seems to play with them the same way that Simon does...likes them to be just the way they are pictured on the box. We also have all the extra pieces separated by colour. Works great for us. Going to have to go to the Dollar Store and pick up some cookie sheets to keep for this purpose.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Jules says…
    11/18/2010

    My 5yo is getting in LEGOs now. Luckily, we have many hand-me-down sets from his 13yo brother. Lots of Star Wars ships that they no longer make!

    We have a similar system w/the binder & small drawers. I also bought a couple of organizers from Lowe's. I think they are meant for nuts/bolts/nails. It has is a clear plastic lid and inside are small yellow bins of various sizes. These are perfect for those tiny LEGO parts. I can't find an example online. But if you'd like a visual, I can send you a picture!

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Denise says…
    11/18/2010

    Simon's a very lucky boom to have a big room with all of that space to organize his collection. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Denise says…
    11/18/2010

    BOY, not boom. Geez, my brain takes over my fingers sometimes when I key fast and does all sorts of weird things. :-P

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Michelle says…
    11/18/2010

    Oh Ali. What a wonderful video. My son's are 19 & 17 and Legos used to be such a part of our lives. I have boxes down in our basement saved for their kids someday. My son's also liked only make them with instructions. I sure do miss them being little sometimes. Especially this time of year. It goes by too quickly.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Lisa W says…
    11/18/2010

    Love the video! You can just hear the excitement is Simon's voice as he's talking! Precious, makes my heart smile!! I'm sure Santa will find lots of Legos to put under the tree...how could he resist!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Teal Myre says…
    11/18/2010

    What a beautiful soul!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. anne says…
    11/18/2010

    I loved Simon's video! My boys (6, 10, and 13) all have Harry Potter and Star Wars legos on their Christmas lists. Legos have been a part of our daily lives since my oldest discovered them at age 4. His love for building with them has been passed on to his two brothers. I really like your organization system. Ours are all mixed up, and I would love to get the sets separated and sorted so my youngest can find the parts he wants to build a set. I do have instructions in binders, but we have 3 large ones filled! We did separate Bionicle parts into plastic cases that are supposed to be used for sorting hardware. It worked pretty well for a while!

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  22. Jen K. says…
    11/18/2010

    I have a 7 year old who wants Legos so he can watch his older brother put them together...precious brother love;-) My younger son really gets his older brother and this is a great connection for them and I know he can sense that. My oldest son, who is 11, takes Lego play very seriously and sets up elaborate "stories" on the 8 foot table in his room. Stars Wars is his passion as well. He is saving up for a Star Wars Turbo Tank...$113 worth. That is some serious saving for something that he really loves doing. Legos=boyhood.

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  23. Sue Ogden says…
    11/18/2010

    My son loved Legos! He would get a set for Christmas and would start in on it as soon as we were done opening gifts. Last year for Christmas we bought him the Frank Lloyd Wright set Falling Water and our then 23 year old son was in heaven the rest of the day putting it together.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. lisa truesdell says…
    11/18/2010

    we're currently setting up our unfinished basement into a lego wonderland for my bigs (7 & 9) - i'm definitely going to borrow some of these ideas!! thanks for sharing them. =)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Ali says…
      11/19/2010

      That sounds awesome Lisa!

  25. chel says…
    11/18/2010

    He is *precious*. So nice to see this after years of watching him grow up via your work :)

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