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I absolutely HATE what Lego's have become!!! Anyone else? (vent) - Page 2

post #21 of 71

I remember my brother had lego sets 20 years ago.  He looooooved them.  Free play?  Pooh!  He wanted something complex, and full of instructions, and step-by-step, with a "perfect" result. That's just how his mind worked.


Me, I was more the free building type. 


Honestly, if you don't like the sets and your kid isn't interested, dump it all into the box and let him build whatever he wants.  If he *is* interested in sets, but can't do them on his own, perhaps only do super-simple ones, and save the complicated ones for when he's old enough to do on his own.

post #22 of 71

We just get legos not kits and it was really easy to just dump the kits we have been gifted with into the big bin we already owned.  I remember my brother getting lego instructions when he was younger but he always ditched them and we did free play stuff with his legos.  Some kids really like instructions and the right way and some don't.  My dd wanted to try the instructions a little when she was younger but she didn't like the time it took and being boxed in so we ditched them also.  I do wish they would put the stereotypical girl colors with the stereotypical boy colors instead of seperating them, but it is nice that they have branched out to include more colors because they may be able to reach girls who wouldn't get legos if they were considered boy things.

post #23 of 71
I do get what you're saying. We have a few bins but it's hard to buy legos that *aren't* in kits. DS has been doing lego since he was 4 and is very spatially-oriented. So, for him, following the directions with kits isn't hard and he really likes it.

However, he does get really frustrated and upset when something falls and the pieces scatter and, let's face it, with the kits it can be very hard to find that one little piece to get it all back together like it was. Plus, once it's built, it's built and then it just kind of sits there, waiting to fall and get broken!

Anyway, I agree with everyone else. Once one of DS' star wars fighters or whatever falls or collapses, the pieces just all go in bins and he can free build. Also, why don't you just uninvolve your DH and FIL in the whole process? Actively discourage them from "helping". Tell them to go watch TV or whatever and let your DS get on with it.
post #24 of 71
You can buy base kits and individual blocks from the lego site.
post #25 of 71
Every set of lego I was ever given, starting 40ish years ago, came with directions to build a particular thing or things. That's not new. They got built to directions once, then into the box of lego they went. It wasn't a big deal.
post #26 of 71

Different strokes for different folks. My 6 yo LOVES logos. At age 3 and 4 it was all the generic pieces. But now he asks for specific sets - Star Wars, Atlantis..... He thinks half the fun is building them but the directions. He likes me or DH to be in the room with him, talking with him, and "helping" but he really needs and wants to do it himself. If we were to take over, it would only make him bored and annoyed. After he has had the correct construction, he plays with it a few days, then eventually takes it to bits and it gets mixed up into the rest and then he makes his own space ships, cars, buildings... out of all the pieces. He does have a creative, engineering mind, so Legos are right up his alley. 


DD is only 4 and she likes Legos too, but not to the same extent. And she can't build via directions, she just makes simple towers and bridges and things. She did ask for and get a lego princess house for christmas (barf, all pink and flowery and cheesy, but that is for another post). She could not construct it, but she let DS and I do it and she enjoys playing house with it. 


OP - I just read your second post. Get DH and FIL out of there! It will only kill the joy your DS can get out of legos. Let DH help out in areas he is good at, and accept that this is NOT one of them. I was always good at sculpting and building and my dad, who is a lovely man, can not fit slot a into slot b to save his life. But he always had to help me with my construction projects, because he was a guy and I was only a girl, because he was an adult and I was just a child... all that happened is he got angry and frustrated and felt incompetent, and I was prevented from building the item myself or even correcting him. It was always a total killjoy. And usually the item was built half-arsed. When I was a young teen I got a nice drafting table and I so did NOT want his "help" that I insisted he leave and let me put it together by myself. You know what happened? He felt relieved, and I got the joy of building on my own - finally. I just wished this had happened 10 years prior. good luck. Bruise a little ego today and save yourself 10 years of tears later!

Edited by AllisonR - 1/10/11 at 11:55am
post #27 of 71

Just throw away the pictures and instructions and build. Or let DH or whomever build the complicated model one time and have fun after that. We still use duplos and will for a long time because they see a little more free.

post #28 of 71
Originally Posted by What Next? View Post

And as for "girly" Legos, forget it!  I picked up a couple castle/dollhouse sets when she was 3-4, and I'm so glad I did!  All they have now are cheesy little 200-pc sets with dogs or horses.  There's are extremely limited options and the price per piece is horrible.  And before anyone says "buy a standard set/"big box"/etc." - I don't WANT the standard stuff - we have TONS of the standard stuff.  I want cool castle pieces - like the gray ones but maybe in light blue!  I want car pieces - like the black and red ones, but in white and pink!  I want lots of different windows and doors, curved pieces, specialty stuff - but not in black, brown, gray, and red.  I DO want girly colors, but not cutesy dollhouse themes.


