DIY Lego Play Table

My friend Belinda from BAC Photography told me about her Lego table project she did with her boys. The process is really very simple and achievable and such a fabulous way to facilitate Lego play. She’s sharing how she put it together below.

The Lego City Project

DIY Lego Play Table

My twin boys have always loved building blocks!

It started on their first birthday when they received a Mega Blocks truck that came with some bricks. The novelty of pushing the truck had long warn off but connecting the giant bricks went on and on.

On their 3rd birthday they received their first set of Duplo and we didn’t see them for the rest of the day.

The cycle started again on their 5th birthday when we moved into our current phase. LEGO!

Now the collections have begun in earnest, the real creations are coming out and the walking on Lego (mostly by mum and day) is in full swing!

Over the last two years we have bought a lot of new sets of Lego for our boys (as have family and friends for birthdays and Christmas) but we (my husband and I) were finding that we would build something, but would then be destroyed and part of this was because it would be on the floor and get tripped over or trodden on.

My husband then had an idea! LIGHTBULB!

We had a big sheet of plywood in the garage (waiting to be thrown out), so using this we put in to place Operation Lego City.

Step 1

Source a piece of plywood – If you don’t have a piece of plywood lying around like we did, it is relatively cheap to buy from a hardware store. Just think about the size you want for the space you have (or if you want it to fit on top of an existing table).  Plywood comes in many different sizes.

Step 2

Begin painting – Get the kids involved. Start with a white base coat and then anything goes. We went with a green section for around the city, blue for the ocean  and a grey strip for our airport runway!

1-BAC_LegoCity001

DIY Lego Table

DIY Lego Table

Step 3

Watch paint dry – kids are terrible at this. They can’t wait  for the paint to dry so they can start placing their Lego City!

Step 4

Let the building begin!

We had a lot of fun building with the boys and enjoying them play for hours! You can add to the city as you go and ebay is great for picking up second hand roads and sets too. It doesn’t even have to be all Lego, we added in a Tomy train set around the city too.

To keep the plywood off the floor, we purchased two small tables to rest it on.  We can move it around if we need to and it gives us storage underneath too (an existing coffee table could work in the same way).  

Making it permanent: For a more permanent solution, the plywood can be glued down on a suitable table. For an unpainted wooden table (or sand back if required), just use PVA glue over the entire surface of the table, place the plywood over the top and rest heavy objects on top and allow to dry over night.  This can be done on other surfaces (ie. not wood) too, but a product like No More Nails would be needed. Just ask at your local hardware for some advice and they are really helpful.

DIY Lego Play Table

DIY Lego Play Table

DIY Lego Play Table

DIY Lego Play Table

DIY Lego Play Table

Taking the project one step further 

The novelty of my boys Lego city has not warn off but to add to the fun, we decided to make a book. Our own story book!

We set up a robbery at the museum, a fire on the plane, a near miss train crash and of course a police chase around the city to catch the bad guys. My boys set up the scenes and we took the photos together, then we created a story to read along to with our images… there are so many places now were you can order up these digital photo albums and the kids can be involved in the process the whole way!

Not only do my boys love their Lego City, but they take care of it and the creations they have built far better than before we had a table to store it on. They are protective of it when friends come around and keep it cleaner than their bedroom. We are adding new things all the time and they boys are already planning for the new Lego they have asked Santa for.

Although the table is big and does take up a lot of room, they are only young once and tomorrow they will be grown up and out on their own and I’ll be left reminiscing about all the Lego I have stepped on over the years in an empty toy room.

DIY Lego Table

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Lego Play & Storage: Brikbag Review

Review Post (see definitions here)

All my children are into Lego, mostly fuelled by my son’s obsession with the stuff. I get it. I too was a Lego lover, and spent many hours on Sunday afternoons with my big sister building and playing.  We used a sheet to play on so pack up was easy.

I recently came across the Brikbag which works on the similar principal to the sheet my sister and I used when were children.  It’s a great product to aid play (Lego or other toy play). In a nutshell, the Brikbag is a play mat that closes into a bag…or a bag that opens into a mat (whichever way you want to look at it!).  

Brikbag Review

Material

The Brikbag is made from durable 100% cotton with chord strings for closure. It comes in a variety of trimmed denim colours and two denim prints. Featured below is the bag in the Yellow Busy City Print.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review - Material

Sturdy material on the back side.

140cm diameter 100% durable cotton Blue denim  - yellow trim - yellow pull cord Yellow Busy City Print on exterior of bag Cold machine wash Packaged in a re-usable, calico, drawstring bag.

Key Features

  • 140cm diameter
  • 100% durable cotton
  • Pull cord
  • Cold machine wash

Brikbag Review

Function

The mat is 140cm wide, which is an ideal size for many rooms. It’s big enough for a child to sit on but not too big so the bag becomes too-bulky for storage.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

There area two pull draw strings which aid in closure. You do need to pull firmly to close the bag.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

The draw strings pull to create a bag.  Due to the thickness of the material, there is an opening in the top once pulled to capacity. 

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

It’s easy to carry upright, but if transporting, I would either put it in a box or wind the long draw strings around the top section of the bag to avoid spillage.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

The bag (with the Lego still inside) fits perfectly into our 8 Brick Yellow Lego Storage Container.  We also have smaller 4 Brick Lego Storage containers for other  Lego.  For larger Lego collections, a crete toy box or tuff tub would work well.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

Play

I’ve been watching the kids play with the mat, and it does aid their play.  It helps them find pieces they need to find (without spreading Lego all over the floor) and it makes pack up easier.  All the Lego doesn’t stay on the mat (of course!) but the majority does and when packing up, the kids throw any stay Lego pieces back on the mat or in one of the storage bricks.  

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

This is what the playroom looks like after a couple of hours of Lego play.

Brikbag review

Lego Storage

In a recent post I wrote about sorting and storing toys, I discussed the potential need to look at our how we store Lego in the next couple of years (as our collection grows).  For now, we use Lego Storage Bricks (which look really cool) and the Brikbag fits nicely into the bottom yellow brick so it all looks neat when packed up. Half the Lego stays in the Brikbag (whatever pile the kids are using), and they use the Lego in the smaller bricks on the mat as needed.  The Lego sorter head is a bit of a fail (it looks good but I don’t find the kids use it much) — we keep it though because it looks so funky in the playroom.

All in all, our Lego storage systems are working well at the moment.  In the next couple of years, I will probably move to a draw system as our Lego collection surely increases.

Lego Storage - Brikbag Review

Pros & Cons

Below are some pros and cons I jotted down about the Brikbag:

Pros

  • Good size for play and storage
  • Machine washable (love that)
  • Portable
  • 100% Durable Cotton
  • Makes packing up easier
  • Price – reasonable price: $44.95 (plain) $54.95 (print) 
  • Print designed in Melbourne by graphic artist Rogue Planet (supporting Aussie talent)

Cons

  • Bag doesn’t entirely close up (not necessarily an issue but good to know for storage and travel)
  • Would be great to see some more colour/pattern variety in the future
  • Can only hold so much Lego effectively (i.e. Not a storage solution for large Lego collections. Still great as a play aid in this case).

Available at Brikbag.com.au or check out the stocklists.

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Disclaimer: The Brikbag was sent to me for an honest review. All views are my own.