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vaqueroaero
7th Dec 2013, 21:26
So here's the situation. My son, who is six loves Lego's. For Christmas and birthdays Lego is high on the list. My wife, bless her, has this uncanny ability to find expensive sets on sale, often for half price. This has resulted in him having a pretty good collection. I even built him a Lego table out of a 4x8 sheet of plywood so that him and his friends have somewhere specific to build and play with the sets.

I totally understand that a great thing about Lego is that it can be taken apart and rebuilt into whatever the imagination thinks up, but in my opinion, the larger more expensive sets should, well, stay built as the set is intended and the imaginary machines, buildings etc should be built out of the spare parts bucket.

On more than one occasion I have spent hours sorting through piles of bricks trying to rebuild a certain set because after an afternoon of him and his friends building he then decides that he wants set 'x' rebuilt. After a while it gets to be really tedious.

My wife says to let them break everything up and it doesn't matter. I think other wise.

So what do others think? (I try really hard not to be a miserable father - honest!)

ChampChump
7th Dec 2013, 21:34
You asked.

Whose toy is it?

If it's your Lego set, you can build your models and gaze at them lovingly. Don't really need reusable bricks for that, though.

If it's your son's, he can build all sorts of things. He can stretch his imagination as he develops his skills. He could even also build the picture on the box, assisted by Dad. Lots of Lego bricks? Marvellous. The architects and designers of the future won't be following the picture on the box, though, I suspect.

Sorry if that sounds harsh. It's how I see it.

Capetonian
7th Dec 2013, 21:37
All I can say, as a parent, is that if you've stepped on a Lego brick, barefoot, in the middle of the night, you'll understand that it is the invention of the devil.

cavortingcheetah
7th Dec 2013, 21:49
You are right! The integrity of Lego Land must be guaranteed!
If you want a random box of Lego for ad hoc creationism then just buy up loose Lego from a charity shop or toy auction and thus accumulate a vast trunk full of miscellaneous pieces from which your son can create his own monstrosities.
If you don't keep the large and expensive Lego together as sets you will eventually end up with one huge mass of bits yourself and inevitably the most important cogs of a complicated construction will become lost making a rationalisation of your Lego pile eventually impossible.
Besides which, in these days, a Lego legacy might be the only thing grandparents have to leave on to their younger ones.

G-CPTN
7th Dec 2013, 22:02
in my opinion, the larger more expensive sets should, well, stay built as the set is intended
I share your opinion, but, I believe that that is a mature attitude that your son might aspire to later. I have grandsons who behave just like your son so I share your frustration.

lomapaseo
7th Dec 2013, 22:06
The fun is mostly in the building, not the taking apart. To spread the fun out in a creative fashion introduce him to small explosives like the cherry bombs of our gereneration. That way he will choose the career direction in life that most suits him.

Loki
7th Dec 2013, 22:12
Capetonian

Actually one brick is usually OK......it's when they get clumped together in fiendishly awkward shapes it tends to hurt in my experience.

At least when the little horrors have reached the lego stage their mischief becomes more predictable. Our number one son, when he was a toddler, managed to open the pasta jar and spread spaghetti strands all over the kitchen floor.....pretty good roller bearings they make too.

Pelikal
7th Dec 2013, 22:25
As a 'first generation' Lego builder, I don't understand these modern sets. The joy as a nipper in the early sixties was to build what one could from the bricks and assorted stuff available. When one was done with a build, one would dispatch elements to the 'Lego Box'.

And start again with the next build. Could've been anything. My favourite brick was translucent with a tiny bulb in it which lit up. Hey, what joy. I don't see the value the value of these modern sets, I'm sorry.

From a failed Pyramid and Geodesic Dome designer.:{

4mastacker
7th Dec 2013, 22:28
Whatever you choose to do with the bits, make sure you keep the instructions.

Mrs 4ma is the household controller of Lego bits and manages the assets as follows:
A single storage box of mixed bits from various small kits.
Large kits are kept in their original packing.
All the instructions are kept in a single (now a very large) folder.

compressor stall
7th Dec 2013, 22:36
Mix it all up but keep the instructions.

Most of the joy from Lego is kids making things from their imagination.

There's also a skill in following instructions and cognitive spatial awareness which comes with following instructions, so from time to time get them to build a kit.

LordGrumpy
7th Dec 2013, 22:42
'When I were a lad we had nails saws and old bits of wood.'
We did not get our tea: If we could not make saleable furniture.
When the candles ran out, we had to scrape up the wax and make new ones.
Treading on misshapen plastic bricks: luxury.

Mechta
7th Dec 2013, 22:46
Maybe a bit of compromise is needed here?

