When I was a kid, I loved to play with a box of LEGOs. They didn't come from any particular kit and I didn't haven't any instructions or patterns to build a Castle or Star Wars spaceships. Instead, I used my imagination and created some fun cars that I would race on the linoleum in the kitchen - much to my mother's chagrin.
I thought I was creative. I had a few of my favorite blocks that allowed me to add wheels or make a helicopter with a spinning rotor. I look back and can honestly say that I was a mere amateur. Take a look at some of the creative ideas to do with LEGOs that I never even considered!
Everything from building intricate circle patterns to building CubDudes to making your own stop motion movie using tools that almost everyone has around the house - now THOSE are unique and creative ideas that will help your kids' imaginations!
Make Circles with LEGOs
So, you may be old school and think that LEGOs are only good for building square objects. You couldn't be more wrong!
There is a growing group of AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) that are bending LEGOs. The concept is simple. Join a bunch of 1x2 bricks together and the chain will bend slightly. Build enough of them and you can bend it into a full circle.
Once you can do that, it's time to explore and create geometric shapes that you probably never thought about doing with these simple square blocks.
The final product is sturdy - sturdy enough to hang on a wall! What a great way to show your AFOL enthusiasm to friends and family! Instead of boring pictures that need to be matted and framed, hang some geometric designs on your wall that you built yourself.
Look at the other designs on this fun Brick Bending website!
Making a diorama can be a lot of fun! There are some phenomenal examples on MOCPages. MOC is short for My Own Creation and is a great place to share your skills!
Make a Diorama
OK. I made simple dioramas when I was younger, but it didn't even come close to the intricacy that is found with today's modelers.
Check out the Christmas scene to the right. I love it! The fine details are what sets it above anything that I created. I adore the cat on the couch, the white bows on the presents, Santa on the chimney and the creative use of snakes to emulate a garland on the fireplace.
With all the parts and pieces available to today's LEGO gurus, the options for a diorama are expansive!
You are really limited only by your imagination. Study the picture to the right and see the great techniques used to make the holiday wreaths on the walls!
What creative scenes can you build?
Create a Stop Motion Movie
Do you remember the old stop motion movies? They have a distinctive, choppy quality that is endearing. If you aren't sure what it is, think about the classic TV special Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or King Kong or the Mysterious Island.
What used to take a lot of movie equipment and full production studios can now be done using a simple DSLR camera, a tripod and common movie editing software like iMovie and a good script!
This is a great project for kids too! My ten year old has created several stop motion videos and loves to tell stories using minifigs.
The Youtube video to the right gives basic instructions on how to create your own movie!
Build Furniture made from LEGOs
Isn't this a dream of virtually every kid? Build a table, chairs, desk, etc out of LEGOs - ALL of it! Heck, why stop there? Let's build a whole house out the darned things.
Alas, we must start somewhere (sigh...)
So, why not build a table out of LEGOs? This video shows a team of designers doing just that. There are probably some structural concerns with building a weight bearing piece with no reinforcement, but it is easy to create a veneer on the top of a table by using only lego pieces. How much fun would that be?
Host a Civil War Reenactment
Ah, let's set up a whole reenactment of a famous battle from the civil war using nothing but LEGO pieces!
From the Union and Confederate uniforms to the scale cannons and weaponry, the quality of your reenactment is limited only by your creativity (and your wallet!)
Many modelers will create a massive diorama that depicts a phase in the battle with tactical accuracy. Hills, valleys, troop locations and resupply lines are shown to scale with minifigs and accessories.
Or, you can really take it to the next level and show a stop motion movie of the battle. What a great way to learn a little history and have fun at the same time!
Learn How to Survive a LEGO Zombie Apocolypse
Speaking of tactical events, what would happen if your town was taken over by a LEGO Zombie horde? I don't know about you, but I have always wanted to know that answer!
Wait no more, my friend! A creative AFOL created a LEGO stop motion movie to show exactly would would happen - and it's not a pretty sight.
A few brave and daring minifigs tried and failed to protect the masses from the invasion, but we should honor their memories - those poor, lost souls!
CubeDudes all the way!
This is one of my favorite styles of LEGOing. A man by the name of Agnus MacLane (also a PIXAR animator) designed the first CubeDudes and the community has taken off!
There is a definite scale to these, with the head being a 3x3 block.
These are perfect choices for folks who live in smaller spaces and can't afford the space to build huge cities or massive ships. Just think about your favorite characters and use a few simple techniques to create them in this pint-sized scale.
I know of two limited edition official Cube Dude sets. One came from the 2010 San Diego Comicon and featured a few Star Wars characters (and I am lucky enough to be the proud owner of one set!) The other set is from the Star Wars Celebration 2010 and features (you guessed it!) more Star Wars characters.
What characters would you create?
LEGO Brick Lights
Add another medium to your LEGO work. Nothing brightens up your creations more than electrifying them! There are a few aftermarket vendors that sell miniature lighting sets that can be integrated into your creations.
They are typically powered by a small watch battery and fit perfectly in several clasps and cylinders. Imagine adding a few of these to retrofit a high end model like the Creator Grand Emporium?
I have seen a few custom space ships with the patterned lighting circuits. They look phenomenal and add a wonderful finishing touch to a model that you devoted a lot of time towards.
Build a Train
I bet a lot of you grew up with model railroad trains. I did! I had a nice HO scale Santa Fe train that ran around the Christmas tree. LEGO introduced Power Functions train sets that run on LEGO tracks.
This is different from the model trains in that the full motor and power source is in the engine and not running through the tracks. AFOLs are sharply divided over this recent change, but it really does make for fun time playing. It is controlled via a wireless controller and runs off of triple A batteries.
I enjoy creating train stations and loading facilities along with replicating old trains in scale. There are many outstanding creations with free instructions available on the internet.
For other great train ideas, please check out RailBricks.com, a great website with lots of free plans and a beautiful magazine devoted to LEGO trains.
With all of your new toys, you are probably in need of some organization. Please take a look at these creative LEGO storage ideas to help keep everything in its place!
Samuel Franklin on October 24, 2014:
So many fond memories of playing with Lego as a child. Thanks for sharing.
LEGOdomenick on March 07, 2014:
Cat from New York on April 17, 2013:
This is awesome! My kids are both huge fans of Legos and I can't seem to keep enough in the house. It is one of the only "toys" my 12 year old son will still play with. You gave me new and interesting things to share with him to keep him "playing" for a while!
Voted up and awesome!
jsasson from Florida on July 26, 2012:
great stuff, kids do the animation in school, but I'd like to try the table.
Ironman1992 on February 03, 2012:
I've always liked lego. I used to make lego stop motion movies.
Ginny (author) from Arlington, VA on February 01, 2012:
Thanks Wilderness. I loved erector sets too! I had a small box of LEGOs and would create cars and small buildings, but that was NOTHING compared to some of the fun and imaginative LEGO ideas listed above. I am amazed at the creativity of people, especially the curved sculptures!
Dan Harmon from Boise, Idaho on January 31, 2012:
I never played with legos as a kid - they weren't available. The older erector set with steel beams, nuts and bolts was my avenue to imagination.
My grandson, though, is nuts about legos and has a bedroom full of them. I'll have to turn him to your hub here and the ideas it presents. Thanks!
Ginny (author) from Arlington, VA on December 27, 2011:
Thank you Mark! I appreciate the kind words.
Mark Ewbie from UK on December 27, 2011:
That is a fabulous Lego article. Nicely done - informative, interesting and... all about Lego too!