Tag Archives: lego

Lego Maths with Twinkl

Maths that involves Lego is always popular in our house, so I was very pleased to see these Lego Addition worksheets available on Twinkl.  I printed out a selection of them, and though I was mainly aiming the activity at the younger children I guessed that the big boys would want a go too.

lego maths 1

Rabbit worked through two sheets very quickly and easily, so even for her I will need to devise a harder version.  The big boys did a sheet each for fun, and I have suggested they might like to make some more up, so perhaps they can do some for Rabbit.  I wasn’t sure if Tiddler would want to do it, but in fact he was very keen and it was perfect for him.  He was very happy sitting on my knee, matching real Lego bricks with the ones on the sheets and carefully counting the bumps.  I was very impressed by his counting, as he did them all with only one or two mistakes.  I had to help him with the writing – he is very confident writing one and zero, so he loved it when the answer was 10!  I wrote the other numbers for him and he traced over them.

lego maths 2

I had also printed off some multiplication worksheets for the big boys, as we have been working on times tables recently, and they did those as well.

lego maths 3

It was a very successful afternoon, with all four children working happily alongside each other.  Even though I was feeling really unwell at the time, I had one of those moments when I felt like I was looking from outside and realising how lucky I am.  People often ask me how I manage with so little time for myself, and it can certainly be hard to get anything (other than education) done.  But really I know it’s the best way for us.  I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Our Lego Memories

Too many to mention – our favourite Lego moments.

First lego collage

If our children could pull down the house and rebuild it out of Lego bricks, they would. We have Lego everywhere: under the bed, on shelves, on the landing, occasionally in the washing machine. The two oldest boys are Masters of Spinjitzu, they can quote from the Legends of Chima at great length, they are Lego club members and forever coming up with Cool Creation ideas, spent ages searching for Mr Gold and you know what? We don’t mind – in fact we love it. I’ve just gone back through photos over six years, and pulled out a selection of favourite memories.

The first shot shows our kids’ reaction to snow – “Great, it’s snowing – let’s make a snow cave for the minifigure Eskimos”, and they did. We spent an hour in the garden, in fading light, trying out various shots, including a robber breaking into the cave and stealing a fish, and a police chase across the snow drifts. The photo of the minifigure Inuits cooking their supper remains my favourite.

The next picture shows the boys looking really pleased with themselves after spending a whole day collaborating on building a space launch centre. It was the first time I remember them properly doing it together, rather than the oldest taking over, or both of them doing separate creations – and the smile on their faces shows it.

Finally, who could not be delighted when their six year old comes up with a perfect example of the versatility of Lego, in the form of a giant lion he designed and made himself, that he decided to guard using Ninjas and a Centurion?

So many moments, here’s some more. There’s the first time any of them came up with anything complicated on their own, usually in Duplo:


Then there’s the transition to ‘little Lego’, and the request for us to take a photo each time they build something they’re proud of:

lego collage 3

Or what about the signs of an all-consuming passion for Lego: the trips to Legoland, including spinning round the giant Ninja:

lego collage 4

And I’d forgotten about the birthday cakes. We’ve made a giant Duplo brick with Duplo candle bearers, and a Ninja cake – all requested by the children. Then there’s the sheer randomness of what they come up with – a multi-storey zoo, a large TV set with stalls, a man asleep on top of the stairs, half a man on a skateboard – all followed by the phrase “Daddy, can you take a picture?”. Some of the creations below were made out of Mummy’s Lego from her childhood, still preserved in Granny’s house (Daddy sold his at a boot sale long before children were on the radar, and regrets it now).

lego collage 5

But our most recent favourite memory is of the stop-go animations. Our kids wanted to try making short animated films, and their thoughts immediately turned to Lego. The first attempt was shot using a phone camera, and featured a Lego spaceman flying out of a hole in the ground and landing on a car:

lego collage 6

The second attempt (by which time we’d got a decent camera and software set) was the same spaceman’s encounter with a dinosaur. So before you go and see the new Lego film (trailer below), be sure to check out our latest attempt on you tube!

This post was written by Paul as an entry for the Tots 100 Lego Film Tickets Competition. His children are convinced we will win, and if we don’t he is resigned to buying tickets for the local Odeon screening, and pretending we have….

Lego and Hama Beads

It’s educational carnival time over on Jax’s blog again, and as usual I’m writing this considerably after the eleventh hour.  I hope she’ll let me off, and I can sneak this post in at the last minute.  This month the question is “What do you do when it rains?”  There are lots of indoor activities I could write about if I had plenty of time, but I haven’t so I’m just going to focus on two of our favourites – Lego and Hama Beads.

Lego Halloween

While we’ve been staying at mum’s house over the last few days, the children have been working on this Lego scene.  I think it was mainly made by Owl, but Monkey and Rabbit had some input too.  I love the details – the green slime in the cauldron, and the fire beneath it, made of transparent bricks.

Lego Ghost Train

Owl also made this ghost train, which was very popular with Tiddler.

Lego Car

When we came home today, it wasn’t long before the Lego was out again, and Owl made this car (not from a kit) and fountain.

