While ‘A’ is growing up I have been wanting to try his hand at building a LEGO set. Unfortunately the minimal age that any set I have seen has been ages 5 and up. Well at 3.5 years old, ‘A’ isn’t quite yet 5. But I thought I would try and find a smaller kit will fewer pieces and perhaps an easier design.
I will have to admit, I would rather play LEGO with him than DUPLO, but I still wanted to see if he could handle the instructions and concentrate on building a LEGO kit.
When we were at the store looking over the LEGO of course it was hard for him to decide. I showed him the choices, which were between 3 smaller LEGO kits. Though ‘A’ really wanted to get the bigger ones such as Airport VIP Service #60102, but I was adamant with the 3 choices I was giving him:
- City Race Plane #60144
- City Buggy #60145
- City Stunt Truck #60146
So which one did we take home that day? The City Race Plane #60144. Though, I was hoping for the Buggy myself.
General LEGO House Rules
Okay, so since LEGO kits a typically for 5 years and up, I had to set some rules about playing with said LEGO:
- Thou shall not drop LEGO onto the ground where little sister can pick them up
- Thou shall keep all LEGO pieces in a single location while being worked on
- Thou shall put LEGO out of little sisters reach when little sister is in the general area
- Thou shall only play with LEGO when Dadda is home
- Thou shall not put LEGO into thy own mouth
I think that sums it up and it is not too harsh right? We would not want little sister ‘W’ to pick up the extremely small 1×1 pieces and choke on them right? I also do not want to lose the pieces which makes completing a small set like this difficult and prone to Toddler Tantrums.
I have always loved LEGO instructions. Colored pieces and step-by-step, page-by-page is, what I hoped, would let ‘A’ build his first LEGO kit.
The LEGO City Race Place has 89 pieces and about 42 pages of instructions. This sort of deterred me a bit as I thought it might be too long of a process for ‘A’ to focus on, but I was wrong. We jumped right into it and both were excited to build.
Build His First LEGO Kit
We placed all the pieces into a small plastic bowl. Those pieces were not to ever leave the bowl unless they are a part of the part he was building. As you can see from the above photo, the LEGO would easily hide among all the DUPLO on the table.
We went page by page and piece by piece and he really did a good job. I think the first time we built it together I did not help all too much. I just explained to him that you go from page to page and follow the pictures left to right. We would both look for the pieces in the pictures and I would watch him attach them.
I forget how long it took us to build, but he loved every moment of it. He was super happy at the end result when he could run around the house with the plane in his hand making airplane noises.
It was total success and since then we have built the plane over and over again. He loves building it and loves having me sit with his he builds it.
I am also super proud that he was able to build it all by himself recently without any supervision. He just started building it and like 20 minutes later he showed me he had finished it. Totally #ProudDaddy moment there!
Thoughts on LEGO
I want to get him more LEGO now, though I think I will hold off. He still plays with his DUPLO. He also has some PlayMobil he likes playing with, but I do find he loves the LEGO so far the most. He always wants to build and rebuild the plane when I am home from work.
We will be going on a family road trip for about a week in April and I will probably look at surprising him with another small LEGO kit. Probably the City Buggy #60145 that I was eying up the first time.
Building LEGO with ‘A’ is fun thing to do with him. Even though the youngest age for a kit I think is 5-12, it is neat to see that at 3.5 years old he is able to do it. The smaller pieces like the 1×1’s are a bit harder for him to put on, but he manages. At this time a larger kit might not be something we should do, but I am sure we could and I am sure we would have fun. At least I would have fun.
On a side note, I find that if he starts playing with the LEGO and stops half way though it, he will want to take it all apart and rebuild it from the start next time. A larger set might be harder to do within a certain period of time and if we didn’t finish it, I don’t think I’d want to start a larger kit from the start unless we finished it the first time.
Overall I am happy with this little LEGO set and I like that he still wants to build it over and over again. I cannot wait to get more and build our LEGO collection.
Do any of your kids play LEGO? Do you play and help them build? When did you first start getting your kid(s) into building and playing with LEGO?