How to make lego stuff ? One question that we get from time to time is how to get started with LEGO® with young kids. What age, and what to buy? Well, LEGO® recently released some new Classic sets that we have been very impressed with. They have a good mix of different color bricks along with wheels and other special pieces that make it possible to build some fun designs.
The boys and I decided that it would be fun to put together a collection of things that can be built using just the pieces from the small and medium Classic tubs. We are hoping that these simple ideas will provide inspiration for young builders!
We did not include step-by-step instructions as these projects are pretty simple. My 8 year would be able to figure out all of these designs by looking at the pictures. My 5 year old would be able to do some of them, but not all. So your young builder might need a little help from you. And really, they don’t need to build these exactly the same as we did – maybe these ideas can be a launching point for more creativity!
What are the Benefits of LEGO?
Playing with LEGO is beneficial for kids for many reasons! Research shows that kids who play with building toys have better spatial awareness as they grow- which leads to an easier understanding of math concepts as they age.
More than that, LEGO bricks are durable and well-made, so there is a lot you can do with it! We often used LEGO as structures and materials for our STEM projects, particularly our engineering activities for kids.
LEGO is also a fun tool to use for bonding with kids in or out of the classroom and helps inspire creativity and imagination.
What You Need for these Easy Things to Build with LEGO
All of these easy LEGO builds are made using the classic LEGO creator set (the large version). You can pick up a set here.
It’s super cool because it has a lot of unique pieces and you can make a lot of things- even if you don’t like to take apart your LEGO creations after building them.
Step by Step LEGO Creations
There are so many things you can make with this basic LEGO brick box. Since we love LEGO STEM activities, we like to use our LEGOs to make things like a pull back LEGO car, balloon-powered LEGO car, LEGO boat, LEGO towers, LEGO flowers, (like a LEGO Eifel tower!), and even LEGO cards.
Below, find four of our recent builds that we created using this LEGO brick set.
Watch the videos below to learn how to make each of these easy LEGO creations!
How to Build a LEGO Alligator
The LEGO alligator takes just a few minutes to put together. It’s a super-cute LEGO animal to make with kids who may be younger. It’s the least frustrating build in this set of LEGO activities.
How to Build LEGO Flowers
A LEGO flower is a fun project for kids who may not be as into cars and vehicle. Some of my girls love vehicles, while others would definitely rather be around nature. So, the LEGO flower is a great project for a kiddo who wants to build with LEGO but isn’t interested in transportation.
LEGO Toaster Instructions
The LEGO taoster is definitely the most complicated project on this list, but I wanted to make it because it looks super fun. It turns out, the lever on the toaster really works, and figuring out how to put it together without looking up the official directions was quite the challenge!
But, it was tons of fun to make and my kids and I had a blast putting it together and then playing with it later.
How to Build an Easy LEGO Car
When I was a kid, we often played with LEGO sets like regular toys. Once the sets were built, we used them as sets for our LEGO people adventures. Castle LEGO was our favorite.
But, we did have that inevitable pile of random LEGO. And of course, my go-to creation was a LEGO car.
This version is just a tiny step up from the most basic car you can make from LEGO, but it’s still easy enough for young kids to make alone or with a bit of adult assistance.
If you want to make a LEGO set with hundreds or thousands of pieces, you want to plan it out first. The easiest way to do that (without spending a mortgage’s worth of money on randomized pieces) is to use a software tool to build a set virtually. There are three notable options at the time of writing.
BrickLink Studio, sometimes simply referred to as “Studio” or “Stud.io,” is the best option for most builders of intermediate to advanced skill. This free design tool is published and maintained by BrickLink, the biggest secondary market for LEGO pieces (see below). It features tens of thousands of LEGO parts, all of which can be modified and placed within its virtual build space. It’s available on Windows and Mac.
Studio mirrors professional design software with its multi-window interface, and its search tool is the best way to get the part you need. It’s also possible to move the parts in the virtual world with near-infinite variety, twisting and turning them in the space with warnings for what will and won’t work. My favorite feature is the stability tool, which can tell you which parts of your LEGO model are most likely to fly apart under stress.
Studio includes a system for replacing parts you use that aren’t available (for example, if you color a part that LEGO doesn’t make in that color option). Once you’re ready to proceed, the program can help you make your own LEGO instruction book, render the creation in 3D graphics animations, and buy your list of parts directly from the BrickLink store.
MecaBricks isn’t the most powerful LEGO design software around, but it is the only one that’s available in a full web interface. That also makes it the only option if you’re using ChromeOS or trying to design LEGO on a phone or tablet. The interface supports most of the tools that BrickLink Studio does, albeit without some of the fine control.
A particular highlight is an easy way you can browse the parts library or view and edit user-submitted models in the online repository—again, all without needing to install any software on your local machine. The interface is impressively quick, even when handling complex or transparent parts.
LEGO Digital Designer
LEGO makes its own design software, though it was unfortunately discontinued in 2018. Still, the software is available as a free download, and it’s a good way for beginners to get used to designing LEGO sets in a virtual environment. The interface, in particular, is much more kid-friendly.
LEGO Digital Designer shouldn’t be relied upon as the be-all, end-all of LEGO design software—its selection of bricks is pretty paltry compared to other community-made tools, and it no longer allows you to buy bricks directly from LEGO. Still, it might be useful for kids to plan out before proceeding to a physical design in a store.
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