August 5, 2013

LEGOs in the Art Room

LEGOS I love them.  The creations people make with them are amazing.  If you ever have a chance to go to a LEGO convention don't!  You won't be disappointed. The Harry Potter Knight Bus is my favorite kit and I keep it in my classroom ... the kids love to talk to me about it.

We are a LEGO loving family.

LEGO gives a child so much more than just play, it builds on math, science, and critical thinking {no pun intended} .  Because of this, I knew when I became a teacher I needed to have LEGO in my classroom.  It is the most popular activity for 'free' or 'finished early' time with both boys and girls in all the grades.  Here are some tips for establishing a LEGO building area in your classroom:

1) Aquiring LEGOs.
This does not have to cost you a lot of money.  Ask your fellow teachers {one of my coworkers had boxes and boxes from her son} and solicit parents. Shop Craigslist.  You don't need 'kits', so you can get good deals from people just wanting to get the bricks out of their house!

2) Kinds of bricks.
You want a good variety of basic blocks, windows, doors, wheels, and wheel bases.  Again, stay away from kits as you will not be encouraging building with directions, and sometimes the pieces are too specific for free build {i.e. a Star Wars ship with lots of moving pieces}.   Here are some links to some educational {and kind of expensive!} sets on Amazon

3) Minifigures
You do NOT want Minifigures or animals of any kind.  This will just lead to bickering and jealousy.  My school kids don't miss them and if one finds a stray then they are good about bringing it to me right away.

4) Baseplates
Baseplates are not necessary.  If you do have some small ones, great.  If they are large, cut them up into several small ones {using a craft knife to score and cut is easy}.  The kids don't have time for large buildings or scenes anyway.

5) Storage
A rubbermaid container of some kind is all you need.  I use the large bottom bin in one of the 4 Trofast storage units from Ikea.
6) Where to play
I make the kids sit on the edge of the carpet and then I dump 1/2 the bin in the middle.  They have to build around the edge of the carpet. The carpet helps control the mess and muffle the sounds.  It sounds like a nightmare to clean up but with a bunch of kids scooping up the mess it takes less than 4 minutes.

7) What to do with them when they are finished.
Take a picture and then break them down.
I have a Shutterfly account linked to my official school webpage that I used to weekly upload pictures of the students' artwork onto {this was before I had two kids and one started playing baseball year round!}.
Now I just put the pics on my desktop activeboard and sometimes we have a slide show.  If you explain to the kids that its just a one-and-done type activity they get over it.  Plus remember you don't have cool minifigs to go in the houses or drive the cars so it's not the end of the world to them if it has to get destroyed.  Many times the kids like seeing if someone else added to something they started {thus they don't break down everything every time} which I love because it reminds me of a Exquisite Corpse activity!

So that's how I organize LEGOs in my classroom.  If you already have a LEGO corner or are inspired to set one up, Id' love to see pictures!

~ Kristin


  1. I love the idea of having legos in the art classroom. I am an art teacher too, or at least I was last year, I got married and moved and am now on the job hunt again!! Have you seen this idea on pinterest for self portraits? xo, Lauren of

    1. Lauren I love this idea for sure! Thank you for the link. I know just what class would like to do this too :)
      Congratulations on all the big life changes & good luck with the job hunt!

  2. Kristin I love your blog! I love the clean look of it. I was actually an art major before I switched to education! I am so excited to see more of your ideas. Oh, and we are a lego family too...I don't have any children yet but my husband LOVES legos and I get him a huge set every year to put together...he's a big kid ha!

    The Teacher and the Frog

    1. Thanks Tess!! Following you on Pinterest too :)

  3. Kristen - Thank you so much for following my blog. It means so much to me to have each and everyone of my followers. My husband and I are a LEGO family too. When we brought his Legos to our home from his Dad's in Upstate NY; he said it was either me or the legos on the roof. Lucky for me, the Legos got the roof. Have a great year!


  4. I love LEGOs! I'm thinking I need some for my fifth graders. They still loved stuffed animals, so I don't see why they wouldn't love LEGOs too!

    Congratulations! I have nominated you for the Liebster Award. Should you wish to accept the award, please visit my blog for all the details!

    Mrs O Knows

    1. Well my son pictured above will be entering 5th grade this fall so Id guess yes to your kids as well!
      Thank you for the nomimation! I will check it out :)

  5. Very clever idea! My parents started buying my hubby Lego Star Wars sets for Christmas each year starting when we got married 4 years ago. He has them on display on a bookshelf in our living room. :)