I know this is all consumer-driven and most female consumers aren't interested in buying legos for their daughters.  I know Lego would make more girly stuff if there was a demand for it.  I guess I'm not upset with Lego; I'm really upset at American cultural values.


Thanks for letting me rant...

You know about "pick a brick," right?  You can buy legos by the piece, select them by the color, buy windows and doors, etc.  http://shop.lego.com/pab/


Also, if you download lego designer, you can design your own kit and buy it.  It comes in a box with instructions and everything.  We've never done that (our old computer can't handle the program) but it's a cool idea.  Not sure how the pricing is...  http://shop.lego.com/Product/Factory/Default.aspx?cn=423


We love legos.  Ds started with free building at 4 and 5.  He started getting into kits at 6 or so.  I get a bit annoyed when people knock the kits, implying the kids using them aren't creative.  It takes skill and good spatial awareness to follow the directions.  Ds will troubleshoot weak spots and modify the pieces when he's done.  And he still free builds.  It's all good. smile.gif


post #29 of 71
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

Just throw away the pictures and instructions and build. Or let DH or whomever build the complicated model one time and have fun after that. We still use duplos and will for a long time because they see a little more free.

I'm cringing, lol.  Always save all instruction books.  Just start a file folder for them.  Heck, you can even sell them later.  But you don't know what your dc are going to want out of legos in a few years and they don't take up much space.  If your dc want to build the kits down the line and are missing a few pieces, there is a great market for used legos.  Plus, you can order missing pieces from lego.com.

post #30 of 71

Go back to Duplos!!  (The bigger legos.)  My 8 yo. ds still loves playing with them. 

post #31 of 71

My 10 year old adores legos, but I have mixed feelings about the kits as well. Don't get me wrong, I think they are pretty amazing and he loves to build them. The problem we run into is he builds the kit one time, plays with it for a couple days, it starts to fall apart, and it all gets dumped into the misc bin anyway. Maybe we are just really disorganized when it comes to legos? Maybe we should stretch out the building time (we usually do it one day)? It just seems like a TON of money for a one time experience.



This year, for his birthday, he ended up with $100 and asked me to look for a Lego Kingdom with a drawbridge for him. Well I found two, one he already had (and is now in the regular bin) and then one that cost $105. I stared at that thing for probably 20 minutes in the store. I was racked with guilt...it was his money...that is a LOT of money... I ended up getting him this instead




He LOVES it. It has stayed together and it is so big his brothers and friends can play too! He still loves his legos and wasn't upset with me in the least thank goodness. We still will buy legos, but we probably wont buy the big expensive sets anymore. The smaller ones are great and the misc pieces are awesome, but the large kits just aren't worth it IMO.


post #32 of 71
I used to hate the lego kits, especially when my son was around that age and younger. He would see the picture on the box and want to make it just like that, but he was often too young to be able to follow complex instructions and lacked the fine motor skills needed to put it together. This led to many moments of frustration and temper tantrums over things he can't help.

But I've seen a lot of improvement in his building ability over the years. He's 8 and legos are still his favorite activity. Kits often come with an age range suggestion according to complexity. He recently built a large set labelled "9-12" age range with minimal help.

I see legos as a sort of "pre-model" building activity. I can see my son moving toward model kits that you build and paint as he gets older. Models can be a life long hobby for some people.
post #33 of 71

My son and daughter are six and love Legos but do not care for the kits yet.  We buy sets of bricks or special items like windows and doors from the Lego site because the stores around here only sell kits.

post #34 of 71

I adore the kits! Just because it's a kit doesn't mean there WON'T be free play...there's no warning on the box saying that you'd be sent to the gulag if you built something other than the kit...


To go one step further, I think that kits are AWESOME for instilling all kinds of cool things (like reading and following instructions, fine motor skills, a HUGE sense of accomplishment and personal pride once said kit is 'complete'...)


Legos rule!!

post #35 of 71
I have a certified Zack (Lego maniac, the) and at age 5 he was playing with duplos. We had lots and lots. I bought a cardboard bucket of legos when he was 6 and he started doing kits on his own around age 7.5. I haven't bought plain legos since, he loves kits and getting individual pieces he picks out. Base plates are big around here too.

