I'm sure you are better at using Lego than I am and have far more creative ideas than me. If you want to, why not have a go at these challenges and prove it! If you produce a really good one that you would like me to put on the website too, take a picture of it and send it (or ask a grown up to help you) to firstname.lastname@example.org for me to see! I'll put a new challenge up every Wednesday!
Mr Woolley, Headteacher
This is our last challenge - I can't believe there have 17 of them - if you did all of them, Wow! if you just did one or two I hope it brought you a moment of fun and joy! So our last challenge is to build a marble maze. The first decision is to find a ball - it could be a big or small marble or a bead. Use this to work out how big you paths need to be. In the first picture the marble is two studs wide whilst the bead is only one. I used the marble. I fitted flat pieces together but left some gaps as holes for the marble to fall through - I then built the walls. The idea is to get from one yellow start zone, through the colour sections to the other yellow zone.
Your maze could be as big or as small as you want. If you have a really big flat piece - perhaps a base for a house build, that would be useful. The maze could have a theme or be any shape you want. When I made mine it was a bit too easy so I moved a few blue walls around - see how picture 4 is a bit different to picture 3.
Building Tip: The marble runs better if you use the back of the flat pieces - face the studs down, then it's smooth.
For this week I thought we'd try and build a vehicle that's powered - pull back and off it goes! The mechanism is the important bit. The power comes from either an elastic band or a hair band. I used a hair band (no jokes please about where I got one from) in mine. You need to make a frame from pieces with technic holes in. The wheels need to be attached with an axle piece (the long thin grey or black things). The band needs to attach around a hook and then fix around something that fits on the axle that will catch it - the blue piece in picture 1. It's important this thing doesn't spin, it must turn with the axle so needs a cross hole - picture 2 shows the axle and some other pieces I found that would work - can you see they all have cross holes. When you pull the wheels back, the band winds around the axle - picture 3. Build this bit first.
Building Tip: The wheels all need to spin really easily, if they are tight, it won't work. Try to use axles as they spin easily.
Once this wheel frame is made I then decided on the vehicle. I tried to create a monster-truck look. I don't think I'm very good at building cars as it doesn't quite look right. Anyway, the vehicle could be anything, three wheels, a truck, a racing car, a tractor or just leave as a frame. I put a stormtrooper in to drive mine! Experiment wth different length and thickness elastic bands and how much to wind it back to find the best power!
Our challenge this week is a bit different because the idea isn't mine - it's been set by a much better builder than me; Ivy in Class 2! She made a fabulous swimming pool because she is really missing going swimming and sent me a picture of it earlier in the week. It was so good I thought it would be the perfect challenge for this week and she kindly agreed to let me use it. She has made the pool really well with nicely marked lanes, starting jumps and by just using the top half of the minifigure they look like they are in the water. Here is her brilliant build:
So your challenge is to build something you would like to do but can't, or perhaps something you miss. It could be something you still do but you just really like. How about football, going to the zoo, going on a plane, visiting friends, parties, going to the library or eating at a restaurant.
I really miss holidays, I like visiting new places. I also haven't been to a beach in ages so I built a tropical island to visit. I made a sunlounger on the beach and put a minifigure in. I thought a stormtrooper could do with a holiday - obviously he had to take his helmet off in the sun. I also copied Ivy's trick of using half the figure in the water!
We see lots of different spaceships made of Lego all the time - we had a go at one for your alien a few weeks ago - but have you ever built a rocket? I used to love Space Lego when I was a child but I don't think I ever made a proper rocket. So have a go this week. Your rocket could be big or small, long and thin or quite short. It could have tail pieces or fins, or how about extra fuel tanks. You could try and copy a real rocket - have a look at some pictures online for ideas, or you could build more of a cartoon one.
I built my rocket with two fuel tanks - have you seen NASA space launches where the tanks fall off? I tried to create that. I kept to quite realistic colours - grey white and black. I wanted to put some colour in it but I couldn't quite find the right piece.
Building Tip: For a rocket you mainly need round parts. Try to gather as many rounded, cone-shaped or pointed parts as you can first. Then start to make the rocket from the bits you have. I've added a photo which shows all the rounded pieces I found before I started to build.
The challenge this week is to build a ride for a theme park or a park. Imagine swings, slides, roller-coasters, giant swings (like the big boat ones), towers and drops, tube-slides, climbing frames, roundabouts, dodgems, log flumes or bouncy castles! They could be big enough for minifigures to enjoy or build in miniature to get the whole thing in. If you like technic Lego you could even try to make your ride move. If you have motor or pneumatic pieces you could use those too - you might spend longer on the mechanism and keep the ride bit simple.
I've built a hanging-swing-ride and added a simple set of cogs so it turns. In one picture below I've taken a side out of the base so you can see how I did itin case you want to copy. I've also added a short video so you can see it moving - I thought it needed some minifigures to ride it so added Darth Vader and two storm troopers - they need cheering up!