Insisting your son only builds the model on the box cramps his imagination, whilst I can see the benefit of keeping the sets together.

Why not make him a box with pigeonholes, each with a picture of one of the set piece models. That way he can build what he wants, but dismantle each into its pigeon hole when it comes to it. That way he will learn the benefit of keeping matching pieces together, and speed up builds which require these parts, thus he may learn some organizational skills along with being creative.

If you keep the original boxes and instructions up in the attic, then they can be kept pristine for your family's next generation of Lego builders when they come along.

I grew up with Lego, and all mine was in a box about 18" x 12" x 12". The rummaging around for bits resulted in pieces getting damaged, and hours spent looking for small pieces of the right colour, right at the bottom of the box, so there has to be a better way.

alisoncc
7th Dec 2013, 22:51
Meccano was all the rage when I was an ankle biter. That took real skill to assemble. Genuine engineering skills with nuts and bolts.

LordGrumpy
7th Dec 2013, 22:57
Thank you Alison CC now you make me feel old.
My parents disposed of my Meccano.
It had all the gear wheels and chain drives: hurrumph!

G-CPTN
7th Dec 2013, 23:01
For my children, I supplied empty margarine and ice-cream tubs to keep like bricks separate and easy to find. Smaller containers can be used for special shapes - but I was an engineer so appreciated the importance of shape and function - some people don't understand this way of thinking.

How high can you go with LEGO?
In December 2012, the BBC's More or Less programme asked the Open University's engineering department to determine "how many Lego bricks, stacked one on top of the other, it would take to destroy the bottom brick?"
Using a hydraulic testing machine, the engineering department determined the average maximum force a 2×2 Lego brick can stand is 4,240 newtons; since an average 2×2 Lego brick has a mass of 1.152 grams (0.0406 oz), according to their calculations it would take a stack of 375,000 bricks to cause the bottom brick to collapse, which represents a stack 3,591 metres (11,781 ft) in height.

jimtherev
7th Dec 2013, 23:15
Someone's probably writing a doctoral thesis on this as we write. Prob. a good bit more useful than some abstracts I used to have to read...

LordGrumpy
7th Dec 2013, 23:33
How many revolutions per minute: Jim the Rev?

G-CPTN
7th Dec 2013, 23:50
How many revolutions per minute: Jim the Rev?
Wrong type of Rev.

John Hill
7th Dec 2013, 23:53
Lego is a multi discipline toy!

Building up a complicated set from the instructions teaches skills that are quite different to the skills that are developed from building MOCs ("my own creation").

There are certain things one must never do with LEGO..
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4014/4587442705_c5ec023b89.jpg

This is a little rail maintenance track speeder, it is a 12 volt motor bogey modified to run on 9 volt tracks under control of 15 volt DCC. It runs very well. However the crew are illegal overstayers from outside LEGO land, maybe Playmobile. Several cardinal sins against LEGO right there.


On the other hand this is totally pukka..
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4035/4588063822_3d942aa628.jpg
100% LEGO components and designs.

This is barely acceptable...
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4017/4587443325_66303a2d0d.jpg
...an MOC 4-4-4 steam loco but the yellow stripe is plastic tape and the headlamp is a modified LEGO component.



This picture shows the biggest LEGO crime of all...
http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4061/4587441999_1699bcc4bf.jpg
...this is a rather cramped marshalling yard crammed in the corner of a tiny 6 metres square** purpose built LEGO room, when dealing with LEGO one must always think big!


**6 metres square, not 6 square metres.

Dushan
7th Dec 2013, 23:58
In December 2012, the BBC's More or Less programme asked the Open University's engineering department to determine "how many Lego bricks, stacked one on top of the other, it would take to destroy the bottom brick?"
Using a hydraulic testing machine, the engineering department determined the average maximum force a 2×2 Lego brick can stand is 4,240 newtons; since an average 2×2 Lego brick has a mass of 1.152 grams (0.0406 oz), according to their calculations it would take a stack of 375,000 bricks to cause the bottom brick to collapse, which represents a stack 3,591 metres (11,781 ft) in height.


Shouldn't these people be looking for a cure for cancer, or at least common cold?

Dushan
8th Dec 2013, 00:05
I have mu Meccano set and my Lego Mind Storm robotic sets. I buld from plans supplied by them, but when I was a kid I loved to buld my own Meccano stuff. I never had Lego set, only a knock off that came from France. It was OK, but limited in expansion since it was not compatible with Lego.

