I may have mentioned that we have a few Legos lying around the house (here). Christmas added a few items to the collection and I was getting tired of all the houses, spaceships, starfighters, ninjas and pizza shops sitting on the built-in bookshelves. It added a cluttered feel to the living room. When they were all lined up neatly it didn't look too bad, but when I moved them all off the shelf during Christmas decorating I realized how much better it looks without them.
I decided that the kids needed a Lego table. They were setting up cities in the middle of the living room floor and it was getting dangerous to walk into the living room in bare feet. I've probably already invested more time thinking about, planning and executing my Lego storage solutions than most people but I did some more internet research and thinking about the best way to make a Lego table.
All my plans revolved around some surface onto which I could glue a bunch of Lego base boards. I have an extra coffee table but I decided that wasn't big enough. I thought about buying an unfinished table top at Lowe's and gluing the boards on that. It could be shoved under Jack's bed to move it out of the way or it could just be placed on top of an existing table. I looked into buying a used (bigger) coffee table on Craigs List. I thought about gluing boards onto their train table too. I searched Pinterest for "lego table" and saw all kinds of cute solutions.
I thought about all this for a good week. Then the Legos all over the living room got to me one day and I tentatively asked, "Do you guys want to turn your train table into a Lego table instead?" It was an enthusiastic response from both of them and we got to work. Actually, I got to work and they got to playing.
The train table is upstairs in our playroom and it's not really used all that often as a playroom. I was somewhat afraid that if I put all the Legos up there, they wouldn't play with them. But I reminded myself that we could always move them back downstairs if that was the case. Nothing was permanent.
The best part about this train table is that we bought it for $25 off Craigs List 2 1/2 years ago and that's a bargain for a train table that's held up as well as it has. Now that it is living it's second life as a Lego table it makes it even more of a bargain. I think Pat is no longer cursing me for sending him 30 minutes away to the "country" to buy it.
The original owners of the train table told us that train table had two sides to the top surface but that the one with roads, water and land was a little beat up. We've had it on the plain green side since we've owned it. We decided to flip the boards back over and the kids immediately arranged their buildings and space centers and cars within their new city.
It's been almost two weeks since we created our own Lego City up their and the kids have loved playing up there. Of course it requires that I spend a little more time up there too but that's actually been good for our laundry since the laundry room is beside the playroom. I fold and they do city things.
Oh, and it turns out it's totally not necessary to glue any Lego base boards down onto the table. Their bigger sets already come with bases and they enjoy just having a flat surface on which to drive the their cars.
There is also a big bookshelf in the playroom and it has more than enough storage for the sets that are rotating out of "city" duty, the Star Wars Legos that occasionally attack the city, their extra blocks and instructions.
So, here are some pictures...
Minutes after I put all these boxes back on the shelf the kids had pulled them out to create something else. I looked around the room that night and said, "Wow, this place is a disaster. We need to clean it up." Jack said, "No it's not...it's the Lego room! It's supposed to be like this."
They are both really happy up there. Jack continues to amaze me with how well he can follow the directions to put things together and his creativity in designing his own structures. Today he created his own castle complete with a drawbridge. Sometimes Jack likes to brag a little bit about how great he is at following the directions and how he can put anything together, but I put him in his place by reminding him that I am the only one who can put that X-wing back together when it falls apart again after 3 seconds of play. ;)
Casey is also starting to create her own structures and a few days ago she put something together all by herself by following the directions. I was very impressed.
Hopefully the newness doesn't wear off anytime soon, but I think this playroom will get a lot of use for the last few months that we have left in this house before our next move. (It has a future life as a man-cave for Pat, but that is years down the road when we return.)