Lego Kit

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My son saw this on one of my Pinterest boards and latched on to the idea. He is a Lego fanatic, and this was “an amazing thing” that had to be done!

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Start simple with an Altoids tin and a flat base Lego piece. I used hot glue to attach it.

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Then you let your kid(s) pick the pieces they want in their kit. Super simple, but such a great idea!

The idea came from this site which I know I’ll be pulling other ideas from!

This little kit is perfect to take to restaurants or anyplace you may be stuck cooling your heels. It gives your little master builder something to do that has the side benefit of keeping them quiet. All that in a little, pocket sized tin? Yes please!

Lego Photo Op

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I do have to start by saying, Arthur loves Legos. He had loved them since my parents got him his first sets at the age of three. Too young for them, but who cares! I’m fairly certain he’s going to grow up to be an engineer or something because he lives building and making up his own designs especially. He’ll build a new set, first following the directions, then the pieces become building blocks for whatever he can imagine.
This year for his annual pictures, I was at a loss. I had taken a few nice shots at one of the local parks, but nothing really screamed ‘this is it’. Then, yesterday afternoon, inspiration struck, for once not having come from Pinterest!
I swept out hardwood floor, which collects pet hair worse than a carpet, then grabbed his Lego bin and made a circle of them on the floor. He had a few creations put together already, so I also staged them around the circle. I put him in an outfit I like, then it was picture time.
I tend to say ridiculous things to my kids to get the look I want. “Think about how funny a fart sounds” I’d actually what got me this silly face. Normally I want something a little more sedate, but as soon as I looked at this shot on my camera, with a new creation forming in his hands, the quote jumped into my head.

Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality

I knew then that the smile was perfect, just like the rest of him.
I did some searching online and found picmonkey. This is an amazing free photo editing website that allowed me to play with the exposure, contrast, etc. on the picture. After that it was a quick 1-hr developing at Walmart and now it’s on my wall.
As always with pictures of my kids, I love the time with them. They know they are your absolute focus during this time and you know they’re at least fully aware of you, even when engrossed in Legos.
Do you have any fun shots of your kids playing with Legos? I hope Arthur never loses his fascination with them because I love seeing what he can dream up.

For other boy photo op ideas, be sure to check out:
Train Photo Op
A Boy and his Cars

Lego Expo

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This was awesome! All the details can be found on the Great Lakes Science Center website. So this will be my view on the exhibit. I do want to say that if you go the science center, the Lego Expo is included in the price, unlike when they had the Titanic exhibit, which cost extra.

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The tour starts with a gallery, entirely built by Arthur Gugick. It’s incredible! He built amazing landmarks, from the St. Petersburg palace to the Jefferson Memorial. The detail on his work is incredible.

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This was another amazing work by this artist. My favorite painting in the world, completely redesigned with Legos. I would hang this in my living room if I could sneak it out!

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This artist amazed me further with an amazing world he built from Legos. I have some of the highlights shown here.
I could have this blog and do nothing but show pictures of the awesomeness they created, but instead I’ll tell more about why you should go!

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They have an area that is strictly for building. It got really hectic when we first got there because it was very crowded. As the evening went on, the crowd thinned out and it became easier. You have the opportunity to build anything you can imagine. Once it’s built, you take it to the green screen photo booth. You capture the image of your creation, select your background, if you want to, add a picture of yourself and then you email it to yourself.
The kids and I all did one, and Tony even did one. It was a unique and fun thing to do.

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Another fun activity that was available, was to build a Duplo car and race it, pinewood derby style. Chiara killed at this. To the point that she was doing her ‘I won’ dance and didn’t want to leave the tables.

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Giant displays of historic transportation. Transcontinental railroad, space shuttle, zeppelin and the Wright brothers flight. Arthur was bouncing around trying to see everything before circling around more slowly. They were amazing!

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They also had a race car built out of Duplos. There is a sign saying don’t climb on it, other than the seat, so watch your kids! I was a little bummed that I didn’t fit!

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Last but not least, we hit the gift shop. They have the required Lego kits and books about Legos. The Legos I can get at Walmart, the books I can get from Barnes & Noble, but they did have some nifty odds and ends. We went with headphone wrappers since they’ll come in handy on vacation. I’m pretty sure I’ll be going back before the Expo ends, September 7, 2014, to pick up some stocking stuffers. They have key chain lights that are really cute, but a little pricey considering we’re saving for vacation.
If you’ll be going through Cleveland this summer, I’d definitely say stop in. Especially if you have a master builder of your own!

Balloon Powered Lego Car

Balloon Powered Lego Car
This was a fun afternoon for the whole family. We got hit with a snow storm, one of many to hit Northeast Ohio, and the kids were starting to go a little stir crazy. Meaning mommy and daddy were going a little nuts too. I dug this one out of my Pinterest hat and started playing with Arthur’s Legos. They were conveniently spread over the living room floor, so it seemed like the thing to do. Arthur likes playing with me, so he was ok with it! Tony was relaxing on the couch, asked what we were doing, so I explained: “I’m going to build a little car with an opening on the back for a balloon, so it will move across the floor.” His response was to join us on the floor.
The kids weren’t really sure what we were doing. Arthur continued to build whatever struck his fancy and Chiara started playing with the balloons. Tony and I came up with several styles of cars.
My sad little car
Tony’s, the one up top, was the best design, but you have to expect that from the crazy guy who modifies lawn mowers for his own purposes! The one shown here was my design. It did move, but not near as well as Tony’s did. The amount of space you have for air to exit the balloon is very important. My first attempt had too little space, the refresh had too much space. Tony discovered the secret:
proper opening
Tony used one of the arches from Chiara’s Lego set and it seemed to let just enough air out to give it a nice long run. My style had a nice burst of speed, but it fizzled out really fast!
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My car in action
The picture on the hardwood is my sad little car only making it half the distance of Tony’s! It was really interesting blowing up the balloon while it was in the frame we built. I would say if you have Legos, to give this a try on a snowy or rainy day. I know a lot of the US is getting hit with crazy amounts of snow, so hold this one in reserve!
Original pin came from http://thecraftymummy.com/2013/03/balloon-powered-lego-car/
If you want to check me out on Pinterest, look up Stephanie DeSantis and follow me to see what I may be blogging about next!