Let the kid do his stuff. You have a problem with that, get your own kit.

cavortingcheetah
8th Dec 2013, 00:18
I had a depraved childhood then for my toys were a .410 a .22 Mauser with silencer and telescopic sight and for playing in the garden, a BSA .22 air rifle.
There were certain things one should never do with those toys as well. A .22 pellet will bounce with a satisfactory thwack off a pair of women's bloomers hanging on a washing line. The .22 rifle bullet went right through which rather gave the game away on dressing day.

TomJoad
8th Dec 2013, 00:25
My wife says to let them break everything up and it doesn't matter. I think other wise.

So what do others think? (I try really hard not to be a miserable father - honest!)

:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D This has got to be the best post ever on PPrune. I share your dilemma vaqueroaero, I think I have the start of OCD. Anyway I'm encouraging my kids to use super glue on the bricks:ok:

Seriously though my girls are the same they love the sets but also love breaking them down once built - I say let them do it. Hey get this,I actually managed to convince my wife that they should get Lego Mindstorm for Christmas. I can't wait:O

Dushan
8th Dec 2013, 00:59
Lego Mindstorm is now to generation 3.0. I have the first two and they are fun. I have no time for them any more so getting the latest would just not make sense, but then, since when did making sense have anything to do with wanting more toys:E.

vaqueroaero
8th Dec 2013, 01:56
A boy, his Lego table and a million bricks! Storage bins are underneath.....all attempts at keeping stuff separate have failed so far......

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e81/Vaqueroaero/image_zps59b8d5a4.jpg (http://s37.photobucket.com/user/Vaqueroaero/media/image_zps59b8d5a4.jpg.html)

John Hill - that is an impressive layout! They are not Playmobile figures though, they are too small for that.

We have all the instructions safely stored, but there are various websites that have them all as well should they get misplaced.

flash8
8th Dec 2013, 02:10
One mate (in 30's) moved to Canada with his girlfriend (from UK) and insisted he take his 20 odd boxes of Lego... which I duly helped pack as his girlfriend refused.

The Mind boggles!

John Hill
8th Dec 2013, 02:19
I have a friend who has 10x as much Lego as we have. I visited his house once and he showed me his collection, all in original boxes and all stacked in a hallway closet.:bored:

balsa model
8th Dec 2013, 03:40
As a 'first generation' Lego builder, I don't understand these modern sets. The joy as a nipper in the early sixties was to build what one could from the bricks and assorted stuff available. When one was done with a build, one would dispatch elements to the 'Lego Box'.
I got into Lego in eighties (my teens). Lego-Technic, to be sure. After a long hiatus, the offsprings are forcing me (I'm using the word 'forcing' very loosely) to revisit the Lego scene. It is quite different, nowadays. The modern sets appear to me to be 3D puzzles interconnected with 'Lego System' but otherwise full of custom parts. Lately, they've started integrating 'fighting-action-figures' that part-time as transformers. They have very cool articulated joins but it's difficult to think of them as Lego even though they do include ways for interconnection with 'Lego-Technic' style.
Anyways, my point is that the system of parts is steadily expanding and trying to store your (your kids' really) Lego holdings in some organized manner other than their original boxes is getting nearly impossible and is getting sabotaged with every new Lego box. The wife attempted it once: she got 10 boxes and got the kids to sort the parts by colour. :ugh: Fortunately, within weeks she saw the folly of the scheme.
Also fortunately, we both agree that keeping the genie in the original boxes is not for our kids.

LookingForAJob
8th Dec 2013, 03:53
A true aficionado would tell you that those expensive sets should not only stay in the box but remain sealed and untouched by child's (of any age) fingers. Well, that is if they are to have any value on ebay that is.......

Loose rivets
8th Dec 2013, 05:21
As a 'first generation' Lego builder . . .

Not at your quoted age.

I was playing with . . . oh, wait, it may not have been Lego. But if it wasn't, Lego ripped off the design.

In the late 40s - early 50s, my pal and I played with his building set. It was made of red India rubber and popped satisfyingly as it was disassembled.


We used to do a nighttime run to Billund in Denmark. There on the 'terminal' wall was the early models built from the early plastic Lego. They got bigger as time passed, and so did Lego.

John Hill
8th Dec 2013, 05:25
We started Lego buying in 1973 and had already missed two generations of their trains.

A A Gruntpuddock
8th Dec 2013, 05:37
Surely the whole point of Lego, Meccano et al is to encourage children to experiment in the ways things can be fitted together, and how large devices can be created from small units?

Restricting them to doing the same thing over and over seems counter productive (albeit a useful lesson in what employment will be like).

The only advantage of specific kits is that you are guaranteed to have all the bits necessary to build a very specific model, but tends to be a very expensive way of acquiring Lego parts.

Lego NXT has the great advantage of teaching construction and programming.

