It’s a right of passage for parents, you know, that moment when kids get their first LEGO® set to build. Not the chunky LEGO Duplos but the full-blown sets of LEGO bricks with hundreds of tiny pieces that help with your child’s hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills and creativity. It is a breath of fresh air when they can start putting them together with little or no help from you and you get a break without having to turn on the TV. You are a happy and proud parent; your kid is doing an independent project that’s good for their development.
At first, I was happy about all the LEGO sets. My son was busy doing an activity that kept him out of my hair, especially after the new baby came and during all that early spring quarantine business. People asked what he wanted for gifts and the resounding answer was always “LEGOs!” So LEGO kits he got! He was given LEGO sets for Christmas, his birthday, and as new brother gifts. He was successfully building them mostly by himself and enjoying the intricacies of the sets.
Then my Tupperware containers started to disappear. They don’t hold leftovers any longer, now they hold miscellaneous LEGO pieces and half-built sets. My coffee table in the basement has become the LEGO table. My attempt to utilize tubs and a designated shelf did not keep all the bricks off of my tables. Part of this mess was my fault; I encouraged all the LEGO sets because they gave him something to concentrate on while I focused my attention on his newborn brother.
At one point, most of the flat surfaces in my house contained a LEGO project, most of them completed and forgotten about. I mean, what do you do with completed LEGO sets? I. DON’T. KNOW! Plus, you have all the extra pieces that come with the sets so what am I supposed to do with these? Fill up another one of my food storage containers?
For a while LEGO sets was all he wanted to do, to the point that he was taking completed builds apart and putting them back together again. Now he goes in spurts: a few weeks without touching his LEGO projects to a week of putting bricks together from the minute he gets home from preschool until it is time for bed. I don’t want to discourage him from playing with his LEGO kits, but my son is only 5 and I feel that by the time he is “done” with LEGO building (if that ever happens because my husband still gets LEGO sets to put together himself), all the money spent on these sets over the years could probably pay for his college education!
I need to be part of a Parents’ LEGO Bricks Support Group where we can share storage and organization ideas and swap sets to save money!
Truthfully I do really enjoy LEGO brick sets, too. We set up the LEGO Winter Village each holiday season. Every year in October, LEGO brand comes out with a new piece to add to their LEGO Winter Village. My husband and I have been adding pieces to our village since before my son was even born and it gets set up and added to every year. Putting the Christmas set together actually helps to calm my anxiety about the holiday season and makes a time of year I used to not really like feel more enjoyable, especially now that I get to share the building with my son.
For now, I have surrendered my basement to the LEGO sets, and am trying to contain them to that one part of my house (we even have a small LEGO White House on the fireplace mantle). I am still encouraging my son to build and create with these amazing LEGO bricks that I am sure will be part of our lives for a very long time. But I can still curse under my breath about these small, hard, plastic bricks that seem to keep multiplying and turning up in my bed and the washing machine and under the couch.
With the holiday season approaching, I am sure many parents are going to be feeling the same way about LEGO bricks as I do, so please, if you have mastered the art of LEGO brick storage and the displaying of sets, share with us all this holy grail of knowledge you possess. My sanity and my feet will thank you!