What child doesn’t like lego? Although what parent likes the aftermath?! I love a recent FB post I saw, which is so true in our house…
Our first task when we prepared for moving was ‘Operation Lego’. We sorted the whole lot by size, into take away boxes. ‘Operation Lego’ turned out to be not only rewarding (it appealed to the organised and tidy me who’s still in here somewhere) but also a really useful learning opportunity. L started talking about bricks being double and half, we came up with all kinds of interesting categories and I decided that as we had a cheap deal available to visit Legoland we may as well make Lego our first topic of the new year. It has worked brilliantly as a first joint topic. The legoland trip was the icing on the cake, and if I had the money I think I would have been tempted to throw in a visit to Denmark too. Another time maybe!
We started by attempting our own lego model instructions to see how easy or hard this is to do. It was interesting! A great exercise in learning to evaluate and improve, as they both got irritated with me when my model (when following their instructions) wouldn’t turn out like they wanted it too! I had lots of
“no mummy, it ‘s meant to go here”
“no mummy, not like that”
This led us onto learning how to draw a 3D drawing – a brick or 10 for L, and an attempt at a model for C. They have also had a go at using colour to show shade and create a 3D image, which son turned into dragon painting for some reason! We’ll revisit that one!
L has practiced his number bonds using 2 bricks, along with some segmenting and blending of CVC words. Meanwhile C has learnt about systematic recording. We learnt the amazing fact that there are over 9 billion ways to arrange 6 different lego bricks. I thought it a bit much to launch straight into this so we started with 3, in a row. Then , based on this he predicted the outcome for 4, and then 5 bricks. The subject of averages came up after hearing a news report on the radio, so we had a couple of lessons on this too, working out the average number of bricks used in vehicle models, as well as across a selection of our sorting boxes. If you have a child struggling with averages, why not have a go with our recording sheet, you can download it here, and check out this song. We have sorted into bar charts, carroll diagrams venn diagrams and pie charts. Safe to say there’s a lot of maths to be got from this topic!
Have you seen the lego story? It’s a fascinating story and a very watchable animation. Take a look here. The boys then sequenced the story using pictures and words, and knowing some of the background made us think differently at Legoland, knowing that a small idea can turn into something huge!
If you intend to go, and have an interest in how the models are made – pop upstairs in the Star Wars area. You can spy into the workshop and see employees at work. Well, they were actually having their lunch at their desks when we looked, which led to a whole different discussion about work life balance, but it is really interesting, I promise! Back at home, we watched a short clip of inside the lego factory and the boys have designed their own imaginary machines. I’ve introduced C to the concept of a function machine which he loved, and has been practicing some of his times tables on these. I designed my own for him, and he also enjoyed having a practise online with some more.
We revisited the lego movie app and both boys have made a short movie, fully edited and with music. C of course created a story with Harry, Ron, Hermione and some dragons which has got me thinking about christmas. I just took a look at the Harry Potter lego on Amazon… We will keep dreaming for now! However, if it’s something you will be thinking about for your children, and you purchase via this link, you could be helping start our savings pot as this blog is now an Amazon Affiliate Associate. Any purchases made via this site will now earn me a small payment. Maybe one day he can get the real characters instead of making the best of his current mini figures (Ron is a little strange, and Harry has to make do with Batman’s cape!)
Finally, back onto the learning, inspired by the lego art we saw, we tried our hand at lego pictures, can you tell what they are?
The lego topic was such a success that I have now used some of our activities to create a set of plans for another family. If your children like learning through play and construction, then please get in touch. Some of this could work for you: It’s been a fun one. It came to a natural end as we went on a trip to see The Lion King last week, which unexpectedly led to a week of puppet theatre work; spending two rainy days working on a re-enactment of the show. That’ll be another post!