You don't need the official Lego instructions, there are lots of websites showing how to build all sorts of different items.

waren9
8th Dec 2013, 05:48
mum made a large circle of fabric with a drawstring around its perimeter for my lego. got laid out on the bedroom floor. god help me if any of it was found loose outside that bag.

dad had meccano.

A A Gruntpuddock
8th Dec 2013, 06:20
I find that the plastic containers in which our takeaway curries arrive make excellent storage boxes.

You can see through them so don't even need to use labels.

If space is at a premium then ziplock bags are fiddly but very cheap and take up the least room.

Mechta
8th Dec 2013, 08:47
Restricting them to doing the same thing over and over seems counter productive (albeit a useful lesson in what employment will be like).

:D:D:D:D:D How true!

I was fortunate that the Lego set I was given in the early 1970s came with instructions to build four different models from it. I remember one was a 'Charabanc' as I had never heard the word before. Having done the set piece models, it was rapidly converted into a landing ship/aircraft carrier.

Doodlebug
8th Dec 2013, 09:13
Please permit me a touch of drift here: I gather from one or two posts that daughters enjoy lego, too? My eldest girl is five-and-a-half and lives in a world of pink and princesses, but loves figuring out puzzles, too. The trickier the better. Makes me think she'd love lego but The Government disagrees. Thoughts? Christmas is almost upon us!

Pelikal
8th Dec 2013, 09:16
Quote:
As a 'first generation' Lego builder . . .
Not at your quoted age. Objection your honor! I am 57:ooh:

I guess Lego taught me a sense of scale, of a sort. Looking back, Lego gave me such pleasure as a nipper. We didn't do pre-designed stuff in those days. Bear in mind I had two sisters with the same access to the magic 'Lego Box'.

Three squabbling kiddies fighting over the last remaining base unit or that fiddly 2x1 brick that I needed to complete my interstellar space craft whilst the girls were designing their twee cottages. No wonder I was given a good hiding and sent off to my room. Actually, there was a purpose in dismantling ones project; I can build better next time.

I guess with the current sets the idea of the storage of the bits in various containers is the way to go. However, I'm really stumped on this concept of building a Lego kit and just keeping it intact.

Rummaging around in the box for the last remaining bit was an adventure. One did, though, have to occasionally revert to Theft. I would nick bits off my sisters cottages in order to build my craft to Andromeda.

What the heck is Lego NXT?:ok:

Doodlebug, just seen your post, go for it.

tartare
8th Dec 2013, 09:20
I think it'd be a great idea for a present Doodle.
You never know - the mind a of a future female engineer may be inside that pretty wee noggin!

John Hill
8th Dec 2013, 09:22
My niece was the only girl in a family of 5 children. The boys built "stuff" in Lego but she built creations of amazing complexity and laid train tracks throughout their house.

The boys have reasonable jobs but she is now a medical specialist of some remarkable ability.

Doodlebug
8th Dec 2013, 09:26
Right. Armed with these replies I shall endeavour to persuade Government, Lego it is! Much obliged, Gents. :ok:

aviate1138
8th Dec 2013, 09:41
Capetonian....
"All I can say, as a parent, is that if you've stepped on a Lego brick, barefoot, in the middle of the night, you'll understand that it is the invention of the devil."

Even worse is an upturned UK 3 pin 240v plug.

A friend used to run Lego and he had a shiny Gulfstream GIV to run around the world in.

We parents all contributed to that.........

A A Gruntpuddock
8th Dec 2013, 09:47
Pelical

The NXT system is based on a series of Lego 'intelligent bricks', which are small computers to which motors and a variety of sensors can be added.

NXT Intelligent Brick | LEGO Shop (http://shop.lego.com/en-GB/NXT-Intelligent-Brick-9841)

Thiese can be used to create all sorts of robots which use an extended range of Lego parts although the original bricks can also be incorporated.

The latest version uses an upgraded computer which is faster, has more memory and can control 4 instead of 3 motors.

LEGO.com Mindstorms (http://www.lego.com/en-gb/mindstorms/?domainredir=mindstorms.lego.com)

If you want to see what can be achieved, just google 'lego factory'.

Blues&twos
8th Dec 2013, 09:51
What is it with all these themed toys?

The whole point of Lego, surely, is that the builder lets their imagination and their ingenuity decide what and how to build stuff. Kits are fine in their own way. but they should be a starting point for "Now what else can I do with this ?"

Lego seems to have sadly lost its way over the years..what's the point in buying a load of bits from which only one thing can be made, and then only from the specific instructions supplied by the manufacturer? That's not Lego! That's a model! Lego is designed specifically to be broken apart and rebuilt ad infinitum. There's only limited learning and enjoyment to be had by following someone else's instructions. Useful to know how to follow instructions, yes, but not a great deal of fun in the long run....

