Friday, June 28, 2013

How I became a Lego Nazi.

I love Legos. And I hate Legos.

I love Legos because they are an excellent toy.  They build fine motor skills, require complex problem solving, etc, etc.

But I hate Legos because they end up everywhere...every room in the house, my car, etc. etc.

The situation at our house was out of control.  Therefore, control measures had to be put in place
and that's when I became the Lego Nazi.

This how a Lego kit is packaged.  A box, separated parts in bags and instruction booklets.  It's great. Nathan builds the kit, plays with it.  Add 10 more Lego kits.  Nathan builds them, plays with them. Now Lego parts are all mixed together. Nathan tries to rebuild a kit but can't because there are missing parts, insert a meltdown, weeping and gnashing of teeth.  And now Mom is finding Lego pieces every-freaking-where. It's not so great anymore.

When I thought about the dollar value for each of  these kits and realized they were an investment, I began the process of creating a Lego Library.

The first step of the process was collecting every Lego and separating them by color into individual buckets.  Second step was take each Lego kit booklet, which provides a part list that makes up the kit. Thank goodness, Lego does this!

This is what the sorting process looked like.  This process took months.  I even had friends pitch in to help one night.

Each kit was assigned a Sterilite box, 3 different sizes available, found at Wal-mart, between $1.99-$3.99, very affordable when you need multiple boxes!

I copied the front of each booklet, taped it inside each box on both ends.  

Once each kit was completed, it went in the Lego Library.  The key here is only 1 kit can be 'checked out' at a time. Judge if you want but this way parts do not get mixed together and the kit stays in tact, which is the ultimate goal for these 'investments'.

When Nathan completes a build, he puts it back in the box and returns it to the Lego Library and checks out a new kit.  I quietly check the kits once in a while to take apart what's built, so they are not already built when he checks them out again.

Believe it or not, Nathan completely respects the process and checks out/in kits on his own. He's ok with this system because he enjoys the building process and when all the parts are available, there's no frustration, just fun.

So that is how I became a Lego Nazi and I have no shame!