Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Today I am sharing a seasonal Lego build for young Lego builders – a Valentine lantern (also can be used as a lantern for Chinese New Year)
Valentine's Day LEGO project

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Valentine Lego Lantern #1

I set my 8 year old Smarty a STEM challenge to build something out of LEGO for Valentine Day, but she was a little stumped. Hearts seemed to be boring to her, so we brainstormed together, and I suggested making a candle holder. Smarty loved this idea, since “candlelight is romantic”, and she was off to the races:
Lantern #1 - no planning In her usual “optimistic” manner, Smarty didn’t stop to think much about her build until she ended up with a multi-color rectangular box with hardly any openings to let the light through. It was a good opportunity to discuss how this lantern can be improved:
  • Measure the candle and use the base that would fit it snugly
  • Use same color pieces – luckily, we have a lot of red Lego bricks!
  • Think about your side openings to let the light through – Smarty opted for a symmetrical build in the second try
  • Try to make it more interesting than just a rectangle.

Valentine Lego Lantern #2

Lego Lantern #2 - discussing how to build it best
  • We used a 6x8 and 2x8 plates connected together to make a base rectangular
  • We used a lot of red bricks with a width of 1 to build walls and we alternated the openings on each layer.
  • We “bumped out” the top with the bricks of width 2 to give our lantern a castle-like look
  • We happened to have special Lego pieces (conveniently, they were red) to use for hanging up our lantern, but you could arrange paper clips to serve the same purpose.
  • We “accessorized” the top of our lantern with Lego boy and girl mini figures
  • IMPORTANT: we used an electric tealight candle inside. This particular design would not work for real candles, since you would not be able to put a lighted candle into this lantern safely. Besides, I think the heat from the candle would damage Lego blocks.
Smarty was very pleased with how this second Lego Valentine lantern turned out. It is now hanging in her room.
Lego Lantern Dark 

Your Turn

Valentine's Day LEGO project

What have you and your kids built lately?

More Lego for Kids?

Here are some of my favorite Lego projects from Planet Smarty Pants:
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Ticia said...

My boys always build large scale wars. My daughter by contrast builds houses, farms, and such.

min said...

My daughter only creates modern architecture using mostly white legos. She's a minimalist already.

Anonymous said...

Mine just built a huge gold mine :D

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

It looks great with the light! I like how you let her try first, and then helped her brainstorm out improvements - nice process.