Kids of all ages love playing with LEGO sets in varying degrees of complexity, and that means if you’re a parent, you might get used to having DUPLO or LEGO blocks around for a long time – sometimes even “grown-up children” love working on LEGO projects! It’s the perfect intellectually stimulating, hands-on activity that can evolve alongside your child. The upshot? You’ll probably be accumulating a lot of LEGO blocks over the years. And if you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO in your bare feet, you’ll understand the importance of having a great system for storing and organizing them. Follow the tips below and you’ll be able to wrangle your child’s collection no matter how large it grows!
1. Keep Sets Together
If you’re not a “dump every LEGO block you have into a ten gallon bin” kind of person – or if your child has one particular set that they enjoy building over and over – help your child stay organized by the set. When they’re done building their project and it’s time to disassemble, putting the LEGO bricks back in their original box is obviously the safest bet; the child will be able to see instantly what set it is when they pull it out down the line. However, cardboard boxes do get dog-eared, torn, or accidentally thrown out. In these instances, Tupperwear containers and Sharpees are your best friends. Put the set into its own individual Tupperwear, and clearly mark what it is.
2. Hang Onto the Instructions
On the subject of organizing by set, don’t throw out those instructions no matter how much your child feels s/he doesn’t need them anymore! Keep them in the box or Tupperwear with their original set, or get creative and put all instruction sheets in a binder where they can be readily accessed and safe from crunching. Our favorite method is to leave the instructions in the box, but take quick photos of them on your phone and file it away should you ever lose the hard copy.
3. Organize by Color
If your child is interested in more “free form” building and they’re happier with a pile of LEGO blocks than with a set, there are some fun and creative ways in which you can organize by color. Display a rainbow of LEGO toys in buckets or stack them on your child’s desk in clear containers. Here’s a clever use of magnets that arrange by color, with an effect that feels a little bit like walking into a candy shop.
4. For Smaller Children, Create a LEGO Mat
Many children attack a LEGO project by dumping the largest container of LEGO or DUPLO bricks they can onto the floor, leaving you to hunt around later for every last piece as you painstakingly usher the LEGO bricks back to their bin. Create a workaround by designating a blanket or tarp as the “LEGO mat.” Have them lay this down first and tinker around on top of it. When they’re done, cleanup is as easy as gathering the mat by the corners and using it to “funnel” the LEGO bricks back into a storage container.
5. Wash Larger Pieces in a Pillowcase in the Washing Machine
With all that hands-on activity, things can get a little germy sometimes. For any larger pieces – and especially for DUPLO bricks – the easiest cleaning solution is to put the bricks into an old pillowcase and throw the whole thing into the washing machine, set on a gentle cycle. This isn’t ideal for tiny or fragile pieces, but it’s a great way to periodically clean basic bricks and blocks.
6. Put Your LEGO Creations on Display!
If your child is extra proud of a particular project, there’s no need to disassemble it right away! This is particularly true of sets like LEGO Ideas, which are wonderful pieces of artwork unto themselves. Put the finished set on a shelf, in a shadow box, or even in a display case. Allowing your child to take pride in their work will encourage them to continue building and learning for years to come!