Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quest #24 - Illumination

What effect does light have on your LEGO creation?

Create anything you like, but think about how you will illuminate this design.

Does it glow in the dark?

Is there a light source inside the structure, so it has an internal warmth, like a house?

Are you lighting your creation like it's a fine piece of artwork?

Are you decorating your creation with lights?

What did you do to illuminate your creation and why?

Here are all the illumination designs other kids from around the world made for this challenge.

Cityscape Photos

by Tyler, age 7, Minnesota, USA.

"He really wanted to make each individual building a single solid color so that they would stand out better from one another. He did not want to scale it down. When we took the photo we could see he was indeed right. They kind of merge into one another."

This is a dynamic construction. I love the layering of the three buildings and the different architectural elements that set each structure apart. I'm really glad you didn't use a solid color for each building! This way looks like many different floors with lights on and off. The subtle reflection of the buildings on the table top are reminiscent of a cityscape being reflected in a body of water. Wonderful!

by Josh, age 5, Minnesota, USA.

"Wants to pretend that his city scape is a sky scraper even though it is very small. Tyler says to a germ, it is a sky scraper."

Very nice. I love the tapered construction you used and the multi colored bricks. Your design also has a nice reflection cast on the table top making this grand building look like it sits on a river bank. And yes, this would indeed be a skyscraper to a germ!

by Aaron, age 5, Tucson Arizona, USA.

"This is Downtown Phoenix and the green building in the center is the Arizona Science Center. It has four stories just like the real one. I made it like a map so you can see it from the side or above."

Great low profile construction! I love the maze like design. Interesting that you used a lot of flat pieces, they do a great job of mapping out building location and street space. Very nice!

by David H, age 10, London, Ontario, Canada.

"This is Toronto, where the CN Tower stands. The Rogers Centre is next to it, where the Toronto Blue Jays play - MY TEAM!!! I've been there twice to watch a game, and both times they did great!!!"

Wonderful construction of the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre, they both look so realistic! I love that you built big and I especially liked your attention to detail in the background. Nice sky like backdrop!

by Cole, age 4, Nova Scotia, Canada.

"This is a pirate standing on the gate of the city. The city is called Pirate Ocean Fort."

Wonderful gate into the city! It really reminds me of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. This makes a perfect lookout point for this serious looking pirate. I love that you photographed this creation outside, that looks like the vast gardens behind the gate.

by Reece, age 8, Nova Scotia, Canada.

"This is a cityscape. There are three buildings and a swimming pool. The people going out on the thin brick diving board are divers. The person in the white and red is the life guard. There is one person in the water. The other buildings show other people getting a better view."

Fabulous! I love your LEGO people, they are a simple, yet ingenious design! Great varying heights of your buildings and the addition of the swimming pool creates such a fun place. I think your monotone color scheme works very well with this design.

by Nathan, age 10 and Jonathan age 6 Cincinnati, OH USA

"We made our cityscape around a park. There is a school, sidewalk and a pool. We made the cityscape a place where people would want to work, play, and relax."

This is a city I would like to live in! What great urban planners you both are! You've created a gathering place of green space to enjoy the beauty of nature, while still being able to work, learn and play. Brilliant!

by Maya, age 5, Oakland, Florida, USA.

"Dinosaur City."

A city for Dinosaurs, how cool! I love all the little details, like the rope ladder, the rainbow and all the wonderful foliage for them to eat. You're created a magical place!

by Eric, age 7, Oakland, Florida, USA.

"The City of Stilts. This city takes pride in their elevated, urban, rooftop green spaces."

Wow, this is one of the coolest cities I have ever seen! Those rooftop gardens are beautiful and do so many good things like provide habitat for the wildlife and temperature control for the people in the city. This is such a compelling design, I love the stilts! The fact that cars and people can walk under the buildings is brilliant.

by Adrienne, age 13, South Western Ontario, Canada.

"This a city block I invented with a white hospital building in the centre."

I love the different shapes and designs you used for each building. I think the individual colors for each building really enhanced this construction. Very dynamic to have such varying heights in each creation. Compact, yet detailed.

by Tinky, age 7 and The boy, age 7, Michigan, USA.

