A Lego Party

Inspired by our recent visit to Legoland, my eldest son asked for a Lego party to celebrate his 11th birthday. In a moment of madness, I agreed to having 12 boys in total, which was rather chaotic. It was nice to see my son invite boys of ranging ages. Not being in school, he plays quite happily with children much younger than himself and, if he knew they liked Lego, they were in! In reality this proved challenging, as the ages ranged from 5 up to 12, and not all the boys were as into Lego as my three, so concentration and creativity were sometimes lacking. However, my boys assure me they had a good time, and I hope their guests did too.

We had fun the week before the party, painting team banners and baking cupcakes which we decorated with Lego bricks made of coloured icing. I always enjoy making the boys' birthday cakes, and the requested Lego minifigure cake was duly constructed and iced.

When the boys arrived, we split them into four teams, for whom they collected points throughout the afternoon. Each team had their own zone and banner with a box of assorted Lego bricks.

For the first game, they sat in a circle with Lego in the centre. Each boy chose 4 bricks which they had to piece together, they then passed their models round to the left and the next person had to add two bricks. After half a minute or so, they passed to the left again and so on. When the models had gone once around the circle, we looked at the creations and the boys had to tell us what they thought 'their model' could be. This game was a great hit.

I had a box into which we had put folded up scraps of paper on which were written things to try and build ... a spaceship, a fast car, something scary, an insect ... At various points in the party, I would ask a boy to choose a piece of paper and we would give each team five minutes to come up with the best model they could, which would then be judged with 4 points for the best model, 3 for the second, 2, 1. This was quite good for moments when we needed to calm things down or provide a focus.

Another game involved each team trying to build the tallest free-standing tower they could in five minutes. We then measured each tower and awarded points to the teams in order of success as explained above.

Kim's Game is another one I like for calming things down. I put 12 pieces of Lego or Lego related items on a tray and gave the boys a minute or so to study the tray really carefully. They then had to go into their teams and try to write down as many items as they could remember. All teams did really well, recalling all twelve items, but the youngest team (with help scribing) were the fastest.

We had a Spinjitsu battle, with each team customising their spinner and choosing their Ninja. This was very popular and we pitted each team against each of the others in turn to find the champion. The boys in each team took turns to spin. Another good game involved setting up Lego minifigures like skittles (10 pins). The boys had to try and knock down as many as possible using a marble which they rolled down a piece of car racetrack. Each team member got to bowl once for their team, and they scored a point for each minifigure knocked over.

We had a jar which I had filled with Lego pieces and we asked each team to guess how many were insider, with points (4,3,2,1) awarded according to whose guess was the closest.

We also attempted to play Lego Creationary (the board game) but there were too many boys, some of whom were not really engaged, so we cut that one short. It is a good family game for Lego fans!

We added up all the scores, and awarded a Lego cup, made by my 6 year old to the winning team. Then it was time for burgers and chips, cupcakes, hot chocolate and fireworks. And the piece de resistance - the birthday cake. The boys went home with a piece of cake, a small chocolate treat and a Lego minifigure and builder's kit / certificate, which I got as a job lot (here). A Lego fan's dream!