Kids love LEGO. Let’s be honest. Also, a lot of kids are home from school right now with parents who need to work remotely at the same time. Finding ways to (quietly) entertain kids is probably going to be difficult for a lot of us. So, with that in mind, when I came up with the idea based on my own kid’s recent “I wanted to do it, so I built it” intensity, I thought, “why not try to come up with a daily challenge while we’re all home?” Basically, if I have to write it up for myself and my kiddo, I then decided, “Well, I might as well share them on GeekMom so that if other parents want to use them, they can.” Using the show LEGO Masters , my previous interactions with LEGO Education, and what I know my kid learns in school as my inspiration, I designed this LEGO MiniMasters post series.
See previous MiniMasters posts:
LEGO MiniMasters 1: Ecosystem
LEGO MiniMaster 2: Community
What is Estimation?
If you need some resources, I found elementary level and middle/high school level sources so that you can refresh your kids’ memories or give them the definitions necessary.
This Khan Academy “2 Step Estimation” lesson is pretty fantastic for mid-elementary school level kids. Older kids probably already know what it is and how to use it.
You can take the suggested “measurements” and adjust according to skill level.
Design and Estimation Station: Directions for Kids
With this challenge, you need to design a space station out of bricks and Minifigures.
You need to tell a story about the space station such as why it was created or what it does in space – the story is only limited by your imagination!
Planning Phase for Designing an Estimation Station
The first 30 -40 minutes should be your planning phase.
Think about all the things you want in your space station. Including:
- Things you think need to be inside and outside the space station to tell your story
- Types of bricks you need
Estimate the number of bricks you need (you may want to draw a draft and think about what each part of the space station needs and the bricks you’ll use to build!)
Go get the number and type of bricks you estimated.
Add an additional 50 bricks of any shape and size.
Once you have all the bricks estimated plus an additional 50, you may not go back for more bricks.
Building Phase for the Estimation Station
This can take as long as you would like. We suggest 40-80 minutes depending on your kid’s age and complexity of the station.
Your build should include:
- The characters who live on the station
- The things the characters need in the station
- The space station itself
- Anything outside the space station that you wanted to include as part of your planning phase
If you do not have enough bricks to complete the planned build, you can change the design to create a finished build with the number of bricks you do have.
Parent Judging Criteria
- Does this look personalized or like a picture your child has seen?
- What makes this space station “yours”?
- Where is it located?
- How is the inside and outside of the space station decorated?
- How did you use the colors?
- How do the colors support the story?
- Does it have unique shapes?
- Was it sturdy enough to make it from the build location to the judging location?
- Were there any unique construction methods used? (Think, the shape of buildings, layout – anything that looks like the construction is creative)
- Height: the taller the structures on the build, the more the child has to plan
Estimation Station elements:
- Did the build use all the bricks?
- Did the child run out of bricks?
- How did the child re-assess the plan if they ran out of bricks?
- Does the build look “complete” even after making a change in design?
- How much of the story can the judge see on their own?
- What is the level of detail
- If Minifigures are used, are they “showing” part of the story by how they’re posed?
- Are there interactions between the different elements?
If you’d like to share your child’s builds in the comments – please do! We’d love to see them!