Solutions to kids fighting over lego? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 6 year old that loves Lego, which I don't mind.  The problem that I have is the fighting that it is causing between my two boys.  Ds1 doesn't want ds2, who is 3, to play with the lego, which is understandable.  Ds2 sometimes accidently breaks ds1's creations.  The issue is that we do not live in a very big space and it becomes very challenging to give ds1 lego time and keep ds2 out of the room.  We home school the two are home together all the time, so this is an ongoing headache.  The lego is in our computer room and it gets challenging trying to keep ds2 out when ds1 is playing and I don't always think it is fair to ds2, because he loves the lego as well.

 

What are some solutions that you have come up with when you have kids of different ages trying to play lego together and when you have a younger child who wants to play and an older child who doesn't want the younger child to play?

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#2 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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And the other issue that I worry about is my baby.  Ds3 is only 3 months old but when he is older, I worry about him getting into lego, choking, etc.

 

What have your lego rules been when you have a baby?

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#3 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 10:33 PM
 
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My boys are 9 and 6. When there are lego fights, the legos get put away for the day, end of discussion. They are to play nicely with each other, or they don't get to play with that toy (whatever it is). I do not tolerate the breaking of each other's creations, the petty "that's mine, I said no" stuff, etc. I bought the legos, they all belong to me. Share them, be nice about it, or don't play with them at all. (I know, I'm a big meanie. But I don't often deal with arguments about the legos, either.)

 

I would make sure there are enough legos for both boys to play with. Maybe do two boxes of legos? One box is 6yo's, one box is 3yo's? However, the 3yo is ALWAYS going to want to play with the 6yo. Ask me how I know.

 

As for the baby - you are just going to have to watch it. Or get a baby gate for that room. 


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#4 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 11:19 PM
 
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You could try getting something like this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266978&cp=2255956.2273442.2255969.3615619.12622371&green&ab=MyBuys:family for your older son to play with his legos inside and getting your younger ds some duplo legos that are for him and more safe for youngest ds when he starts crawling.

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#5 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 11:22 PM
 
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I have an almost 5 year old and a 2 year old, and the 2 year old loves whatever the 5 year old is doing.... of course.  We have lots of legos and other building toys, and I tell the older one that if he wants to build something without his brother, he needs to do it on a table out of reach or close the door to his room...however, the 2 year old cries if he can't get to his room, so after a while, I ask ds1 to build something for/with the younger one.  I always emphasize how ds2 loves his big brother and wants to be just like him, so that helps a little.  I don't think a 3 year old can really build with actual legos much...it's still hard for those little fingers, so that may be one reason he's trying to get into his brother's stuff.  Do you have the large blocks or duplos?  He may like those better and leave his brother's creations alone.  I'd have the large megablocks for when the baby is crawling around...but yeah, you have to watch him and gate that area off when you aren't.

We're also homeschooling, btw, so yeah, the kids are around each all day long....they're bound to fight over something eventually.  If I'm reading a book with ds1, ds2 wants that specific book.

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#6 of 17 Old 09-23-2012, 11:58 PM
 
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Hi! congrats on baby #3 :D

 

We have lego struggles too, and I don't really have advice but I'll share what we are doing. We have a strict rule about lego staying in the bedrooms, and only being brought out when the room is tidy.  This is supposed to keep it out of reach of our one year old (the other two are 7 and nearly 5, with frequent visits from othehr 7 year old boys).  As for the fighting, I think our situation is a bit different.  I find that my two are more likely to fight with a friend or cousin than each other, because that is when everyone wants to use the 'cool' pieces like specific minifigs or weapons or whatever little lego doohickey is attractive that day.  I've found it helps if I can be available to them to help find pieces they need, but that is also kind of a drag for me since lego is one of the things I get them to do so I can be left alone to do other things winky.gif   We have had less of an issue with the project breaking aspect, but something I've had to say is that once we are done with the lego it all gets put away, otherwise everyone wants to save all their creations and bits that they might use.  This might sound mean but in our current situation it's working... I expect this will change when they are older.  

 I think it would go easier for us if I had a better lego organizing system, for a while I had different categories in different containers but it's all ended up back in a big bin which is harder for them to sort through, leading to hoarding of cool pieces.

 

I wonder if in your situation, it might work for each of your boys to start out with their own pile of legos to work with separately? 


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#7 of 17 Old 09-24-2012, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Monkeygrrl View Post
 I bought the legos, they all belong to me. Share them, be nice about it, or don't play with them at all. (I know, I'm a big meanie. But I don't often deal with arguments about the legos, either.)

Haha, when it comes to lego, I'm a meanie too.  


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#8 of 17 Old 09-24-2012, 12:07 AM
 
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You need to make sure you have enough lego's, enough 'special' pieces, etc.  Make sure the lego's are organized, I've found shallow, clear storage containers work best.  Kids need to respect each others build.  But the biggest part is having enough pieces.


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#9 of 17 Old 09-24-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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Do you think DS3 is old enough to safely enjoy legos and play with them? If not, get some duplo blocks for him. There are lots of awesome ones aimed at older kids on ebay like the castle, pirate, trains, etc. Then the rule is that he simply can't play with the smaller pieces and needs to play with the bigger ones. At five, my ds still plays with duplo all the time.

 

If DS3 can play safely with them? If you do think he can safely enjoy them, I don't see why he can't be allowed to do so, even with some conflict.I would suggest segregating some for his exclusive use or getting him his own pieces. This might give your older son a breather and allows DS3 to play along. My YDD really likes having her own pink bucket of them and honestly, my ods doesn't bother much with hers except to capture a "lego friend" now and then. Sadly, those poorly designed girls scream target to lego pirates. Otherwise, it is a matter of having rules about personal space and/or finished creations. Messing with someone else's work in progress and/or destroying a finished creation on display would result in fairly predictible consequences of leaving the lego room for the day. Repeat. Repeat. If certain pieces are causing conflict over and over and there is no reasonable turn-taking then they can go live in my Secret Closet of Mystery for a few days.

