Saying that my daughter loves Lego is an understatement. Recently it has been the only thing of her wish-lists, for birthdays, Christmas, rewards charts, bribery requests to complete tasks, you name it, any situation where there is a chance of getting something out of it, she requests Lego. Personally, I am thrilled about that. I think Lego develops and encourages creativity. The focus, patience, logical thought and dedication required to build Lego as a child (and even an adult) is great brain training and all very useful skills, and as a woman working in technology, I am a big STEM advocate and I think Lego is a great STEM-related “toy”.
We started building lego together, following the instructions, when she was about 3, she quickly took to it, and subsequently could mostly build them herself with just a little adult help. Recently she’s progressed to making her own creations. Some of the things she has built are tree houses, beds with popup televisions, ball pits, baby pools with glass sides and all sorts.
What I am not so thrilled about, however, is that now I find Lego everywhere! Lego on the sofa, on the sides of the sofa, on the carpet, on the floor and worst of all, under my feet! Ouch! So following numerous warnings to throw all the Lego away if they are not confined to their allocated space, and actually hiding half of them for a period of time, we came to a solution to works for both of us. Better organisation of the storage and play area for Lego.
I toyed with the idea of getting a dedicated Lego play and storage table, but frankly, it seemed like overkill and would take up more space than we were prepared to give up. I also considered the Lego play mats where everything can just be tied away into a ball and put away, but that wouldn’t work for her because she frequently has to stop during her creations and come back to it later, so sweeping them all into the mat/bag and breaking it up was not great. Also, those mats take up quite a bit of space!
We already had a table where she could play with them, however, the problem was they frequently fell off the sides of the table, inevitably got kicked around and found their way under my feet! We used these IKEA SAMLA boxes, which are great for storage but not so great if you want to keep them out to play with later. Also, we have a Lego base plate, this is fine for sticking your creations to, but we still had the problem of the loose little bits, which inevitably and very easily get knocked or brushed unto the floor.
What we needed was a smooth surface biggish enough to play in, but with sides to keep the little bits of Lego in, and voila, I thought, what about a tray…Now I don’t particularly think this is groundbreaking by any means, but I did scour the internet high and low for a solution to our Lego problems, and nowhere did I see a something like this suggested…perhaps I was asking Google the wrong questions 🤔. Most of the solutions involved some table or contraption which were too big for our needs.In any case, I stumbled upon this tray on a trip to the supermarket and it was perfect, great size, the one we have is 60cm x 60cm, looked good, had high enough sides to keep all the little bits in, had holes for a handle to carry it around easily, and the brilliant thing about this solution is that you can carry it anywhere you want around the house to play with it, and leave all the bits of Lego that you want out without it making a mess. And when its Lego days are over, it can be re-purposed as a serving tray.I have subsequently stumbled across this DIY Lego tray playstation that uses a breakfast table tray which has folding legs, so even better, but we’ll be sticking with our tray for now as it is doing the job just fine.