Hey y’all, Tiffany here.
A few months ago, I ended up taking over a LEGO class from a co-op teacher in our homeschool association who didn’t leave behind many instructions (long story).
Since I’m the head of our entire co-op (we have 300 families in the association and 50 families max in the co-op each term), I got thrust into a role that I definitely wasn’t planning. Thankfully, it was LEGOs, and there are plenty of ideas out there from much more creative minds than mine.
And luckily Phillip is an avid LEGO person, as our my kids – just look at these pictures!
Thankfully, these LEGOs are now all organized.
What you need
We all know LEGOs are expensive, but there are so many off-brand choices out there (especially on Amazon!). At the time I took over the class, I didn’t have any supplies from the previous teacher. I didn’t want to purchase name-brand, but I also didn’t want to purchase building bricks that weren’t quality and couldn’t be used with regular LEGOs.
Here’s a list of what I purchased. If they have sold out, try to find some from the same seller. (The curriculum ideas are at the end of this list.)
Lego Challenges and Activities for Kids
Whether you are using this as your co-op curriculum, or you’re just doing these activities at home, you’ll want to spread them out.
Here’s the breakdown of the different LEGO challenges and activities for kids I did each week. Several of them I got from the LEGO Librarian, who is a true LEGO genius!
Week 1 – Challenge Cards
I knew the first week the kids were going to be super excited about having a LEGO class, and they would want to just free-style build. So I decided to do these fun LEGO challenge cards so their imagination and creativity could be let loose, but without
I would recommend about 5-10 minutes for each challenge card. I thought that 5 minutes would be more than enough time, but I was surprised at how long the kids wanted to keep going with each challenge. However, if you have a time limit (our class was 55 minutes), then you may want to move each challenge card along.
If you have a large group of kids, you could also make each challenge into a competition with small prizes. Here’s a long list of small non-candy prizes.
Week 2 – Secrets & Hidden Treasure
The theme of week #2 (which I got from the LEGO Librarian) was….secrets.
The kids could build anything that had a theme of secrets. So that could be a house with secret compartments, or a building with trap doors. It could be a giant treasure chest hidden in a cave or a graveyard hidden underneath an old castle. The possbilities are endless!
Week 3 – Car Racing
When I first took over this class, I turned to Phillip and asked, “What on earth am I supposed to do with LEGOs?!” You see, I have 7 sisters. My first brother is 6 years younger than I am, so I was in middle/high school by thte time he got into that kind of thing.
I was clueless.
Thankfully, my husband is the oldest of three brothers who spent their entire childhood playing LEGOs. He told me that building cars and racing them was one of his favorite things to do as a kid. You could also turn this into a competition for fastest car, slowest car, coolest-looking car, etc.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to race the cars, I found this great car race track that looks pretty simple to make. Or you could just use a sheet of plywood and angle it down slightly.
Week 4 – Upside Down Building
This is another fantastic idea from the LEGO Librarian – build LEGOs upside down under the table!
Building LEGOs upside down adds a whole new dimension to the activity. If you want to incorporate some history and art, you can tell the students the story about Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
You’ll definitely need those baseplates (or another brand) for this challenge. It’s super simple – just use some duct tape to tape the baseplates upside down under a table, then let the kids go underneath and start building! They’ll have a whole new perspective.
Week 5 – Charades
LEGO Charades was probably one of my favorite activities that I found. It’s super easy for the kids to play and understand, and the original creator has free printables to make it convenient. I laminated mine so I can use them again for future classes.
You can divide the kdis up into teams, or you can just have them play individually. They roll the dice, then choose a card from the category. Set a timer, and they have to build the item on the card and have their teammates or the other kids guess what it is.
Week 6 – Disaster Island
Disaster Island is the last amazing idea I borrowed from the LEGO Librarian. You should seriously check out all of her ideas – they’re just brilliant!! She has dozens up on her website, and a lot are also geared towards older kids.
Imagine Oregon Train, but on a deserted island. Kids get about 15-20 minutes to build an island. Then everyone draws their own disaster card (which is free to print on the LEGO Librarian website) and has to build something that will solve the problem! They should not destroy what they alread built, but rather come up with solutions to add to their island.
Depending on how much time you have and how quick the kids build, they can draw a second or even third disaster card that they have to solve. I laminated my disaster cards so that we can use them again in the future. This is such a fun LEGO activity!
Free play! This is where the LEGO creations book I purchased and listed above came in handy. The last week of our co-op is usually an end-of-semester party combined as an alternate day in case we have to cancel classes earlier in the term.
I needed something that would be fun and engaging, but also not necessary to finish out the curriculum. Having the kids build whatever they wanted from the LEGO creations book came in handy.
Bonus LEGO Challenge Activity for Kids
Ziploc challenge! Fill a gallon size ziploc bag about halfway with LEGOs. Close the bag tightly. You then can build whatever you want, but it has to be through the bag!
I prefer using ziploc bags that have zippers to close, like these ones.
Have Fun With These LEGO Challenges and Activities for Kids!
Sometimes you just need to build with LEGOs.
Whether it’s a homeschool co-op class, a worldwide pandemic that quarantines you (hello, COVID-19), a classroom activity, or even just fun play at home, these LEGO challenges and activities will be a hit with the kids in your life!
And if you like these ideas, you’ll also love these Magna-tiles ideas and activities!
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