My oldest daughter has been begging for ‘Real LEGO’ toys for a while now. She loves building and construction sets, but had really outgrown her larger building blocks, and I knew she would love them… I just wasn’t sure the rest of our house, including her 14 month old baby brother, was ready for the smaller, numerous pieces that come with LEGO Juniors. This one simple LEGO tip solved my worries, and helped her find early building success with her first LEGO Juniors set.
“It’s not easy being the big sister.”
We say this a lot in our house. I was the big sister growing up, and I empathize with my oldest daughter a lot. I expect a lot from her at only 5 years old, and she demands a lot from herself as well. True to the character of a firstborn, she is responsible, a rule follower, loves order and is quite the perfectionist. Nothing makes her happier than playing and building for hours… so long as no one bothers her creations. Easier said than done in a house with two younger siblings. I knew she was ready for LEGO Juniors, but I was worried about bringing all those small pieces into our house with smaller children still in the house.
Early Building Success with LEGO Junior
My oldest had been putting ‘Real LEGO’ sets on her birthday and Christmas wish lists for well over a year. I wasn’t worried about her. With her focus and attention to detail, I knew she would have no trouble with and absolutely love the LEGO Junior sets. The step-by-step instructions, and numbered bags would be a snap for her to follow and right up her perfectionist alley.
I was, however, very worried about the small pieces, storage and relocation of partially constructed sets – especially with a 14 month old toddling around.
One Simple LEGO Tip Saved My Sanity & Her Frustrations
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve seen this Dollar Store appetizer tray make appearances before. We’ve used it for crafting, painting, sorting, and more! And it was the perfect solution to my worries.
The LEGO Junior building sets come in separate, numbered bags with pictorial instructions that young builders (ages 4-7), even pre-readers, can easily follow. When my 5 year old opened each bag, at first she would be frustrated by not being able to find the right piece right away. I took out the tray and helped her sort the pieces – she decided to sort them by color, with a special section for what she called the ‘special pieces.’ These tended to be things like flowers, cups, dog bones – non-traditional LEGO blocks.
With the pieces sorted, they were much easier to locate… and better still, they didn’t scatter or fall off the table. She was able to work much faster, with far less frustration and much more independence. And, if she didn’t finish before her baby brother woke up from his nap, I could easily pick up the whole tray and relocate it out of his reach or up to her bedroom to finish later.
LEGO Juniors: Building Independence and Confidence
My 5 year old is thrilled to be playing with ‘Real LEGO’ toys, just like her older cousins and friends at school now. And I am ecstatic I found an affordable solution to help her succeed, while also protecting the smallest of our family members. We received two different LEGO Juniors, one featuring a bank robber, ATM machine and police helicopter and a second, larger set, featuring a two story home, complete with a patio set and dog house.
I must confess I was as amused and entertained by the details as my daughter – the ATM has money and the house has a mailbox with envelopes! Even once they were fully built, the hours of imaginative play she has spent playing is awesome! Her Christmas wish list just got much, much longer… Which LEGO Juniors will be your child’s first ‘Real LEGO’ set?
If you enjoyed this post, your little builder will love our entire Architecture and Engineering for Preschoolers series. Start with our Architectural Scavenger Hunt, then test out building your own Egyptian pyramid. You can find all the posts in our series and loads more on my STEM for Kids – Engineering board on Pinterest.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.