2013: The year of the Lego

2013 was the year of the Lego for our family. My older boys, just turned 7, decided they had a love of Legos. Friends at school helped introduce them to things like Ninjago and Chima. We don’t have TV and usually rent movies via the library. It’s free and you can keep videos for 7 days! But we hadn’t rented these types of videos before them entering their 1st/2nd grade split classes. I never played with Legos. The idea of putting jigsaw puzzles and making things out of little tiny blocks was never really that interesting for me. I wasn’t meant to be an engineer. Archie and Sean, however, have decided to turn in the Thomas train track for Legos.

Courtesy of Bricks4Kidz: Drgaonfly

When they were 3-5, they loved nothing more than to create an elaborate train track with bridges and tunnels made with other toys. Then at age 5, daddy brought out his old Legos. They were hooked, even if they couldn’t quite grasp it yet. Their earlier creations were long skinny pieces of Legos with some wheels attached. Their imagination made up for the lack of style. We’ve had everything from flying, dive-bombing fire trucks to huge long personnel carriers, that incidentally also blew things up. So, when school started this year, and the boys were finally old enough to join the Bricks 4 Kidz after school Lego club, we scraped the money together and enrolled them. Heaven!

Each week, they build something new under the direction of the teacher. They do not get to keep their creations, but they are learning. They are learning about gears, spatial awareness, how to take direction, but how to further their imagination too. And, that is a good thing.

We ended the year of the Lego with a bang. We managed to find some decent prices on Lego kits and the kids spent 2 whole days over Christmas building their various Lego kits and re-building them and changing them. That is what makes the BEST toys. Toys that are sturdy (lets face it kids are rough), offer a way to continually configure and re-configure and toys that offer infinite possibilities when paired with an active imagination. It isn’t wooden vs. plastic, it’s content.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!

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Legos and Princesses

Daffodil Princess

The Puyallup Library has a Lego storytime on ‘Saturday  February 16 at 11 am, but it will be slightly different. The Daffodil Princesses will be doing a special book reading and then we will be bringing out the Legos. Please feel free to join us for this unique Lego My Library storytime.’

Find your library and enjoy your time with a princess, then build something REALLY cool with Legos!

Christmas, Trains and Legos

While Santa’s elves produce a lot of train sets each holiday season, they can’t hold a candle to the quality and scale of the ones on display each year at the Washington State History Museum’s Model Train Festival.

“Railroads have played an important role in our state’s history,” said Jennifer Kilmer, director of the Washington State Historical Society. “The model train festival provides a wonderful opportunity for us to share that history in a fun environment that involves Washington state residents and brings to life their passion for model trains.”

The event showcases model train displays designed and assembled by model train enthusiasts across the state including: Boeing Employees Model Railroad Club, Cannonball Express, Pierce County Lionel Club, Mount Rainier N-Scale, 4D NTRACK Group, 4D PNR HO Modular Group, Puget Sound Model Railroad Engineers and Washington State Operation Lifesaver. The displays occupy every floor of the museum and include the largest permanent model train layout in the state.

Extended to 11 days this year, the Model Train Festival runs from December 21 to January 1, and will feature the Polar Plaza Express, a ride-on train that will travel between the Washington State History Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum.

Santa Claus

And Santa shall not be forgotten, as we will offer pictures with Santa in front of a holiday train backdrop from 11am-3pm on December 21, 22, 23. Skip the mall and have photos taken by Lisa Hystak Photography while you’re enjoying the train displays.

If your child is a LEGO fan, he or she can design a train car and enter it into our LEGO Train Design Competition. The entry period is December 19-20 for kids ages 1-18. Entries must be delivered in-person to the museum on December 19 or 20 during open hours. Just one car, engine or station per entrant, and entries must be no larger than 14 inches long and 6 inches wide. All entries will be displayed in the History Lab for the run of the 2012 Model Train Festival, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons granted by an elite team of judges.

Adults: $9.50
Students: $7
5 and under: FREE

Lego Club at Tacoma Main Library

(Pic courtesy of LEGO website)

Join the LEGO club at the Tacoma Main library in downtown on May 13th from 1:30-3pm.  The Tacoma Main library supplies the LEGOS and you supply the creativity and energy into building something spectacular.  If you are prepared, you can use the following link to download directions of what to build straight from the LEGO website: http://us.service.lego.com/en-US/BuildingInstructions/default.aspx Or, if you have an iPhone, there is an app for that. (Look for Lego instructions by ArtelPlus)

Lego Building Club at Main Library Tacoma

(Pic courtesy of LEGO website)

Join the LEGO club at the Tacoma Main library in downtown on May 13th from 1:30-3pm.  The Tacoma Main library supplies the LEGOS and you supply the creativity and energy into building something spectacular.  If you are prepared, you can use the following link to download directions of what to build straight from the LEGO website: http://us.service.lego.com/en-US/BuildingInstructions/default.aspx Or, if you have an iPhone, there is an app for that. (Look for Lego instructions by ArtelPlus)