T Man got a wild hair to build one of his Star Wars Lego ships the day before Christmas. Well, both the boys have mixed all the different Lego tubs (knights and castles, Star Wars, airport, etc.) making this an impossible feat without sorting the Legos into colors.
Sorting the Legos proved to be major overload for T. He had this wonderful idea to dump his entire collection on the floor in order to better find what he needed, but with 1000s (literally) of Legos it was pointless.
Daddy stepped in to help out by having both boys working on a single color and making piles. This helped a little with the stress, but the job was still too big to feel like any real improvement as accomplished. I waited for awhile and let the family work toward a solution.
Finally, I couldn't take the tears and heartache anymore and I made a suggestion. I gave T a small bucket and had him place two handfuls of Legos in the bucket. He then went to the sorting piles and sat down. This allowed him to have a smaller focus, the stability of not having to move from place to place to sort, and a sense of accomplishment each time the bucket was emptied.
After we finished sorting maybe a third of the Legos, I called it done for the day. Daddy helped the boys get various bins from the tall storage system in T's room and place the sorted piles into individual bins. I quickly picked up all unsorted Legos and placed them in a large tub with a snap on lid.
For now, the boys will play with the large tub of unsorted Legos. They will only take out the Legos needed for their creations. After playtime, the pieces used will be sorted into the correct color bins. We will continue to do this until all Legos have been sorted. Once all the Legos are sorted building specific structures will be much less stressful because each bin can be removed from the storage system and placed on the floor near the builder.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking...
Who needs 1000s of Lego's? Really?
I know I should get rid of some of the Legos. I know the amount of Legos my boys play with is ridiculous. At this time, I just can't do it though.
My boys do not play with or have tons of toys. I have decluttered and simplified the toys already many times. If I simplify much more, there will be nothing left. Legos is the one constant in my boys play. I honestly believe they are learning alot in the process:
- hand eye coordination when snapping the pieces together
- engineering when they have to figure out the best way to assemble the pieces for stability
- following directions when reading the maps on how to build specific structures
- sorting (enough said)
- measurement when they have to find a Lego of a specific height and length
- creativity when they build from their imagination
- cooperative play when they create a world all of their own and interact together towards a common goal
- Don't make a mess that you cannot clean up.
- Too much makes us sad.
- We get angry when we are overwhelmed.
- Take time to STOP and make a plan.
- When we work together as a team, we can reach a common goal.
On a side note, I did get rid of one large bin that was filled top to bottom. The container was about 2 1/2 feet tall and 3 1/2 feet wide.