My first Lego box (from the early 1970s)contained a leaflet describing what Lego was all about. Ir showed a photograph of an "ambulance" built by a small child. It looked superficially like an ambulance but was was several storeys tall, had doors and windows on the levels going up and had a fenced off garden on the roof. They had printed some questions they'd asked the child about it. From what I can recall, the multiple levels were in case the patient wanted to bring family and pets along with them to the hospital. The garden was so the patient could "Get some fresh air" if the felt like it.

Fantastic. That's what it's all about. I loved building random stuff...I'm an engineer now.

Let your child take it to bits, build a spaceship and chuck it down the stairs. What's the point otherwise? And where's the fun in keeping it in one piece?

Lon More
8th Dec 2013, 09:54
It can be a toy for al the family

http://files.witnessthis.co.za/2009/11/lego-for-adults1.jpg

A A Gruntpuddock
8th Dec 2013, 10:17
This one should appeal to an aeronautical forum

Lego paper plane folding machine V2.0 - YouTube

Pelikal
8th Dec 2013, 10:18
Blues&twos, :ok:

Lon More, now I know what I want for Christmas...naughty person you. I shudder to think of the postings post Christmas.:mad:

A A Gruntpuddock
8th Dec 2013, 10:30
Lon, I just have to ask, was that one built from memory?

4mastacker
8th Dec 2013, 10:31
Loose rivets wrote:

..In the late 40s - early 50s, my pal and I played with his building set. It was made of red India rubber and popped satisfyingly as it was disassembled….


Minibrix?? And yes, I remember that popping sound.

blue up
8th Dec 2013, 10:48
Let him run loose with the Lego.


If he pulls it apart and rebuilds it with pieces to spare he'll make a good engineer in the future.

If he pulls it apart and gets you to rebuild whilst he sips a drink then he'll make a good pilot.

If he pulls it apart, hides some of the pieces, hands you the instructions (only in Serbo-Croat since he's hidden the English translation), gets you to build it and then tells you you've done it wrong he'll have a future in the CAA.

If he pulls it apart and then gets you to buy him a new set, make it up for him and then complains that you've done it wrong, leaves you to tidy up the mess, gets his mother to give him a drink and a chocky bikky without getting you anything then he'll make a good politician.

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2013, 11:28
As a young (pre-teenage) child I wanted the real miniature building bricks that could be fixed using a 'real' mortar - but I never got anything like that.

I also wanted a (Mamod) steam engine - which I also never got.
I inherited Meccano from my older brother (and enjoyed creating cranes and lorries - a hint that my future lay in civil and vehicle engineering).
Brother had an O-gauge clockwork Hornby layout and I acquired an electric Dublo (three-rail) setup (as well as the standard Dinky Toy vehicles.

I only became involved in LEGO when my children were old enough (from age 5) when we were living in Denmark in the 1980s. I spent hours using LEGO for my own therapeutic treatment (marvellous stress reliever).

I still believe that children need to be approaching 8 to 10 years old before they appreciate dedicated model-making - younger ones lack the concept IMO - savants and prodigies excepted of course. Test this by giving a child an 'Airfix' kit and see how they manage it. Of course younger children can enjoy using LEGO to build things (with or without wheels) but identifying these as representations of real-world items is a concept largely beyond them - just as their drawing rarely reflects accurate realistic images but includes abstract features (that a parent will come to recognize).

Mechta
8th Dec 2013, 11:32
Doodlebug wrote:
Please permit me a touch of drift here: I gather from one or two posts that daughters enjoy lego, too? My eldest girl is five-and-a-half and lives in a world of pink and princesses, but loves figuring out puzzles, too. The trickier the better. Makes me think she'd love lego but The Government disagrees. Thoughts? Christmas is almost upon us!

Mr & Mrs Mechta Senior have a box of Lego Duplo which always gets brought out when grandchildren visit. No instructions, no pictures and the girls play with it as much as the boys. The only rule is that it must be put back in the box before the grandchildren go.

vulcanised
8th Dec 2013, 12:40
Those bricks join together? http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/eek.gif

Blues&twos
8th Dec 2013, 12:49
My two daughters both love Lego - the non-kit variety. One is studying the performing arts and the other is a veterinary student. During the holidays when we're all home together the Lego makes an appearance with various bizarre buildings and vehicles morphing and appearing/disappearing on a daily basis. I might sometimes get involved too.....
The most popular non-computer toys we've got, I reckon.

Doodlebug
8th Dec 2013, 13:06
The younger they are, the better if the Lego presented is of the basic variety, it seems. Looking forward to Christmas now!

