I LOVE Lego, I think it is a great toy and one of the very few plastic toys I do love. It teaches so many things, not only using their imagination and building skills but following instructions too. You can also use it for teaching no end of ideas from maths, to science to English. My Lego Love Pinterest Board has some great ideas, not only for storage but for teaching too.
Anyway, on the call the other day, one of the issues that came up was from Tara who has a 9 year old boy, whose Lego takes over his room (sounds familiar right!). We have tried several ideas for Lego storage and this is the one that is working for us.
Our house is all open plan downstairs and Ebi-kun prefers to play downstairs unless he has friends round, then they disappear to him room and get up to heaven knows what! My main issue was that, whatever we used for storage, I have to look at it so I didn’t want any extremely practical but extremely ugly storage solution – I know looks are not important for everyone (my husband for instance) but it is for me.
We settled on big Lego shaped storage boxes – they are not the official (HOW MUCH?) boxes, and we got them at a local mall, I am sure they must be available online. I decided, out of the options available, these would be the most acceptable to by beauty sensitive eyes! The problem with the boxes is, that if he wants to keep the castle, dragon, space ship (insert any big constructed piece) in one piece, often they get broken going in and out of the box.
Our solution to this was a hostess trolly, so the ‘rule’ is that any big pieces that he doesn’t want to break or anything that is in mid-construction can be kept on the trolley but everything else has to be put in the boxes. This system is actually working. My only small gripe with this is that the trolly gets quite dusty and is a bit of a pain to keep clean in that respect but Ebi-kun has taken it upon himself in the past to dust it when he has taken the castles or whatever off to play with – see, all those years of Montessori training pays off.
The great thing about the trolley is that it is on wheels so he can wheel it to whichever part of the room he is playing in and the middle shelf actually lifts out and acts a s a tray, which is useful too.
1. Talk to your child and find out how they think the Lego should be stored – what you think is a genius idea might be too difficult to maintain or not suitable for the way that your child plays with the Lego.
2. Allow for plenty of growth, when setting it up - one of our failed attempts, failed because of this reason, there was no room for new Lego kits.
3. Keep all the manuals together in a folder for easy use and reference.
4. Shift the responsibility – If Lego left on the floor is an issue, sit your child down and explain that as much as you love the Lego, you are worried that every time you vacuum, you end up sucking up Lego pieces which means that kits are incomplete and they won’t be able to make it again. You really don’t want to suck up the Lego so it is their responsibility to make sure they put it away.
5. Define the work area - In Montessori we do this by using work rugs. This can work for Lego too. Give the child a rug and explain they can make as much mess as they like BUT it must be kept on the rug. This works well if the child doesn’t want to clean up after each session – say they have build a city and are still in mid play. It also helps with the standing on @$#&!!! Lego issue.
And finally – Bonus Tip… If the system you are using now doesn’t work – change it! Talk to your child, find out why it doesn’t work and come up with another solution. The main key is to find something that is EASY. If it is easy then there will be so much less resistance for keeping it tidy!
I hope this helps, if you know anyone who has Lego Storage Woes, please pass this along and hit the share buttons and click the image above to tweet it out!
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