He plays with legos everyday so there's a lot more involved than following the kit instructions, though I heartily agree with PPs that the kits are not uncreative and that kids learn/hone important skills while doing them.

OP have you tried the smallish kits where they can make a castle or a pirate boat and the instructions have around 5 different ideas of what to do with it?

For those searching pieces my DS has bought some cool stuff from bricklink.com


post #36 of 71

Scour your local thrift stores.  I find bags and tubs of loose legos all the time.  We love both the kits and the loose legos.  I found the millenium falcon at a thrift store and had a blast putting it together.  It was only missing 2 pieces that weren't essential.  I let my son put together the simpler kits (he is 7), but I don't mind helping out on the more complex stuff.

post #37 of 71

My DH actually bought ME a Lego kit for Christmas, since I enjoy building the kits so much!  Of my three children, one enjoys free building more than kit building, but DS and DD2 love the kits. In fact, my 4 year old DD just spent the entire morning yesterday assembling the Lego police station with almost no help from me.  My DH is a model train builder, so it's no mystery that he enjoys building the kits too.  We also LOVE the mini-figures and acting out funny stories with them.  I'm not sure you can get mini-figures, except as part of kits.

post #38 of 71

Yes, you can buy minifigures by themselves now.  In the stores they have a station where you can assemble your own (I think it's $10 for 3 custom minifigures).  And they have an assortment that's prepackaged--it's a bit of a mystery as to what you'll end up with (it's a very small package, so it's probably just one minifig, but there's at least a dozen different minifigures in the current series).


I've also got a 5yo Lego maniac.  We started off with a bin of Duplos when DS was 3, which was all freeplay (and he still plays with them).  Then when he was almost 4, I bought him a big clearanced Indiana Jones kit with his Christmas money.  I knew when I did it that I'd have to help him put it together.  The first time he was happy to watch me do it, and it took about an hour and a half (for a 565 piece set).  Later in the week, after putting it together every day, I was down to 45 minutes.  (DS loves to build, play with, then destroy, then freeplay.)  Since then, we've bought him a lot of Lego kits.  I was so proud of him the other day when he sorted out all the pieces from a new kit all by himself (I was out running errands).


DS loves to have me help him, but nowadays that means I get the next pieces ready for him and he puts them together all by himself (when building a new kit).  My favorite part of building Lego kits is sorting out all the pieces by color and shape in the beginning.  So we work very well together.  DH hasn't spent nearly as much time building w/ DS, so when he does help DS, DS tends to get frustrated b/c DH wants to do it all himself, but DS prefers to do most of it.  It was a lot of fun putting together the huge Shuttle Adventure kit b/c all three of us got to sort and put together different sections, which made everyone happy (of course, it took over 4 hours of building time, but there were over a thousand pieces).


And DS literally plays with Legos for hours every single day...and it's probably 90% freeplay, building whatever his imagination desires, or he's inspired by on YouTube.


So I'll echo everyone else who advised you to get your DH and FIL to leave your DS alone while he's building...or at least remind them (as frequently as necessary) to let DS do it his way.  Using the right color really doesn't matter--but it took my DS a year before he was able to accept that. 

post #39 of 71

Tigerchild, I'm your mom.  Except it's the play kitchen that I do it to.  I get all freaky and anal retentive about it. Canned goods on one shelf, fruit in one bin, veggies in another.  My dd thinks I'm nuts and refuses to put it away "right".  I do it when she's not looking and let it be :)



My dad and I had a conversation once when he insisted ds couldn't color a cat blue.  Really dad?  He's 3.  He can make the cat blue if he wants to.  I launched into a whole thing about creativity, imagination and stimulation.  He still insists that they color in the lines, but they can use any color that they want.  I wonder where I get my freaky plastic food organization fetish from?? Hmmm :D


I bought a plastic file folder for the lego instructions and just file them when the sets come in the door.  Then we bought a bulk bin of Legos off ebay and the kids are so much happier than when they just had all the pieces from the sets to build with.

post #40 of 71

I'm probably just recycling what has already been said, but my experience was that my DS was not ready for kits at 5.  I would sit with him and do most of the building (which I actually like, as long as his younger brother is napping and not competing for my time!); this was nice for both of us at the time, and I'd have him find pieces, practice placing them on the ship, etc.  Now, at 6.5, we open the bag, I serve as his "assistant" helping him sort colors, and then he just does the entire thing.  I only help if there is some kind of mistake - the tricky thing with these sets are that a kid can be slightly off on one step and then the whole thing won't come together.  I'm finding that I rarely need to help now, though.


If you couldn't tell from my avatar, he's really, really into Lego Space Police now.  orngbiggrin.gif

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