Hama Beads 1

In the evening, while Rabbit was at Rainbows, Tiddler played with the Hama Beads.  He started to make a Teddy Bear but was not in the mood for finishing it, so I suggested he could sort the beads into different colours.  He liked that idea, until he discovered it was more fun just to put handfuls of beads into all the cups and bowls and then tip them out again!

Hama Beads 2

Then he discovered it was more fun to tip them from a higher up, which was great until he started tipping them on the floor.  Presumably some kind of highly justifiable toddler science experiment about how the height affects the speed.  Or something.

Hama Beads 3

I asked him if he would like to try threading the Hama Beads on pipe cleaners (thanks for the idea Jax!)  He wasn’t that keen (“You do it, mummy!”) until Rabbit came back from Rainbows and made a bracelet, after which he quickly made one for himself.

Hama Beads 4

I suggested to the older three that they might like to make some Autumn-themed pictures.  I made a some leaves (kind of) in Autumn colours to start them off, and explained that it was a tessellating pattern.  I can’t say they were as excited about that as I was, but at least they know what tessellation is now!  Monkey spent a long time carefully making a bonfire.  Owl made a pumpkin, a witch’s hat and a monster.  Rabbit wasn’t interested in the Autumn theme at first so she made a clown, but when she saw Owl’s pumpkin she decided to make one of her own.

Hama Beads 5

These are the finished Hama Bead creations.  And this is where we buy our Hama Beads.  We’ll be needing some more soon, I think, now the weather is getting colder and wetter.

These are our top two indoor activities.  What are yours?

At Granny and Grandpa’s house

Last week, from Tuesday to Sunday, we were at Granny and Grandpa’s house.  During the week, Daddy and Grandpa weren’t there because they were working, but we were all together again at the weekend.  These are just a few of the things we did:

Owl and Monkey worked on their Maths and English, practised the violin and did lots of reading.  Owl did some Latin, reviewing his flashcards and teaching some of the words to Monkey.  He later had a more in-depth Latin lesson with Grandpa!

Monkey and I played Scrabble, Tiddler did puzzles and I played Frustration several times with Rabbit.  They all had a go on the NASA kids website, and did BBC Bitesize (Science and Literacy).  We read a lot of stories, including some new ones which we bought with our World book day tokens.

Rabbit and Tiddler iced fairy cakes with Granny.

Rabbit made a cafe with real and toy food, and wrote labels for the food and drinks. She also made Smarties and carried them around the house in a tray, selling them.

Rabbit wrote a pirate story.  It was all her own idea.

The cafe game was so much fun, we had to do it again the next day.  Rabbit and Monkey made some new signs.

Owl went to a church kids’ club, where they made Easter baskets, played games and ate chocolate.

We celebrated our Wedding Anniversary, and it snowed!

Rabbit and Tiddler made cards for us.  All the children performed in a show they made up for us , reading or reciting poems, and dancing.

Owl and Monkey played with Lego a lot.  Among other things, they made a statue, a swimming pool and a display of figures from my childhood collection to match a picture in their Lego book.

Lots of works of Art were created.

The last one is Rabbit’s picture of “The Whole Wide World.”

Stargazing Live

Stargazing 2 Stargazing 3

This post is written by Owl.

On Saturday 12th January, we went to Oxford.  We had lunch in Cafe Rouge, and then we went to Stargazing Live in the Physics Department of Oxford University.  When we went in, we were given a card with a picture and some information on it, and there were 19 cards to collect at the different sections of the exhibition.  Then we went to the Hands-On room and daddy pointed out a robot which was on a wooden table with a galaxy projected onto it.  When I looked more closely, I realised it was a Lego Mindstorms robot, controlled by a computer.  I had to use the arrow keys to move the robot over the galaxy, and when it was in the right position it projected a star into one of the holes in the raised edge of the table.  Next we tried an activity where you had to move coins around on a piece of paper, and they showed up on a computer screen which was divided into two parts.  On one half you could see your coins, and on the other half a picture of a galaxy based on the position of the coins.

Then we went to the Science cafe to build a virtual Lego universe, which was our favourite activity last year.  You use different coloured bricks to represent quarks.  Yellow bricks are up quarks and red bricks are down quarks.  I put some red and yellow bricks together to make neutrons and protons.  Then I put two neutrons and two protons together in a square shape to make Helium 4.  Monkey and I built towers which were stacks of Helium 4.

The Lego activity took quite a long time and the little ones were getting restless, so we took a break.  We went down to the Astro Crafts room and made spectrometers out of cereal boxes and CDs, and a model of a planetarium which showed the distance of each planet from the sun.  After that, we returned to the Science cafe to finish the Lego towers.  We also watched a demonstration of how to make a meteor, and I crushed some dry ice (made from Carbon Dioxide) with a hammer.  We ended the afternoon with some sandwiches, chocolate cake and juice for supper, before setting off on the journey home.

Owl’s sleepover in London

This post is written by Owl about his trip to London last week.

