October 1, 2012

An Invitation to Build: Lego Vehicles


photo (8)

We are on school holidays at the moment.  And my boys have begun the holidays in a tired, grumpy need a break way.  There has been disagreement about the smallest things and grumpiness that nothing is going their way.

They needed a kickstart into creating and exploring on their own.  So, I created a little invitation to build with our Lego.

What is an invitation to build?

Early childhood educators talk about creating an invitation to play for children.  This is presenting an experience in an attractive manner that encourages children to come and explore the materials or activity in their own way.  You are aiming to spark their interest and imagination and ‘invite’ them to come and play.  You can find out more about creating invitations to play in this post at the Imagination Tree.

My sons like to build with Lego.  But I find that they are often overwhelmed with all the different pieces and find it hard to imagine what piece they could use or find the type of piece they want.  So, I decided to create an invitation for them to build with Lego.

My invitation reduced the number of pieces available, letting them focus on getting started.  I chose pieces to suggest a particular class of thing (vehicles) that they might like to build. I made my choice based in their interests and what they already like to build. I did not provide pictures or a plan of how to build because I wanted my sons to use their creativity to design their own model, rather than following directions. 

How to create an invitation to build Lego vehicles?

As you can see in the top photo, I looked through our Lego pieces to find ones that suggested vehicle parts to me. 
  • wheels and axles
  • steering wheel
  • windshield
  • baseplate
  • grille
  • headlights
  • an angle plate
  • a race car driver
You can find suggestions for useful pieces in the Lego Ideas Book.  You could vary the invitation by providing different sorts or sizes of wheels.

I did not limit the pieces my sons could use.  They started with the pieces I set out and then looked through our Lego collection to find other pieces they wanted.

Here are my eldest sons vehicle creations (you can see he sourced lots of additional pieces from our Lego collection)…

lego vehicles

My youngest son (who is now 4) is able to build Lego with some assistance, but his creations do not last long once he starts playing!

Try creating your own invitation to build.  I’d love to hear about or see a picture of the results.  You can leave a comment or post on the Indirect Observations facebook page.  (Please note: I no longer update the Adventures With Kids facebook page – please visit and like the new page.)

No comments: