Learning to Build Like a Kid Again

Last weekend, I wrote about the LEGO KidsFest coming to Raleigh. I’m going to be honest. I did it for the free tickets. It saved me $50 and I thought it would give us something fun to do together as a family.

We went downtown yesterday and waded through the mob scene (even though there was timed entry to help control the crowd size). We entered and marveled at all of the LEGO sculptures. Batman. Lightning McQueen. Star Wars. Indiana Jones. I’m convinced there’s nothing they can’t build out of LEGO.


We walked around some more. It felt like LEGOLAND but without the rides. I figured we wouldn’t stay too long especially since my son isn’t really all that into LEGO.

I mentioned some of the attractions last week that I thought we’d check out. The cityscapes and murals and master builders. Really, the upper echelon of the LEGO world.

And then guess what happened? We went to one of the first building stations. It wasn’t a set of LEGOs. It was buckets and buckets of pink LEGOS. Guess what you were supposed to do with them?


I swear it had been so long since I had seen just regular ol’ LEGOs. I didn’t want the pirate swords and skeletons. I wanted bricks and lot of ’em. So we all stopped and built using our imagination. I loved seeing how my husband, my son, and I all had the same building materials and we all came up with something uniquely ours.

Monochromatic LEGO build

We visited the Ninjago booth. You build these little ninja spinners and then compete against other spinners. Evan was so excited that he didn’t even mind waiting in the long line for it. Sadly, we spun once and were “out.” Both he and I were really disappointed after the long wait and he felt no consolation when they handed him a Ninjago bracelet as a “thanks for playing” prize.


I had to get him out of the slump. So I took him to the challenge zone. I was told “you can pretty much make anything and they’ll give you free LEGOs.” Sounded like our kind of place.

We waited while they soaked the bricks in hand sanitizer and then Evan started building. I thought I’d watch or help so he could get his free LEGOs. Then I noticed my husband was building too. Wait, I want to build something! So again, we all found the fun in creating our own thing. We all had to wait and tell the LEGO lady what we made and why and then we all got our prize package. We all felt so proud!

Family LEGO build

Since we were nearing the end of our session (we truly never expected to be there that long), we decided to visit one last area. Creation Nation is a gigantic layout of the United States. You create a building or structure (famous or otherwise) and have it added to the map.

Creation Nation

Since it was the last hour of the last session of the last day, the pickings were slim and the best bricks were gone of course. I couldn’t think of a famous building anyway. But I decided to build… my dorm. I went to school in Cleveland, OH and lived in a dorm that, from the air, would look like a plus sign. Once I started, I didn’t want to stop.

I had to fudge on the color quite a bit but this is where I found the kid in me again. I was so focused on my creation. I found myself raking through the buckets and bins just like Saturday mornings with my brother and sister. I need to find a red 8 or a white 2! I searched through every bucket. I focused on making it structurally sound. And then I finally turned my masterpiece in.

LEGO dorm

I proudly handed it to the attendant and told him “It’s my dorm in Cleveland, Ohio!” He could see my pride and gently placed it right on the edge of Lake Erie on the map.

It was a good day. I think Santa might bring us all some LEGOs for Christmas.

  • Monika Melsha

    Love it. I’m a bit jealous because we didn’t have the Lightning McQueen car at our event. We went for the 1st time earlier this year.  Here was my post from when it hit the Twin Cities: http://nightlightjourneys.blogspot.com/2011/05/munchkin-mom-lego-adventure-4-lego.html

    • Anonymous

      Loved seeing the pictures from your post. I got to see Creation Nation before it was flooded!

  • http://thefamilymath.wordpress.com Misty

    I love this. It seriously makes me want to go play with Legos.

    • Anonymous

      It seriously makes me want to play with Legos again too. Old school style, though.

  • http://www.grownupnowwhat.com Tammy

    How fun! I would love to just be able to let go and build whatever!!!  No rules, no instructions, just go! 

    What a wonderful family experience!

    • Anonymous

      It was really a fun experience. We were all playing and creating and it really took me back to my childhood. Good day!

  • http://twitter.com/DesiValentine4 DesiValentine

    We have all of my husband’s childhood Lego in two huge tubs.  We’re total nerds and get down on the floor with the kids for (mostly) noncompetitive build offs.  That Lego fair looks awesome!  My kids would love it, for sure, but my husband would probably stay there all day and cry when it was time to come home 😉  Love it!

    • Anonymous

      I loved it more than I can say. I’ve been so disappointed with the direction that Legos have gone in. I miss the good old fashioned creativity and I feel like I got some of that back yesterday!

  • http://lostinaseaofblogs.wordpress.com/ Broot

    Soooo jealous.

    • Anonymous

      You probably should be. It was pretty fun.

  • http://www.lbddiaries.com/blog LBDDiaries

    I like Legos almost as much as I like the old-fashioned Lincoln logs!  I loved building log cabins – this was a really neat post (I’m late for SITS day so wanted to stop by and say Happy Belated SITS Day!) – loved this post!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for the SITS wishes!! We have Lincoln Logs too. We’re big builders in this family!

  • http://bibsandbaubles.com cam | bibs & baubles

    that sounds like fun. my son would so love that!

    • Anonymous

      And I bet his parents would too 😉

  • Anonymous

    Looks like fun. I just bought our first box of Lego’s for Christmas…let’s see who ends up enjoying them more!

    • Anonymous

      I’m trying to figure our how/what Legos to buy. I just want bricks. I don’t want a set!

      • Anonymous

        You can buy a box of just bricks! That’s what I got for Spencer. I’m not to into the ones where you have to build something specific…I just want to build what I (or Spencer) wants using my imagination!!

  • http://twitter.com/ManOfLaBook Zohar

    That Batman & Indiana Jones are astounding.


    • Anonymous

      They actually had 2 Batmans. He was probably my favorite. They also had some pretty cool Ninja statues too. I have to admit, though, Lightning McQueen was truly a work of art.

  • http://www.hinessightblog.com Hines-Sight Blog

    Good post.  I’ll be honest.  Legos stress me out. It’s better now that my son can do a little more, but they just aren’t my thing.  I like the ones that have NO instructions like you all did with your imagination.  

    I’ve spent days putting together a playmobile structure.  I’m exhausted. 

    • Anonymous

      YES! That’s what I’m talking about. I don’t want to have to keep instructions booklets so I can remember how to play with Legos. I like to just, you know, BUILD! And yes, I feel your Playmobil pain.

  • http://www.loulousviews.com Loukia

    I just love LEGO – brings back awesome childhood memories and my children love LEGO so much now, too – and we love building together. Of course, when the boys start breaking each other’s creations, it’s no fun, but overall? They love playing and building and creating!

    • Anonymous

      My son had no interest in LEGO. He has a few Duplo sets and no real interest. So I was happily surprised that he enjoyed building with the blocks! I want more now!

  • http://twitter.com/guavalicious guavalicious

    This looks amazing!! I need to look up and see if it’s coming anywhere close to me (did and it’s not, bummer.) The girls aren’t into legos yet but my husband and I would have a blast. They were the toys I played with the longest age wise. I was still creating cities with friends in junior high. 

    • Anonymous

      Legos were a BIG part of my childhood. Seriously. We had a whole suitcase full of them and would build for hours. I remember my sister made this totally awesome house that we kept set up forever. I wonder what happened to all of them? I mean, who gets rid of Legos?

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