Granny came to collect me and we went on four trains.  We arrived at Bethnal Green station and walked to the museum.  It was very windy outside and we were nearly blown over.  In the museum, there were two puppet theatres and I did a puppet show.  There were also some very big dolls’ houses.  Some were built in cupboards, and were so big that they were mainly used for display.  It would have been hard to play with them as they were so high up.

When we went out it was not so windy.  We got the train back to Stratford and went to the Lego shop.  I thought the Lego shop would be outside on its own but it was actually inside the shopping centre.  It was a long walk to the Lego shop.  When we got there, it was quite impressive.  There were computers, a pick-a-brick section and an area where you could build your own minifigures.  I built three minifigures and we bought them.  We also bought a small box of pick-a-brick.  (Pick-a-brick is where you buy your own selection of Lego bricks.  It also has a bigger range of bricks on the computer.)

We bought pizza in M&S and went home to the flat for supper with Grandpa.  I found it hard to sleep but I did in the end.  In the morning, we listened to Grandpa’s CD of a Roman poem, “Horatius held the bridge.”  Then Grandpa went to work.  Later, Granny and I went to the Museum of Transport.  We saw lots of old carts and trains.  There was also a trail where you had to find 13 posts with stampers on them and stamp the card you were given.  There was a map on the back showing the locations of the posts.  Then we went home on the train, by a different route.

Not bad for an off day…

… or in fact several off days.  We have all had colds and sore throats for what seems like a month but is probably just over two weeks, and mine got a little worse on Friday, and steadily worse throughout the weekend.  Surburban dad managed to run most of Sunday (between 9.30 and 4.30) without me and I went back to bed and slept for most of that time.  Sadly, that didn’t lead to the full recovery I was hoping for, but I’m sure I’d have felt much worse without the rest.  And now we have a vomiting bug, which kept Rabbit and Tiddler (and us obviously) awake most of the night, with Owl joining in at 4am.  Suburban dad has also come down with it and has come home from a training session early and spent the afternoon in bed.

Despite all this, the children have continued to do most of their normal activities (until today when we have had to cancel everything) and quite a lot of random creative and fun stuff as well.  I have just been cheering myself up by looking at the photos on my phone, and I am encouraged by what we can achieve even when we are ill.

On Friday morning, I took Rabbit and Tiddler to Musicbox, which they both enjoyed and joined in well.  The rest of the day was quiet and productive.  As well as Maths, English, music practice, Bible reading, Mathletics and Spellodrome, the older three made some cards.  Then Owl, Rabbit and Tiddler painted some Thomas the Tank Engine trains from a kit which we had been given a long time ago.


In other news, I had a very therapeutic sort out of the porch so we don’t have to step over about a hundred pairs of shoes (most of which fit nobody) when we come in, and the children helped me to clean it.

On Saturday, suburban dad took Tiddler to Dramabuds, and then we went to a Macmillan coffee morning at our friends’ house.  In the afternoon we sorted out the laundry room which was quite an obstacle course before.  There is now a path to the washing machine which helps a lot (came in handy in the night of vomit.)

On Sunday, suburban dad and Supergirl took all the children to church, and then to the Autumn fair at the local riding centre for the disabled.  We go to this most years and I was sorry to miss it but I really needed the rest.  The children had a good time, and among other things they went in a fire engine, played beat the goalie, acquired a Playmobil helicopter, watched a Punch and Judy show, had a miniature train ride, went into the stables to see the horses and made clay pots.  Monkey didn’t want to make a pot (which might be because I broke the one he made at the Environmental Fair in August – oh the guilt) but Supergirl, Owl and Rabbit did, and even Tiddler had a go with daddy’s help.

Yesterday, we did some Maths, English and music practice in the morning.  Rabbit had fun with Multilink cubes working out one more or one less than a number.


Owl and Monkey had their piano lesson, and after lunch some friends came to play.  Monkey painted his Divali candle holder from Beavers.

We tested our rock collection to see which ones would make marks.  This was quite fun as about half of them were chalk.  And we made volcanoes again!


Supergirl helped the children to wrap their shoeboxes for the Smile appeal at the church where the little ones go to Toddler group and the big ones have Beavers and Cubs (contents to be added later when we have bought the remaining items.)

Today has been quiet after an eventful night last night.  Rabbit has spent the whole day on the play room sofa, watching Cbeebies for about an hour and then watching a Charlie and Lola DVD on an endless loop.  Tiddler has been there most of the day and both of them have slept a bit.  Monkey and I went out to the deli and the shops, as he has been asking for some mummy time, and anyway he was the only one well enough to go out with me.  Owl seemed to be better by the time we came back, and the two of them have been having a big lego sort out this afternoon with help from Supergirl.  I hope they may have reunited the parts of at least some of their many jumbled up sets, but it’s a big job.

They have also done a Maxi Hama Bead set, with a little help from Tiddler, but I will blog that separately.  Rabbit has been doing her knitting most days recently, though she hasn’t been up to it today.  Tiddler really wants to join in, and today he said to me “I need to do knitting.  When am I going to be four?”  I think maybe I need to make pompoms with him tomorrow.  Or weaving perhaps?  Any other simple woolcraft ideas for a two-year old?