CelticRambler
8th Dec 2013, 13:20
Lego seems to have sadly lost its way over the years ...

Indeed it did lose its way around the turn of the millenium and we are very lucky to have any Lego sets in our toy stores today. The story makes for a good read for any manager, and there are close parallels between the airline industry and Lego's crisis and near death experience

http://www.managing-innovation.com/case_studies/Lego.pdf

I've always been a build-and-break-it person when it comes to Lego, and my sisters were perfectly capable of fighting me for non-pink bricks and an unreasonable acreage on our precious 50x50 board :* but my best friend at the time (not particularly patient) would build his fancy models once and once only. I haven't been in his bedroom for a few decades, but I'm sure they're probably still there, intact and unloved.

And I've still got my very first Meccano set and the bigger one I got a few years later. :ok:

G-CPTN
8th Dec 2013, 15:24
Your experience may be true - I was just suggesting why younger children show preference for breaking up models and creating abstract designs (albeit basically buildings or vehicles) rather than retaining dedicated kits as they are intended.

At what age do/did your subjects morph into model-builders?

Fox3WheresMyBanana
8th Dec 2013, 15:27
Lego - ideal for budding film directors!

Eddie Izzard- Death Star Canteen - YouTube

TomJoad
8th Dec 2013, 15:32
Please permit me a touch of drift here: I gather from one or two posts that daughters enjoy lego, too? My eldest girl is five-and-a-half and lives in a world of pink and princesses, but loves figuring out puzzles, too. The trickier the better. Makes me think she'd love lego but The Government disagrees. Thoughts? Christmas is almost upon us!



Doodlebug,

Go for it, both my 9 year old and 11 year old daugters love it and its such a joy to see them exercising their imagination rather than sitting watching a DVD. My 9 year old is a big fan of The Hobbit so is hoping Father Christmas brings her the Goblin battle set! I must admit I'm really exited about the Mindstorm (hey I'm a Physics teacher) - cant wait to see if they take to it. It's expensive but we used our Tesco award points for it.

You may also be interested in Goldi Blox is has apparently taken off in America - again aimed at girls to try and address the imbalance in our expectations in their take up of science and technology studies. You can find it on Amazon but the current UK price is somewhat higher than you will find in the US. Here's the link. But my advice would be go for Lego maybee one of the sets and a general bucket of the stuff.:ok:

Engineering toys for girls (http://www.goldieblox.com/)

vaqueroaero
8th Dec 2013, 18:56
As a further note to Lego creations there are some great apps available for the iPad for making movies. We have one called Stop Motion which we have had a lot of fun with.

Blues&twos
8th Dec 2013, 19:50
The other great thing about Lego is that it is almost entirely unbreakable. You never hear people say "I had to chuck my Lego away yesterday...it was knackered".

Loose rivets
8th Dec 2013, 19:52
You would if you made something 11,000' high.

(see maximum loading of a Lego brick.)

Richo77
8th Dec 2013, 22:40
My house looks like its sponsored by Lego. My 9 yr old son loves it and now my 6yr old daughter loves it too, especially since the creation of Lego Friends "kinda lego for girls". Always high on Xmas and Birthday lists although we limit them to one big Lego item for both. If they want the smaller ones they need to pony up their own cash.

Both of my kids without being told seem to adhere to what most think here. They keep the big ones intact somewhere special in their rooms but everything else goes for parts. They make some amazing creations be it houses for their dolls/bears or ships/planes or bridges for their other toys (train and slot car sets).The Mrs and i always keep the instructions but i would dread the day we had to recreate one.

I will never forget the first time my son aged about 4 i think created his first big one (monster truck or the like) on his own. His sense of achievement and pure joy was heart-breakingly fantastic.

Its a wonderful toy vastly different from when i grew up, we were overjoyed to find a round bit! It sparks the imagination and its something i never need to prompt my kids to do, they play with it all the time because they enjoy it so much.

Pitts2112
9th Dec 2013, 01:02
You sound a bit like my mum. She always put her constraints on our toys, sod what we wanted to do. Play-doh was not to be mixed up or "we'd regret it later". We were always made to feel a failure if we didn't play with our toys the way she thought they ought to be played with

Who gives a shit? They're your kids' toys, not yours. Let them have them and do with them what they will. Do you let your wife tell you how to manage and use your tools?

ExRAFRadar
9th Dec 2013, 06:48
Surprised no one has mentioned Minecraft, the digital successor to Lego.
For a teaser see here:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/minecraft-an-obsession-and-an-educational-tool/?_r=0

Before you go and poo-poo a computer program do some reading on it.

