LEGO Day Fun

With almost everything closed for the next 3 weeks due to COVID-19 prevention members we will be sharing some fun at-home activities.

Today’s daily activity – LEGO Day. Article link coming soon.

Posted by Ann Arbor with Kids on Thursday, March 26, 2020

My 14 year old has loved LEGO for years. I asked her to help me come up with some ideas for LEGO challenges.


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LEGO Engineering Challenges

Bridge Building

A couple of weeks ago the LEGO Masters show had a Bridge Building Challenge. On LEGO Masters, the teams had hours to build their bridge. There was a wide range of results. From bridges that held under 50 lbs to bridges that were still standing at 1000 lbs. I definitely suggest using a smaller scale for the kids.

Our suggestion is to start by using a standard baseplate and the following constraints:

  • 2 Support Towers of no more than 6×6
  • Minimum height of 3 standard bricks off the baseplate
  • Bridge Surface Width of 6
LEGO Bridge

The biggest challenge might be finding things to use as weights. Handweights and low weight dumbells are good options if you have them. Otherwise, your pantry can be a good source of weights.

  • Syrup & Peanut Butter Jars, especially club size
  • Bags of sugar or flour (3-5 lbs based on label)
  • Bags or Boxes of powdered sugar, brown sugar, rice, etc.
  • Cans or jars of soup or sauce
  • Plastic water bottles are 16.9 oz, which is just about a pound (although I don’t typically have these)

You can even carefully use your child. I would try to get close to the weight of your child first. I was pretty confident that my bridge would hold 100 lbs, so I let my daughter stand on it (successfully). Then she tried hers when I wasn’t looking. Not only did her bridge break, but it actually broke a 2×2 brick.

This is a perfect challenge for kids to compete with friends over a Google Hangout or Zoom.

Car Building

For her first grade science fair project, my daughter used a LEGO camper to see how friction worked. She changed the weight of the camper with rocks and adjusted the position in the vehicle. Last year I volunteered in the Gravity Racers Science Olympiad Event. In Gravity Racers the kids built a car and adjusted a ramp to have it stop at a specific distance.

Based on the age of your kids, you can see who built the fastest car, the one that goes the fastest, or the one that hit a target.

LEGO Creativity Challenges

Pull out a random pile of LEGO bricks and accessories. Then challenge everyone to make the same type of item. A few ideas are:

  • Monster
  • Flying Vehicle
  • Space Craft
  • Robot
  • Car

LEGO Games

When my daughter was younger, there were a wide variety of LEGO games available. LEGO Creationary and LEGO Champion are two games that just require random LEGO pieces and some imagination.

Creationary

Creationary is like Pictionary with LEGO blocks instead of drawing. The game came with cards of either easy, medium, or hard difficulty level. Each card has a picture in 4 categories: Nature, Buildings, Things, Vehicles. To play the game, you can create your own word list or let each builder choose their own word.

LEGO Creationary

A few words I have come up with reflecting both Ann Arbor and the current stay at home order:

  • Ann Arbor
    • The Cube
    • Michigan Stadium
    • Gallup Park
    • Diag
    • Argo Cascades
    • Art Fair
  • Self-Isolation
    • Face Mask
    • Virus
    • Home
    • Laptop
    • Video Chat
  • Pop Culture
    • BB-8
    • Darth Vader
    • Olaf
    • Elsa
    • Anna
    • Little Mermaid
    • Minion
    • Harry Potter
    • Quidditch
LEGO Creationary Video Chat

Creationary can be played with friends over a video chat. You could even play it by email or text sending pictures back and forth.

Champion

LEGO Champion included a number of mini challenges. Some of our favorite challenges are:

  • Topple Tower – Build a cooperative tower until it topples. In round 1, each person takes a turn adding 1 brick. Then in round 2, everyone adds 2 bricks, round 3 everyone takes turn adding 3 bricks. The winner is the last person to successfully add their bricks without toppling the tower.
  • Codebreaker – This is like Mastermind. One person builds a code with 3 differently colored blocks, then the other person tries to guess the code. Use Yes/No questions, like “Is the bottom brick blue?”
  • Speed Builder – Everyone gets the same set of 6-10 bricks. The first person builds a shape using all of their pieces. Then the other players compete to replicate the shape first. If the first person to complete it has matched the shape, they win. Otherwise the original builder does.

Topple Tower requires everyone to be in the same location. But the other games can be played over video chat.

LEGO Entertainment

The kids need some down time – and maybe you need to get some work done too. Check out LEGO videos that stream on various services:

Amazon Prime

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  • LEGO Jurassic World: The Indominus Escape (25 min)
  • LEGO City
    • LEGO City Compilation – 27 min
  • LEGO Marvel SuperHeroes
    • Maximum Overload
    • Avengers Reassembled (22 min)
    • Black Panther – (22 min)
    • Guardians of the Galaxy – (22 min)
  • LEGO Ninjago
    • Masters of Spinjitzu – 9 seasons of 8-13 episodes (22-24 min each)
    • Day of the Departed – 44 min
  • LEGO Friends Girls on a Mission – 16 min
  • LEGO Jake & the Neverland Pirates: Jake’s Buckaneer Blast

Disney+

  • LEGO Disney Frozen Northern Lights – 4 episodes (7 min each)
  • LEGO Star Wars
    • All Stars – 5 episodes (23 min each)
    • All Stars Shorts – 8 short episodes (3-5 min each)
    • The Resistance Rises – 5 short episodes (3-6 min each)
    • The Freemaker Adventures – 2 seasons -13 episodes (24 min each)
    • The Freemaker Adventures Shorts – 5 short episodes (4-5 min each)
    • Droid Tales – 5 episodes (23-24 min each)
    • The New Yoda Chronicles – 5 Episodes (23-24 min each)

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Netflix

  • LEGO Ninjago
    • Masters of Spinjitzu – 9 seasons of 8-13 episodes (22-24 min each)
    • Day of the Departed – 44 min
    • Happy Birthday To You – (1 min)
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
    • Maximum Overload – (22 min)
    • Avengers Reassembled – (24 min)
    • Black Panther – (22 min)
    • Guardians of the Galaxy – (22 min)
  • LEGO Jurassic World
  • LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes
    • Batman Be-Leagured
  • Minecraft Story Mode – 5 Episodes (38 min-1 hr 34 min each)
  • LEGO Friends
    • The Power of Friendship – 4 episodes (22 min each)
    • LEGO Friends – 5 seasons of 3 episodes (22 min each)
    • Happy Birthday To You – (1 min)
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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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