 

In terms of goodies, I have had good luck with either something like this http://www.amazon.com/LEGO-Education-Fairytale-Minifigures-Different/dp/B0085Y3GCW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1348507402&sr=8-2&keywords=lego+education to get lots of the good pieces or random small lots off ebay like 15 cheap laser plasters or 10 skeletons or whatever. The inner workings of lego nerds never cease to amaze me so I often can pick up new sets cheaply if they have been stripped of something valuable liked licensed characters, which we don't play with anyway. Volume is good. Also, you can order specific pieces in bulk very cheaply on the lego website. Perhaps to have some piece you could identify the most special pieces and order a couple of extras.

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#10 of 17 Old 09-25-2012, 12:56 AM
 
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This is where I end up going "For the love of God people, there are enough Legos for all of you!!"

 

On the issue of ds3 breaking things the 6yo has built, I would be teaching him to be mindful of how he plays with brother's creations. On the other hand, they're made to come apart and be rebuilt and I would remind ds6 that he can rebuild it or build something new. 

 

Over the years, I've tried different things with trying to contain the Legos, restricting when the kids could have them. Now I've surrendered to the Legos. All of our kids play with them just about every day and I've let the tiny plastic pieces take over one of their bedrooms. How they don't constantly hurt themselves stepping on Legos is beyond me, but they don't.


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#11 of 17 Old 09-25-2012, 10:46 AM
 
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Over the years, I've tried different things with trying to contain the Legos, restricting when the kids could have them. Now I've surrendered to the Legos. All of our kids play with them just about every day and I've let the tiny plastic pieces take over one of their bedrooms. How they don't constantly hurt themselves stepping on Legos is beyond me, but they don't.

Seriously, why is only parents who ever seem to get hurt from stepping on Lego and Playmobil pieces? It never seems to happen to my kids.

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#12 of 17 Old 09-25-2012, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! congrats on baby #3 :D

Congrats to you to on baby #3!  The last time we talked, you just had two!

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#13 of 17 Old 09-25-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses!

 

Funny how I reach my limit and get so frustrated that I came here and posted and then my kids have been really good the last few days.  Ha ha! 

 

It did help, though, that I brought down the big bin of lego.  We had stuck it up, and ds1 never asked for it so I kept forgetting to bring it down.  So there has been enough lego around that ds1 hasn't cared much about ds2 playing with the lego.  And I've been stricter about making ds1 put his creations on a shelf we have for them.  I wish I could be a mean lego mom but ds1 gets so attatched to what he builds that I just don't want to put up the fight and make him take them apart and go back in the bin.  That's what the shelf is for.  It's been helpful having him be consistent at putting them away so that they are not out for ds2 to try playing with and accidently break.

 

About duplos.  We have some mega blocks construction vehicles, and ds2 gets so frustrated with them because they fall apart really easily on him.  He does occasionally play with them anyway.  I have heard that duplo is much better than megablocks.  But they just seem so expensive!  I don't know whether it's worth buying for ds2 so that he has his own legos that don't fall apart so easily or if I should just wait it out because he will eventually be old enough to actually play with ds1 and the real legos.

 

The other thing that I find that can be hard about lego is ds1 would play all day every day and then ds2 is left out and can't really play with him.  I've been limiting the time to 1-2 hours for ds1 to play so that he spends time playing games that ds2 can play and gets outside time, etc.

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#14 of 17 Old 09-26-2012, 12:55 AM
 
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If you are interested in getting Duplo, keep an eye on second hand shops and craigslist, there are often bags of duplo sold for a much cheaper price. All the duplo we have are from second hand shops and we have acquired some great stuff.

 

Especially since you have a #3, I would suggest getting some Duplo. My 6 year old will still build with them, we have a collection with vehicles and trains and he likes that they make bigger buildings he can use with his action figures, and my 2.5 year old has been able to play along since she was quite young. Now when they play lego, I set them up at the table and ds builds his little legos and dd builds her duplos. It's pretty cute.

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#15 of 17 Old 09-27-2012, 08:18 PM
 
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If the megablocks are frustrating, GET RID OF THEM.  You are tight on space, don't keep things that aren't fun.  Look for Duplo's.  You have a #3 as a PP said, you are going to need those Duplos. :)  

Ive found that LEGOS work so much better than any other brand.  If you can find some 'Little tikes waffle blocks' those are excellent too.  The waffle blocks go very fast on ebay/craigslist since they really aren't manufactured in large lots anymore.

 

http://www.littletikes.com/kids-toys/classic-wee-waffle-blocks-bucket-assortment

FYI 36 blocks aren't that many.

 

 

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=little+tikes+waffle&_sacat=0

 

ebay has better deals and better selections right now.  DS loved the castle, farm and road pcs!


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#16 of 17 Old 09-28-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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We have over 60 pounds of Lego, so you would think that would be enough, but no.

 

Rules:

-they are everyone's Lego, not any one person, regardless who they were actually purchased for
-two small bins, for "special" pieces.  You cannot take anything from the other person's special bin without permission.  

-on going projects cannot be touched by the other person  

-you are allowed a few (less than 3) display pieces (you can't hoard a special piece forever by calling it a display)

-lay down a big sheet before you start to play, that way when it's time to clean up you gather the ends, dump it in the bin.

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#17 of 17 Old 09-28-2012, 09:12 PM
 
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I have a friend whose 3-year-old will climb into the pack n play to play with his Legos, etc.  His little sister is outside the pack n play.  

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