Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Bill turned 8 this weekend (must update the side of my blog). He had a Lego party.

It was...tiring.

5 minutes in -craft activity ('pimp your lego mini figure')(I didn't use the word pimp in front of my children I should clarify)(although would have complemented Bill's question of last week- 'What's a prostitute mum?') that I thought might take 20 mins completed

8 minutes in -first child says to me 'I'm BORED- can I go on the skateboard (round the kitchen)?'

45 minutes into 2 1/2 hour party ALL games and activities from my Lego list finished and I started to look extremely rabbit in headlightish.

Honour salvaged by a LOT of slightly manic musical bumps 'Dance like robots!' 'Dance like girls!' 'Now dance like poos!' and an excellent impromptu 'how to really walk like a zombie' workshop from my husband (it's all in the chest position apparently; sticking your arms out stiffly just doesn't cut it any more).

Only one child received a golf ball in the side which may or may not have cracked a rib- and given we had an internal pinata happening that's really quite good going.

I felt like I had lived so many lifetimes by the end of the afternoon that I might have attained immortality.
lego head cake colonised by pimped-up guys
Lego is big news in this house. Although frustratingly both my children are really in it just for the mini-figures- and as any parent knows they make you buy a mighty big box of bricks to get the mini figure you're after. Sometimes I look at the large tupperware box of Lego rubble we have accumulated from sets that were built and then broke and run my hands through it weeping softly  and whimpering "hundreds of pounds in there... hundreds of pounds..."


Lego and books. A newish departure for them but obviously doing well as they seem to be bringing more and more out. I note the Book People now has an entire Lego shop section on its site.

They are definitely Bill's favourite non fiction and I'm pleased but also slightly baffled by the geeky pleasure he derives from his Harry Potter Lego Enyclopaedias.

"Hey mum! MUM!!MUM!!!" ...I run down the stairs..."What is it Bill?" "LOOK how many different hairstyles the Ron Weasley mini-figure has had since 2001!" "mmm gosh yes! that is a lot mm."

He also has the 'Lego Ideas' encyclopaedia. This is a nice coffee table type book even if you don't have kids featuring insights into the world of the professional Lego builder and inspiring photos of amazing constructions. Professional Lego builder was not, curiously, an occupation that featured heavily on the wall of careers choices at the nice all girls day school I attended and that's a shame I think. The book is fantasy though- when Bill and I go through it it's difficult to relate the spectacular images shown with things that we could have a go at ourselves. The 'You can build Anything' tag line should be accompanied by a caveat-' if you have a million plus bricks colour and shape sorted to hand'

Because what it doesn't do- and I rather wish it would- is provide some guidance on how to build the spectacular creations within its pages. The next Lego book I would like please is one that shows us how to sift through the rubble in a more meaningful way to make different chassis, aliens etc. Lego is so complicated and specific in its pieces now that once something has broken it can be very difficult to work out how to use it afresh.

Then the next Lego party I hold all I would need to do is give them the container and the book and they would happily construct quietly in a corner for the whole party....wouldn't they?


  1. HA! We have a lego Christmas in the offing - was v lucky and bid on a big job lot on ebay, only to find out I was actually getting nearly 7kg of it (seller thought it was nearer 3). We've had some great evenings sorting through it and getting it all ready for Christmas morning.

    I have to slightly disagree with you about the Lego idea book - we've got it for Xmas too - but we felt it does have (just) enough to enable you to create your own things. Yes, there are no detailed instructions, but I think that's the whole point - this is about inspiration, making something _like_ what you see with what you've got, rather than exactly this requiring precisely these particular bricks. I know kids get a kick out of making something EXACTLY as it appears on the box, but I want to encourage mine to think "outside the box" quite literally, to be creative with what they have (as I'm sure you do), and I felt the Lego ideas book helped with that.

    Hope you've recovered from the party now. And hope everyone appreciated the phoenix goody bags!

    1. Hurray- you're not feeling so Zombie-like yourself that you can't return to a bit of blog browsing! Hope all went well.
      I agree about inspiring- no I don't want to be shown how to build something step by step exactly- that's what the instructions on the box are for obviously- and we want to make our own stuff.
      But what I'd like is just a little more insight into basic technique for us novices that you can spiral out from- eg. this is the way to put wheels on something, here's how to hinge things, these weird shaped pieces are really useful for turning into staircases etc. I guess we're just not a natural family of architects!

  2. I felt for you with the party planning, I am sure there is some sort of time warp that goes on during children's parties! Am carefully tucking away the Lego book ideas as my son is obsessed too, I frequently have to read him all the descriptions of the characters in his Lego Star Wars sticker books as he drinks in every detail.

  3. Ok, you did a 2.5 hour party??? What kind of sado-masochist are you?! We did a 2-hour one for my son's 5th birthday in November and it nearly killed me. 1.5 hour parties are the way to go. Next time, if it starts to get a bit hairy, yell 'Sleeping lions!' and give yourself seven minutes of peace.

    As for the Lego books, my son has discovered the Ninja one and is hooked. My main gripe is the price tag - £15! He was lucky he got a book token for his birthday...

  4. I know, I know what was I thinking??- I figured I was kicking it old school (parties in my young day were always 3.30-6)and they were old enough to have a longer attention span (?!) All I can say is Never Again will I make the same mistake.

    Lego books well discounted on Book People- that's where we've got ours from. Now if only somewhere did the same with the actual bloody bricks...

  5. My sister and I collected a wooden box of lego over the years and during our early teens we had a ritual tradition for New Years Eve - we watched TV and build the biggest, tallest, most fanciful house out of as many lego bricks as possible by midnight. Sadly my girls are not quite so nuts about lego as we were and these days the kits seem to contain so many special shaped bricks so I doubt we could build a house from the small collection my girls have got.

    1. That is precisely my annoyance- we ended up buying kits of basic bricks and they get well used- but the 'special' Star Wars stuff etc. is too befuddling to work out how to reuse once broken.either you just have to put it on a shelf to admire its perfection or weep as it crumbles. Love the New Year tradition idea.