LEGOs!

Below are activities that all have a LEGOs theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else! 

Fine Motor/Art Activity

For this activity, you’ll need to gather your legos, a small ball or marble, and at least one large flat piece to build on. You will not necessarily need lego people for this activity, but it never hurts to have some audience members! We are going to build a maze to roll the ball/marble through!

Directions

  • Use the flat piece as your base. Create a border around the outside edge with skinny bricks.
  • Once you have your border built, decide where you want your start and your exit. It doesn’t have to be on one side or the other. It can be in the center!
  • now start thinking about a design for your maze. Do you want to have multiple paths your ball could take or only one way to get to the exit?
  • What things do you want in the way of your ball? Add obstacles in the path, or use unique legos as triggers or traps along the way.
  • Can you make it two levels? Add another flat down below and create a drop, staircase, pulley or other way to move your ball to the second level. 
  • Challenge the people in your house to try to complete the maze or add their own design onto yours, making one giant maze!
  • Check out artwork by MC Escher. He uses optical illusions with his mazes.

Science Experiment

You will need legos and a balloon (or a stick, a small piece of paper and tape. Create a hands-free lego car with a special attachment. Design a car using at least four wheels on axles, a flat rectangular piece and of course, a windshield! Once you’ve made your car, you will use wind, not your hands, to power it! 

  • Build a short tower to the back of your lego car. Make a space at the top of the tower wide enough to place the mouth of a balloon in. You will also make a cap for the tower to hold the balloon in place. See the image below.
  • If you don’t have a balloon, that’s okay! You are going to use a stick (a popsicle stick, a craft stick, a stick from the tree outside…). Attach the stick to the tower of your car. Then use a small piece of paper to create a sail. Attach it with tape to the stick. Now you’re ready to roll!
  • Set up a course somewhere that your lego car will roll easily. Keep in mind that areas that are not as smooth will create more friction, causing your car to struggle to roll. 
  • Blow the balloon up and release, or blow on your sail and watch your car go!
  • Change the amount of air in the balloon or the angle or size of your sail and see how that changes your results. Does the car go as far? As fast? As well?

Physical Activity

Get some of those wiggles out while designing and playing in a large scale lego obstacle course! 

  • Collect all of your legos in one open space. (Make sure your adult approves of you using this space.)
  • Observe your space. Will your maze be long and straight, or curvy with turns? How will you move through the obstacle course? Crawling? Walking? Running? Skating? On a scooter or bike?
  • Plan out the elements you want in your obstacle course. Will you have jumps? Turns? Things to crawl under or around? Things to build or collect along the way? Do you want to bring in things in addition to the legos?
  • Think about where you want the start and the finish.
  • Begin designing the elements you want for your obstacle course. If you want jumps, you can create them by building your legos up or creating a bridge-like obstacle. To add curves, stagger your lego creations.
  • Start laying out your obstacle course. Test it out along the way. If something isn’t working, try it a different way. 
  • Once you feel like you have the course just right, time yourself going through the maze. Can anyone beat your time?

Conversation Starters and Research Questions

  • Who in our family played with legos (past and present members)?
  • What is each person’s favorite thing to build?
  • If each person in your family could make one thing out of legos what would you build?
  • Where are legos from? When were they invented? By Whom?

Videos and Websites

Find out how Legos are made: https://youtu.be/RrpKETkc7Xo

Learn how to make a Mini Lego Puzzle Box! https://youtu.be/FKceZdTvVIc

Watch this video to make a Burr Puzzle: https://youtu.be/sDTv6EtYWlA

Check out this super intense Lego Obstacle Course: https://youtu.be/gR3kVDki_SI

Some fun Lego facts: https://www.natgeokids.com/nz/kids-club/entertainment/general-entertainment/ten-top-lego-facts/

Movie/Literature Connection:

Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:

Movies:

  • The Lego Movie
  • Lego Batman
  • Lego Ninjago

Books: 

  • What is Lego? by Jim O’Connor
  • Awesome Minds: The Inventors of Lego Toys by Erin Hagar

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