It is an amazing program ( and I am deliberately not saying 'Game') :)

cockney steve
9th Dec 2013, 11:15
I grew up with Meccano..the bits were limited in design, though i soon learned that "rich" people traded all the pre-war special wheels, bearings and girders, the "instruction "book was generic...starting with suggested models from the most basic set and at the end, were models you could construct with "your" set
Lego appeared and wasmuch quicker to build (but less robust and practical) The dedicated kit was right on target to the generation that wanted it NOW...Indeed, a son had a magnificent JCB which kit had one other suggested model.....it was fine and had a little pneumatic pump to operate the arms and buckets.......that was where it lost credibility.
It wasn't powerful enough to "dig" or lift more than it's own arms , which had an unrealistic bouncy, springing motion ,before the supplying rubber hose popped off.....for a few bob more they could have used stainless-steel internal springs and the thing could have been hydraulic (water) AFAIK, the thing is, 20-odd years later, still gathering dust in a cupboard. Meccano Ltd. went bust in thelate 50's and the phoenix company followed the Lego lead by introducing some dedicated pieces...some plastics (UGH) but the main thrust was a themed kit to build a couple of specific models.

My meccano built many wondrous contraptions as well as some variants on the basic suggested models.

The building sets included "Bayko" (plastic blocks that were threaded onto posts) and" Betta builder" which boasted real bricks and mortar (the latter was water-soluble once it had dried, so a redundant model could be recycled.)

those boom years happened before every child was indoctrinated by schools , to believe THEIR future was behind a desk with a soldering -iron (electronics) or tapping a keyboard. Sadly, we still need manual workers and many of todays disaffected and unemployable are as a direct result of this"education" policy.
Construction toys and chemistry sets, scientific novelties (perpetual drinking bird, anyone? potty Putty? ) stimulated the mind and gave an insight to the worlds of building, engineering and science.
a lot we rely on imports because the skills, tools and machinery have gone.

603DX
9th Dec 2013, 13:41
I'm in the "let the boy do his own thing" camp. My three offspring grew up in a household where that was the ethos for Lego-play, and they have in turn passed on the same attitude to my seven grandchildren. Liberalism works, when it's separated from politics!

My own childhood (pre-Lego) involved Meccano, a different and more creative system for those with a natural leaning towards engineering, and it was no surprise to my parents when I became a civil/structural engineer.

That Meccano has a strong tendency to stimulate structural creativity is self-evident, and was amply demonstrated by this particular episode of James May's TV series ...

eysaShsco2w

I expect that only a few might watch the whole video, but those who do (and haven't already seen it) could find it fascinating. The fact that one of the three judges is a former colleague of mine is coincidental ... ;)

A A Gruntpuddock
9th Dec 2013, 14:37
I had a Bayko set; really good and the main restriction was your house shape had to fit the roofs that you had. Mainly an 'architectural' rather than 'engineering' concept though.

Just looked at a photo of my son's first Xmas and noticed that he got a small box of Lego. The bits are probably still in the much larger set it became which is still played with by his grandchildren.

Have to say that the modern Lego Mindstorms is more versatile than my Meccano, but it does need judicious reinforcement with 4mm bolts (or threaded rods) in areas of high stress.

Read an article by someone relating how the plastic pins pulled out causing his project to disintegrate and his DSLR fall to the ground (twice) - be warned if you are using it for a real-life application. Don't tell the purists or you'll be lynched.

airship
9th Dec 2013, 17:17
If airship was CEO of Lego, he'd have (a very long time ago) diversified into manufacturing the basic elements of LEGO in a "really useful size", adapting the materials used (incorporating fire-proofing properties) in the composition of these bricks, but retaining their most important qualities of solidity, insulation properties etc., suitable for use to build / disassemble and reassemble/rebuild "real houses" etc. in some markets, such as the Phillipines (exposed to cyclones) and other places exposed to flooding and earthquakes generally etc.

Perhaps in conjunction with NGOs and governments. But perhaps LEGO already did all this, meeting merely very shallow responses from most?! "They" prefer rebuilding homes using 2 x 4s, and galvanised tin-roofs etc., so that they're (inevitably) all blown or washed away at the next calamity. Keeps everyone in jobs...?! :sad:

Lon More
9th Dec 2013, 19:04
Re Bayco, I remember something earlier which used actual mortar to bind the bricks together. You could take them apart after by dumping the model in a bucket
edited to add, found it, Brickplayer

http://www.historyworld.co.uk/content/brickplayer.jpg

Loose rivets
9th Dec 2013, 22:08
I find myself really wanting one of those.

