Ah Lego… Sitting in their neatly boxed kits on toy store shelves these tiny bricks seem full of possibilities. Lego has been proven to foster creativity, build imagination, and improve problem solving skills. They are also an excellent way to spend quality time with your child. There are almost no downsides to a good, inexpensive box of Lego bricks. That is, until you stumble out into the kitchen for a cup of coffee and step on a forgotten brick. Ouch! Here’s how to store and save Lego creations while enjoying all of the benefits of Lego bricks and avoiding accidental foot torture.
- Sort It Out – Sort out the Lego bricks that will be difficult to find in a large container. These include the tiny connector pieces used to connect pipes, tiny flat pieces, single dot “1×1” bricks, specialty pieces from previously assembled and disassembled kits, and especially wheel pieces. This will be invaluable for the next time you build free form, or lose a piece for a Lego kit to your carpet mid-build.
- Stack It – Stack or store difficult-to-find Lego bricks in a stackable storage container. Stackable craft containers are ideal for this purpose. You have easy access to all of the pieces you need without a lot of space. A client and her son used this system for years with great success. If you want to decorate and stay true to Lego, you can purchase large storage bricks in bright colors directly from Lego. Using the bricks as a limiter to how many Legos may be accumulated is also a great trick!
- Store It – Many Lego brick sets come in their own plastic storage containers. I recommend Ikea’s Trofast line to store Lego bricks. Trofast is also inexpensive and allows you to customize both the configuration and the storage bins you want to use. Trofast also has longevity. This system can be used to store video game components, makeup, and school supplies when your child ages out of Lego.
- Lay It Down – Store a plastic play mat with your child’s Lego bricks. Have them take out this play mat and build on it each time they play with their Lego bricks. I personally like this one, that has a drawstring and automatically gathers up all of the bricks when your child is done playing and it’s time to clean up.
- Play-Again Kits – Some Lego kits are designed to have a “play with it after” component. The Ninjago, Minecraft, Disney, and Powerpuff Girls sets, for example, have minifigures that can be played with on whatever the particular kit creates. Set aside space to temporarily store these repeat play kits. Hint: if you have a train lover, the Lego Train sets can be built upon for years and store easily in under-the-bed bins.
- Show It Off – Many Lego kits, such as the Architecture series, are designed to be built once. Once the Lego creation is done, what do you do with it? Anything built with a Classic Set should be dismantled and the bricks saved for the next project. For the one-time build sets, set up a temporary space to display a limited number of these creations for a limited time. After that time is up, break down the bricks for the next project.
- Donate Them – Some children never outgrow Lego, no matter how old they get. Others eventually stop playing with Lego bricks and take up other hobbies. When this happens, contact your local charity and donate the bricks. If there isn’t a charity that can accept them, contact a consignment shop, secondhand toy store, or your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. These organizations will take the bricks off your hands.
Lego bricks are a great way to connect with your kids. With a few basic storage tools, you can spare yourself the pain of unexpectedly encountering those painful bricks, stay organized, and build cherished memories for years to come.