How do you keep your little kids out of Legos? Do your big kids want to showcase their Lego creations? My cousin, Alyssa, came up with this ingenious solution for her four boys who range in ages 9-2.
Alyssa – It actually started as a way to store and play with Play Mobil toys in 2011!!! It’s definitely been through a lot in 5 years. My dilemma first started with a climbing toddler, a particular 5 year old and way too many toys for the table to hold. Briggs was climbing all over the table trying to mess with Braydon’s meticulously put together worlds, which were taking up the entire kitchen table and I was tired of trying to keep peace. I’m sure I was also a little upset because I didn’t have anywhere to properly feed my family! We knew we wanted to move the toys downstairs to help with the Briggs and table situation, wanted to be able to convert it when the inevitable jump from Play Mobil to Legos happened and needed it to also be off the floor. Pinterest wasn’t as big of a thing then, so we took to Facebook for suggestions and didn’t get too many “fix it all ideas!” I moved all of it to a shelf in our basement then sat and stared at this empty area for a couple of hours.
We had bought this prefab countertop in hopes of somehow adding some much needed function to our laundry area, but still hadn’t found the proper use for it there either. I grabbed the countertop from the laundry room and noticed that it was the correct length for the space I had cleared. Ryan and I ran to Home Depot and got some prefab cabinets and stained them green to add some color for the boys. We tried barstools for a little bit, but that didn’t allow them to move around and I was always worried they would fall off them. (It probably has a lot to do with Briggs and a certain accident that had just happened with a barstool!)
I took Braydon and Bryson to a furniture store for chair or bench ideas and we happen to find this one that was made for outdoors – so nice and sturdy. It measured the just right length to slide in between the cabinets, and just the right height for the countertop. I had also seen some people storing their Legos on little shelves so I went to the antique store and asked if they had anything with little boxes that could hold either a Play Mobil or Lego guy and he sent me to the old printer trays. We again lucked out and 3 of them measured almost the exact same length as the counter top. I spray painted them white and hung them on the wall.
After a couple years, the Play Mobil toys were much more a “every once in awhile” and the Legos were always out, so we converted the shelves to Legos. These wouldn’t stand as nice as the Play Mobil so we got a container of short 2×1 pieces at the Lego store. Even though everyone told me not to use my glue gun to glue down Legos, I did and haven’t have any problems. I’m sure that if I was gluing down a large baseplate it would be hard to make even and the glue would make some of the holes hard to use, but since it was just ones that needed to hold guys, it worked great. We’ve thought many times about gluing base plates to the counter top, but when they outgrow Legos, we figured they could put a computer on the counter top, or use it for studying so we didn’t want to make the countertop unusable.
All in all, we had another baby that the Lego were kept safe from and after 5 years, it has been though a big move and life with 4 boys and has help up incredibly well!! There were a couple of the original boxes on the printer trays that we made bigger to hold some of the Play Mobil toys, but if made just for Legos, that wouldn’t need to be done. (In use with Play Mobile pictured below.)
We also added a shelf and drawer unit from Ikea after a couple of years to hold spare Legos. This hasn’t in any way helped keep our set together, but after seeing the Lego movie too many times, I have a huge complex of coming off like Lord Business. So I’ve decided that if they don’t care, then I don’t care. I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a set that wasn’t just as much about the guys they were getting with it anyway. And those are all protected!!
Alyssa inspired me to get our Legos under control! Look what I found at the local antique store! Now I have a project this weekend!