I think I'd better lie down until I feel better - wanting to do every trade under the sun is a large part of my downfall. Oooo . . . I feel some plumbing coming on. I suppose one could miniaturize that trade as well. Just think, fully qualified plumbers aged six, and all they had to do was grow big enough to use the full scale kit.

A A Gruntpuddock
10th Dec 2013, 00:44
I wanted one of these but they were pretty expensive.

Looking back, I would probably have been boredootmaheid before I finished the first wall!

Probably a good toy to teach your kid that it is much better to design something and let someone else actually build it.

Given that bricklaying is not as easy as it looks, there must have been a lot of very uneven structures built, probably a very frustrating toy for most children and especially the target group..

cockney steve
10th Dec 2013, 19:58
Yes! Mr. Lon More, that's the very one! now where did i get "Betta Builder " from?
I still have a full year's 1958 "Meccano Magazine"Also, a set of instructions for "model of the month"..which was a vehicle-chassis complete with a fully-working multispeed gearbox and a working differential...it was, of course, rear wheel drive. One had to write to Binns Road, Liverpool 13, (probably enclosing envelope and stamp(s)...I don't remember......but some poor lady had to read my atrocious writing and despatch the typed, Roneoed (or Gestetnered pages of detailed instructions......alas, though I aspired to the "full house" No. 10 set (and, of course gears sets A and B...it didn't happen.
the No. 10 was a popular retirement gift and nobody thought it odd or unusual to be giving a grown man a toy construction outfit.

Undoubtedly, the achillies heel of Lego, is it's inherent weakness of pushed-together components......Meccano took much more load and only bent if you could overstress it to that extent.

Mechta
12th Dec 2013, 00:53
You sound a bit like my mum. She always put her constraints on our toys, sod what we wanted to do. Play-doh was not to be mixed up or "we'd regret it later". We were always made to feel a failure if we didn't play with our toys the way she thought they ought to be played with

My brother and I suffered from some pretty unreasonable constraints too:


No squashing Play-doh into the carpet
No skateboarding in the kitchen (something to do with an unexplained dent in the fridge)...
No power balls to be left on the floor (after the rotary brush on the upright vacuum cleaner mysteriously seized)
No launching sodium chlorate rockets from the top of the methane-filled septic tank.
No running-in model aircraft engines in the house with the doors and windows shut

Dushan
12th Dec 2013, 01:22
I find myself really wanting one of those.

I think I'd better lie down until I feel better - wanting to do every trade under the sun is a large part of my downfall. Oooo . . . I feel some plumbing coming on. I suppose one could miniaturize that trade as well. Just think, fully qualified plumbers aged six, and all they had to do was grow big enough to use the full scale kit.

Can you at least learn how to rivet properly so that your rivets aren't loose.

Pitts2112
12th Dec 2013, 03:36
Must've been a hard childhood for you, Mechta. Social Service never called in? :)

Molemot
12th Dec 2013, 13:06
Anyone wanting to renew acquaintance with the Meccano Magazine should have a look at this site....

Meccano Magazine Dec 1954, physical page 1 (http://www.nzmeccano.com/MMviewer.php)

They are, I believe, nearly ALL on there....(!)

rgbrock1
12th Dec 2013, 16:25
loma wrote:

The fun is mostly in the building, not the taking apart. To spread the fun out in a creative fashion introduce him to small explosives like the cherry bombs of our gereneration. That way he will choose the career direction in life that most suits him.

And what career direction would that be, loma? A Navy SEAL? An Army Ranger? An Army Delta operator? An, gulp, Infantryman? :}

vaqueroaero
11th Feb 2014, 03:34
Went to see Lego The Movie today and I must say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Highly recommended, especially if you have kids that are of a suitable age.

In actual fact it is very pertinent to this thread and that's all I'll say!

IFMU
11th Feb 2014, 03:57
Everything is awesome! I liked the sword of xact zero.

Um... lifting...
11th Feb 2014, 04:57
Shouldn't these people be looking for a cure for cancer, or at least common cold?


Having been a civil / materials engineering student and later engineer, I assure you that if you had access to destructive testing equipment, you'd be smashing up Lego and whatever else you could lay hands on.
Incidentally, the mixers in the soils lab made excellent milkshakes, as the motors and agitators were extremely heavy duty.

Anyway I'm encouraging my kids to use super glue on the bricks

The story goes that Donald Trump used to take building blocks (of whatever kind) from his brother's portion of their shared collection and do just that. Be careful what you wish for.

ExSp33db1rd
11th Feb 2014, 05:03
Social Service never called in?

No such thing in his days, a clip around the ears served all ills.

Lon More
11th Feb 2014, 12:38
Lego Guns (http://www.mocpages.com/group_mocs.php?id=7585)




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