I’ll admit it: Winter isn’t my favorite season. I’m not a born-and-bred New Englander, and each winter seems to bring new challenges. The first few winters with children weren’t that bad — my son took long naps and didn’t care much about playing in the snow. Now that he is older, we get out every day, but he can basically bundle himself up now. Still, we max out at around two hours outside per day (and we’re stuck inside all afternoon for his little brother to nap), so we have quite a bit of indoor time to fill. Lego to the rescue!
I didn’t grow up playing with Legos often, but my husband did, and he’s passed on an enthusiasm (both nature and nurture, I’m sure) for building and creating. Hand me a brand new Lego kit, and I’m great at following the steps. It’s even surprisingly calming and fun. But make a simple request to me (“Mom, can you build a race car?”) and I freeze up. This is not my domain.
So what’s a non-builder Lego mom to do? Turn to the internet, of course, and garner all the free step-by-step tutorials and inspiration she can. Perhaps you, too, are Lego-ignorant and need hand-holding or coaching — or maybe you just want to wow your children with your cool Lego Mom status. Either way, here are some of the best tutorials I’ve found:
Obviously, the official website is a great place to start. Not only can you download the instructions for every Lego kit ever, you can also download and print simple inspiration cards to get the creative building juices flowing.
As frustrating as the name of the website FrugalFun4Boys is (because, um, everyone loves Lego), their tutorials are fantastic and so fun. They have also authored two books that I highly recommend checking out from the library. It’s a good mix of step-by-step instructions and general picture inspiration. My 4-year-old used their tutorial to build a zipline for a mini figure across our dining room!
The STEM Laboratory has a set of challenge cards that our local library uses during weekly Lego club, and while some of them are too advanced or academic for my child now, it’s fun to introduce concepts about shapes and angles while building. And even the youngest children can work on the basic puzzles on some of the other cards.