Building Tip: If you are using technic lego, work out the mechanism before you build the base so you can get it the right size.
This week have a go at making an animal that lives, or swims, in the sea. You could choose a big animal like whales, dolphins, sharks, manta rays, octopus, colourful fish, seals, otters or even a polar bear. Or choose something smaller like a starfish, seahorse, jellyfish, crab or sea snail. You can use lots of different colours too. You could even put your animal in a little habitat - add a base, some green bits and rocks.
I made a little turtle. It's quite small because of the shape of the peices. I think Lego building is like scultpture - it's about seeing shapes. My turtle is really based on just 6 pieces - 2 large green slopes as flippers, two smaller ones for the back flippers, a green rounded head piece and a brown circle as the shell. One of the photos below shows these 6 pieces. All the other bits are used to make these 6 join up in the right places. I put it on a stack of clear pieces so it looks like it's swimming.
Building Tip: For your animal try to look at the shapes of key pieces - one bit might be the key to your animal or give you a starting idea. For example, a green circle could make a crab shape or a pointed grey piece the front of a shark or dolphin. A fancy shaped piece might give you an idea of what animal to do.
If you made an alien last week, this week build its spaceship. If you don't have an alien, just make a really amazing spacecraft. Your spaceship could be big or really small. If you already have quite alot of Lego spaceships (like Space or Star Wars ones) try making a miniature one - it's harder than is sounds. Your spaceship could be any shape, any colour and it could be a peaceful ship for travelling or a fighting machine! It's hard not to make a spaceship you have seen before - but if you want to give it a try, make one from a film or story - a Millennium Falcon, Enterprise, Thunderbirds, the one from Futurama or Benny's from the Lego movie.
My alien last week was a bit of a 'cartoon alien' so I thought about the spaceship it should have and decided to make a round UFO-like spaceship like ones in comics or films. I use round pieces and then added some blue decorations. I added a few small leg peices so it could 'land'.
This week's challenge is to build an alien (or monster) from Lego. The great thing about an alien is you can choose it to have anything you want - any number of legs or arms, wings, heads, lots of eyes, ears, teeth, beaks, horns, spikes, a mouth or more, long thin bodies or rounded shapes, tails or special things that you can think of. Your alien could be friendly (peaceful colours and smiley features) or scary (with teeth, claws and ways of eating a small human). The build can be as big or as small as you want. You could include a minifure as a human snack for your alien too!
I made a scary alien and I thought the red colour suited it. I made the mouth first as I wanted to use all of the teeth pieces I had. Once I made the mouth I decided to make the body and then added the silly octopus-like legs on. The funny white horns worked well - I'm not sure what the black things on the head are but they looked good! Can you make an alien that is so scary it would scare mine?
Are you missing your favourite food or meal, I think I am which might be why I thought of this challenge. Try to make a piece of food or a whole meal from Lego. You could make a whole plate full, table full or feast with lots of items or just make one thing. Big or small. Try to use the shapes to help you - for example the round pieces could easily become cakes, burgers or biscuits. Colour is also important - a sandwich needs something light for the bread and yellow would look like cheese. You could make cakes, slices of cake, fruit, vegetables, biscuits or how about a really special food like a birthday or a wedding cake. You could make a special meal and have minifigures eating it. How about the whole table or plate?
I've been thinking about pizza alot which is my favourite food so I tried to make a slice of peperoni pizza. I used pale yellow for the base, with flat red pieces for the sauce. I then added topings - yellow bits for cheese, round peices for the peperoni and some green bits which I thought looked a bit like peppers. What do you think - hungry?
So I thought I'd do a miniature challenge this week - to try to build a miniature castle out of small pieces. You could make any kind of castle you want. How about the Disney castle, one for a story princess or prince, Hogwarts, Darth Vader's Castle, Elsa's Ice Castle or one from Lord of the Rings? You could try and model a real one like the Tower of London or Portchester - if you've been to one, copy from a picture. You could also try to make a completely fantasy one, with lots of towers or funny shapes in any colour. It could be friendly and colourful or dark and scarry with lots of nasty traps! Look carefully for pieces that have openings to look like windows.
I really enjoyed this challenge! I made a fantasy castle. I liked the idea of a huge castle with lots of towers, sitting on a tiny island so I made a rock base out of some dark grey blocks and put in on some blue flat pieces to look like sea. I used yellow for the decorative roof-tops because I found the flag piece. I really liked all the extra towers. One of my pictures shows some of the pieces I used for these so if you want to have a go you can! Don't forget to give your castle a name. Good luck!
