Why yes, I did make my kids this self-designed minifig Lego chess set to be their Santa gift by ordering random bits and pieces from Bricklink sellers and raiding black and white pieces from their giant bin. I’m all proud of myself.
We’re just massively overscheduled this fall and the proof is that Wednesday, the day without anything, has become my favorite day of the week. It’s the day when we have time for things like extra math games, longer read alouds on the sofa, and cooking a hot lunch then watching a documentary or an episode of Mythbusters while eating it. On Wednesday, I can send the kids to the park in the middle of lessons when they’re getting giggly and rambunctious and have a set of Bananagrams tiles ready with a puzzle for them when they get back.
Basically, on Wednesday, we have time for the fun school stuff. Some things on my fun school shelf that we’ve gotten to recently on Wednesdays includes…
On Wednesday, we have time to get bored and end up finding our way into projects like this where we build with the Lego power functions and play around with making the gears work. There were many shouts of triumph when we made this thing go last week (and more gleeful shouts, I’m sure, when they finished another model, complete with lights and reverse with the Husband yesterday).
Some of our activities end soon. Piano takes a break. Soccer ends. Come December, our two drama class commitments end as well. I like all the things we do and I don’t want to stop doing them, but I am relieved that our schedule will lighten up soon. Someone remind me not to do this to myself next fall, mmkay?
BalletBoy is dressed as Emily from the Amulet graphic novel series by Kazu Kibuishi and Mushroom is dressed as Sensei Wu from Lego’s Ninjago line. Images below for context!
As the evening went on, they got better and better at explaining their costumes to the many people who asked about them. Apparently one person (I missed whoever it was in the crowds) actually got BalletBoy’s and several kids got Mushroom’s. One kid cried out, “Hey, it’s Sensei Wu!” But mostly, they were dressed for themselves, which is pretty cool. BalletBoy is now keen to wear the long black gloves with the fingers cut out of them “forever.”
Since Black Friday unofficially kicks off the Christmas season, I thought I would begin by sharing this little gem that the kids and I made last year. It’s a tradition in our family to do a performance on Christmas Eve. Last year, this was Mushroom and BalletBoy’s offering. They built most of the Legos (some were from plans they followed). They also took most of the pictures and did most of the movement. Then, using Windows Movie Maker, I helped them put the movie together. They even picked the music for it.
Somehow we’ve stumbled into having a very Lego-centric week. First, over the weekend, we got ourselves over to the National Building Museum’s exhibit about architecture and Legos. I’m still a little dubious about the price tag involved, but I think that’s just because as a Washingtonian I expect all museums be free all the time, which is a tad unreasonable of me. The first part of the exhibit had huge famous buildings replicated in Lego, like a giant version of Falling Water in Lego and a big Sears Tower. The kids were fascinated. We especially liked that they had someone replicated the Building Museum in Lego with lots of little minifigures hanging out. Over the years, we’ve spent a good bit of time at the Building Museum and done some of their excellent programs for kids, so even though it was a gimmick and not technically part of the exhibit, it was the Lego piece we all liked the best. In the second part of the exhibit, there is a big space with a billion Legos to play with. We own a lot of Legos, but we did get to achieve some scale that perhaps couldn’t get at home.
Then the other day, because we were in outer Virginia anyway, I took the kids to the Lego Store where we oohed and aahed at everything and I nearly caved in and bought them one of the new Lego board games they don’t have yet even though they totally don’t need it. BalletBoy became giddy when he found Legos in pink. I feel like pink Legos sort of sums up some essential truth about his personality, though I don’t know if I can articulate what.
Since the mess in the basement has again reached epic proportions, I also decided to tackle the challenge of Lego organization this week. I feel like what we need is a beautiful Chinese apothecary chest with each drawer labeled in Chinese to say “2×6 blocks” or “wheels and axles” or “minifigures” or “Don’t be fooled, these are K’nex!” so that the Legos can be excellently hidden away. But that’s probably an unreasonable expense. So I went completely the other direction and bought a bunch of half price cardboard organizers from IKEA. Let’s hope these help curtail the craziness, at least a little.