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Exercise your creativity with LEGO bricks

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LEGO bricks

What are LEGOs? LEGO bricks are an amazing building toy. They are small injection-molded plastic pieces designed to lock together by use of a tube system. This system allows for an almost unlimited range of building possibilities. LEGO bricks are available in kits designed to create a particular object, as boxes or tubs of loose bricks, or they can also be purchased by the brick (or cup of bricks) from the LEGO company itself or one of the many official LEGO stores around the world.

This encourages the creation of unique LEGO projects by collectors, and boy, do some collectors create! With a few simple shapes, people have been able to design countless buildings, vehicles and other objects entirely out of LEGO. They are a wonderful open-ended creative toy enjoyed by children of all ages since their creation in Denmark in 1958.

Why buy LEGO bricks in bulk?

Unless you are looking for a particular LEGO set or specialty pieces, it is better to buy LEGOs in bulk. It is economical: you get a huge amount of LEGO at a fraction of the price. If your children just like to build and build and build without dismantling their older creations, bulk LEGO bricks are your best buy. You can buy large new bins of LEGO, or (even better) buy secondhand and used bulk LEGOs online. The latter will be even cheaper than new bins, if cost is an issue.

Tips for buying used bulk LEGO bricks:

How to store bulk LEGO bricks

Okay, you bought bulk LEGO bricks. Now what do you do with them when it's time to clean up the floor? What would be the best way to store LEGOs?

LEGO bricks If your kids are at all like mine, there are probably LEGO bricks all over your house because we tend to buy them in bulk. There is no pain equal to stepping on a tiny (or not so tiny, in the case of toddler size LEGOs) LEGO brick with bare feet. Convincing children to clean up the LEGO mess can be challenging at best, so let's try to make this a fun activity for them.

The simple solution in my opinion would be to let them keep a few favorite sets and sell the rest off. However, for many children LEGO bricks are consistently one of their favorite toys. We know that whiny children will ensue if their toys disappear in the night, and that the toy removed was inevitably their very favourite toy in the house. Sometimes the simple solution is not necessarily the best one!

A more palatable option might be deciding to sort them by shape or color. Once sorted, all those LEGOs will need to be stored in such a way that they don't get mixed up. No one wants the new LEGO organizing system to break down within days for a lack of proper container. Therefore, the best solution for making clean-up fun is to provide colourful storage for all their LEGO bricks. With the proper LEGO storage, it will be easy to sort the Legos by colour, shape, size, or kit -- or all four!

Iris LEGO storage units:

The Iris brand storage containers are quite sturdy and hold up well under kid usage. Since they are hard plastic, they are also very easy to clean if someone colors on them! For those with a large LEGO collection, it's important to sort the pieces out in a way that makes it easy to find that one particular LEGO when you need it. You never know when you need that one oddball size and colour LEGO to finish off your latest build! One excellent LEGO storage option is a big 6-tray storage unit for serious LEGO collectors, which even comes with dividers for each tray so it's easy to sort small parts.  

Make cleaning fun:

Avoid clean-up trauma for small children whenever possible. For younger children, being told by a parent or caretaker to "put LEGOs into this container" may not be sufficiently entertaining. It is helpful to choose a fun, interesting container to store LEGO bricks if you want your children to help clean up. You might have better luck with one of these cool shapes to make clean-up fun!

 

Organizing your LEGOs

Once you have your chosen LEGO storage containers, it is time to sort the LEGOs! Encourage your children to get involved in sort right from the start. Ask how they might like to sort their LEGOs to store them. Perhaps they have a preference for sorting by colour over sorting by shape, for example. The more they are involved in the process today, the more likely they will be to want to help out when it's time to clean up tomorrow!

For some of the smaller non-self-contained organizers, you will of course need to provide shelving to put the containers away when not in use. A lot of parents swear by Ikea Expedit furniture for toy storage, which I find does indeed work well for putting away large quantities of LEGOs such as we have after a bulk purchase.

Still can't get enough LEGO?

If you like older video games, there is a line of LEGO games that will run on a variety of gaming platforms. Titles include "Indiana Jones", "Star Wars", "Batman", "Lord of the Rings", "Pirates of the Caribbean", and "Harry Potter". I have played most of these. The graphics are generally very good and the games are quite playable. There is also a timed freeplay option once you have completed the missions in each game which is fun to try to beat.  

How to find LEGO set instructions

If you're seeking lost instructions for a set you own, several sites provide an archive of LEGO building instructions which allows you to download a copy. To find what you're looking for, you need some information about the original set. The set number is most useful, as most of the sites index by this. Next most useful is the name of the set you are trying to find. Even if you don't have either of these, so long as you know something about the set, you can probably locate it.

How to find building instructions for custom LEGO models

Given the huge numbers of both children and adult LEGO fans online, it's no surprise that some of them create instructions -- free or otherwise -- so that you can build your own versions of their MOC (My Own Creation) models.

Further reading

You might also enjoy these books if you need more LEGO creation ideas:


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