This week's challenge is a really creative one to make you think - build the most amazing way you can think of to travel to school. You can really let your imaginations go for this one and be unusual, funny, silly and clever. You can choose to make a fancy car or an unusual vehicle; would you like to come to school by monster truck? How about by spaceship, by pony and carriage or by dolphin? What about strange new inventions you have created - like a futuristic motor bike that can fly. Let your imagination go!
I thought it would be exciting to come to school by dinosaur so I tried to make a Stegosaurus. I then couldn't work out where I would go - there's nowhere to sit on a Stegosaurus so I made it pull a futuristic hover board! I put a minifugure on the board - that's supposed to be me. My wife said to take the hair off so it looked like me (she thought that was funny)! It's a bit bigger than I wanted - I tend to make things too big, next week we might do a miniature challenge!
Have a go this week at building a character from a cartoon or an animated film. You could make the character big or small. You might even have a minifugure of this character already - try making one out of pieces. You could make a minion, Olaf, Mike or Sully from Monsters Inc, Pokemon, Toy Story characters or any character from your favourite film or cartoon. The colours you use are going to be important for this build - try to copy a picture or another toy to get them as close as you can.
I had a go at making Toothless - the dragon from 'How to Train Your Dragon'. I added a minifigure that most looked liked like Hiccup so it looks like he is riding him. It was much harder than I thought it would be - I don't think I got the head quite right. I like the tail though - the red piece looks good!
I can't wait to see what you come up with.
This week's challenge is a bit different to get you thinking - it might even be a nice ornament for your bedroom! Make your intial from your name in Lego - as big or small as you want. You could uses colours to create a pattern or decorate the letter with nice colour peices or with things you are interested in. You could even try and make your whole name, especially if you have a short name.
I tried a couple of builds to show you what I mean - I went for building a 'W' which was harder than I thought it would be as it I needed lots of slope pieces, which I didn't have. I made a little one out of rainbow colours first. I then tried to make one that look a bit like a tree - I used brown pieces for the letter and then decorated with green bits (can you spot the frog?). I thought I'd then make a bigger one and I decorated it to look a bit 'Star Wars' like, which you know I love. I stuck bits on to try to give it a spaceship-look and then added a stormtrooper! I might keep it for my office!
This week's challenge is to make a magical or mythical animal. This means a made-up animal from a story or film that doesn't actually exist. This could include unicorns, dragons, an animal from a story such as the gruffalo, anything from the Harry Potter Films or other films such as Lord of the Rings.
I've had a go at making a unicorn and I used rainbow colours for the details. I think it looks OK but I really wanted to make the legs round but I couldn't find the right bits! You could have a go at trying to improve my idea - I bet you can do it better than me. The last photo shows all of the parts I used. If you would like me to put your creation on the website, send a photo in!
Our third challenge is to make a robot. I thought Class 3 children might particularly like this given their recent work making robots as part of exploring 'The Iron Man' story. Your robot could be as big or small as you want. You could try to create one you've seen in a story or film (eg R2D2, Wall-E, Iron Man) or be creative and make your own. The great thing about robots is they can look like anything - they don't have to have arms or legs or heads and they could have wheels or tracks or some other way of moving. You could even look at real ones like the ones NASA send to explore other planets. Have a look on-line to get some ideas before you start building.
I've built one. I started with the wheels - I liked the idea of a robot balancing on two wheels and built up from there. It ended up much bigger than I planned. I liked the head though - almost smiling! Send me pictures of your amazing ideas to email@example.com Give your robot a name too!
Wow, there were some fabulous builds from last week's challenge - have a look at some of the photos below!
This week's challenge is a very different idea - a mash-up! Create a vehicle mash-up where the front of one is joined to the back of something else. The stranger and sillier the better! You could have half lorry, half submarine or half boat, half aeroplane or half ambulance, half tank - get creative. See if you can get a minifigure 'driving' it too! For those of you who like building cars, trains, boats and things, this one is for you! The tricky bit is how you join the two - try to 'merge' the two so the whole thing works. You could use existing kits you already have and work out how to join two halves.
I've had a go at building one - here's my half racing car half helicopter! I added a stormtrooper who is driving (as you know I like Star Wars). The hardest bit was the helicopter - I didn't have enough curved pieces, but I think it joins up OK. I just used red and white to show the two halves. See what you can do!
For the first challenge we'll keep it simple - try and create an animal just using Lego. It could be anything; an animal on the land, underwater or in the sky, it could fly, swim, run or walk. Any colours, any size.
I have had a go at making a rhino! I had lots of grey Lego and I found a piece that I could use for the horn - that gave me the idea of doing a rhino. The grey is a bit of a boring colour so I added a little bird on its back to brighten it up! If you look closely at the photo you will see it's in my office so you can see I didn't cheat and copy a picture from the internet! But the internet has lots of ideas so you could search for a lego animal and try to copy! See what you can make.