Fellow parents, I have been to hell and back and it’s not a happy place. It’s what is known as Operation Lego Organization and it is torturous but I will say if you survive and come out on the other end, bright golden rays from the heavens shine down upon you and life resumes very pleasantly as it once was.
My son is an average 7 year old boy – utterly and completely addicted to toy Legos. However, I prefer to live in a bubble and label his many hours spent building them as “future engineer slash architect”.
Over the past 18 months they’ve become a genuine nuisance in our home, so as I was browsing IKEA’s website I happened to notice the dimensions of their $30 Lack coffee table (with shelf!) measured 30 inches across and then I recalled that the road plates my son has been begging me for since autumn were 10 square inches each and then I did the math in my head and realized I could combine the two into an organized play table that would satisfy his desperate need for an airport/racetrack and my need for affordable organization.
Lego meet Lack, Lack meet Lego, so nice you’ve finally met.
The road plates were on backorder for many months but they finally arrived last week so we took the school holiday on Monday to pull it all together which included organizing the Legos into plastic bins that would fit on the shelf and underneath the play table.
I must say having spent the cash on these plates, my son loves how he can rearrange them into a racetrack or airport runway as he pleases and what I’ve spent in Lego plates I’ve regained in free babysitting since this is the one place where he wants to quietly spend his hours – in Legovillemania.
To stabilize the road plates, all it takes are some small pieces of this stuff in the four corners to hold them in place until your little guy wants to shift them around into a new formation.
To tackle the disaster of piles of unorganized pieces I enlisted the owner of the Legos to help. My theory is if he suffers alongside with me he’ll value the organization and there is hope those little pieces will stay that way a little bit longer. :)
The free pieces all got assorted into four main bins: 1) green and blue; 2) black, gray, brown, and wheels; 3) red, orange, and yellow; and 4) white and tan.
Then there were the partially constructed contraptions. I have no idea what this is. Jango Fett’s Destroyer? Ninjago Warrior Interceptor?
It’s one of many I just ended up assorting in their own personal bin – no sense breaking them down with all the energy that went into their assembly so they ended up in the halfway assembled “needs work” tub.
All Legos come with their own colorfully illustrated books which allow even children who can’t read yet to assemble them (ingenious) and I’ve kept them all so they get their own bin so if he wants to reconstruct them he can.
And the Jack Sparrows and Stormtroopers and Ninjago warriors and all their comrades and weapons got their own skinnier tub too.
The bigger pieces aren’t that bad. It’s these tiny corner pieces that are deadly to any parent’s foot. I know because mine have suffered the pain of stepping on them on a few occasions in the middle of the night.
But in the end it was all stored away in bins for ready-to-go play time.
It’s funny, whenever I take the time to reorganize the toys, all of a sudden they are rediscovered again – it’s always been that way since they were little.
And how nice that all the madness is contained within 30 square inches – which is pretty much a mother’s dream – let’s hope it lasts.
So fellow parents and grandparents, commiserate with me. How do corral and organize the Legos in your household?