Thursday, February 19, 2009

The 100 Day Project was Legos

My son just celebrated 100 days of school - and the school has a special program for the day filled with fun stuff for the kids. Part of his assignment was a 100 day project. Suggestions sent home for his class included gluing 100 pieces of macaroni, or pennies, or... to a piece of cardboard, drawing 100 shapes, etc. That would have been easy, probably could have been done in 1 night, and exactly what most of his classmates did. Not my son. Instead Momma and son were busy counting and re-counting Lego pieces for the project... through many redesigns, might I add! Believe me, I was happy when the project was due and had to be turned in!!!
He designed some Lego scenes. The top photo (slightly blurry- sorry!) is a pier on pilings (for the tide, you know). On the pier is a lighthouse and a lighthouse keepers house. Docked there is a rescue boat and also a "signal" boat that collects signals from the ocean to study. All those pieces added up to 100.  This goes to show that kids really do use their imaginations when using Legos, but Lego also has a Lego island with lighthouse as a set.
But he was on a roll and also made several more "boats". Here are just 2 of them... the Polizei boat/jet unit with night search lights and a mini jail in the back and a diving boat.

He ALSO made a 2nd scene which was a camping scene... here you can see his campsite set-up... 3 benches, a tent, pet dog, car and 2 people at the picnic table - that is 100 pieces. The trailer is extra. His picnic table design is really clever.

He loves Legos. Especially any set that comes with wheels! He will put it together and it will stay as "intended" for all of a week and then it will never, ever be the same again. His little fingers fly and he is very fast at putting together something that he sees in his mind, constantly adding little details that you wouldn't know were there (for example, inside the trailer in the camping scene he has little benches to sit on and there is a back windshield and windows too). All these pieces have since been redesigned and I am now looking at my floor - he has a snow covered tree, green tree, helicopter, blimp (with docking kick-stand), several jet/ski boat things going on... etc. And a great horse pulling a wagon - the horses legs are a tiny bit shorter so they don't touch the floor so the wagon can move freely. Lego has many sets with horses like this stable set - it is nice to have at least a horse or two!  Give him a few days and they will be yet re-designed again into some type of farm tractor, trailers, harvesters, etc.
His creations are really neat and I try to snap a few photos of the many metamorphoses along the way. Already he is asking me if I know any electronics - if I can help him wire a Lego creation. Hummm. I told my DH - by the time he is in 2nd grade his 100 day project will probably be a working submarine. I guess I should just enjoy Kindergarten for now because I am sure that I will have to be on my toes in the future to keep up with his busy and constantly curious mind!
Coming up next week is public speeches, and he has his speech all prepared- which he sat on my lap in front of the computer and typed by himself... all about model trains and HO scale. Seeing that he is in Kindergarten, he has a short time allotment compared to the older kids, so I had to limit him a bit on some of the technical details but he seems to have gotten down what he wanted to share and I think that he will do fine. We will practice this coming weekend.

Edited to add:  My son is now 9 years old and he and his classmates still love playing with Legos.  It is always, always the favorite "toy" whenever they get together.  I know Legos are pricy, but this has been the best money spent on any toy.  I recommend a basic building set (windows, doors, wheels - all important!), platforms (I hate spending money on a platform, but the kids create big scenes or houses using these), roof tiles, and a book about Lego ideas to get started.  The kids also really love any set that comes with a boat frame because they take it all apart and create all sorts of new kinds of boats!  Look for sets that come with fun, little "extras" like sharks, mini cars/boats, accessories.  Often times it is these little bits that become the favorites!  We save all our manuals in magazine sorters, but I have to tell you - it only looks like the box photo once or twice before it gets added to the big bin for lots of imaginative play!  Once a set is not made anymore it becomes more expensive so if one of my links seems too expensive it could be in limited supply - just search for something similar in the Lego line and compare prices!  It pays to know your prices when you shop!


Lindah said...

Wow! With children like this, there is hope for the future!

Brenda said...

I love how much detail he has in the lego creations!! And I could see him with a working submarine in a couple years, uh, maybe months!! NASA will want to know about him in a couple years!!