"The kids built their own city. It has a clock tower, gas station with drive in parking for cars, and a Police station. This is one compact city."

Compact indeed. This is a metropolis! I can almost hear to buzz of this fast paced city. I think the combination of DUPLO and LEGO worked very nicely together. It gives a sense of scale to each building. The DUPLO worked perfectly to create the effect of the tops of buildings.

by Austyn, Age 6.5, Ontario, Canada.

"We are suppose to be going to Toronto so that I can see sky scrapers up close. My Mom showed me a picture of Toronto on the internet so I made the CN Tower and the rest of the city I made after that. The CN Tower is my favourite because for many years it was the tallest free standing structure in the world and it's Canadian."

This is a great aerial view of Toronto. I love all the tall building shapes and the streets way down below, between the structures. I feel like I'm in a helicopter, looking down. Your placement of each structure seems random, yet planned making this look so much like a real city. The CN Tower you've created is awesome, I hope you enjoy seeing it in person!

by Wesely, age 6, Greenville, South Carolina, USA.

"This is called Dog City. There's all kinds of dogs hidden in there. You enter the city by going across the water under the yellow archway."

Great, highly detailed city construction. I love the addition of all the hidden dogs! Be sure to click on the photo to see it enlarged to help you find all the dogs. I see the stepping stones to cross the water under the cool bridge, and is that a zip line!? There are so many interesting elements to this creation it begs for a long look at it.

by Patrick age 13, Ryan age 11, and Brendon age 9, Lockport, Illinois, USA.

"This Lego City was created one day while I was sick and couldn't homeschool them. It took them about 4 hours. The train runs through the city."

Totally fantastic, elaborate, industrial looking city. Nice collaboration you three did! There is so much happening here with tons of detail make sure you click on the image to see it larger. I do really enjoy the juxtaposition of the natural green space with large bodies of water right next to the industrialized train station.

by Tal, age 11, Southern California, USA.

"Title: Tal's City
A small city with a population of 250, there's a business district and a residential district. And there's even a REALLY BIG park. I designed mini Lego cars especially for this quest. You can also see some interesting architecture. Done in Lego Digital Designer."

This is a sophisticated urban design! The vast green space that meets the residential area and then merges into down town is so interesting. Your LEGO car design is simple and smart and some of your tall structures are so unique! Love the backdrop you used in Digital Designer, reminds me of the Canadian Rockies.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quest #23 - Cityscape

A cityscape is the urban equivalent of a landscape.

Design a cityscape out of LEGO. It can be a city or town that you know, or a mysterious, made up place. I'd love to hear about your city, so include a little description about it when you send in your photo.

Here you can see what other kids from around the world created in response to this challenge.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week Off

I am on holidays this week, so stay tuned for Quest #23 coming your way on July the 20th.

Is there a LEGO challenge you'd like to see happen? Send me your idea and we might just do it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Storage System Photos

These are some ingenious, creative storage solutions for the overwhelming chaos that LEGO can create. I am not commenting this week, I think the pictures and explanations are enough, and each person's storage area is what works best for them. Hope you leave with some great ideas.

Austyn, age 6.5, Ontario, Canada.

"Our Legos are stored on the top bunk of his bunk bed. We had a board cut to fit on the top bunk and placed it there instead of a mattress. All of the Legos are organized by shape and when there are too many they are put in different drawers by colours. You can't see it in this picture but there are separators in some drawers to accommodate more pieces of different shapes. We placed a tray beside the large storage drawers so that he can place any loose pieces there until they can be sorted again. Eventually I'd like to print off labels with pictures of different Lego pieces for the front of each the drawer."

Sebastian, age 11, California, USA.

"Really all I can say is that I just pile them in randomly. I have a lot and that's the only thing big enough to hold them all. I'm kind of lazy, so I don't really care about organizing them. Normally I can find the pieces I need. I keep the ones that I really really like in my desk drawer. Right now I only use Lego for animation."

Tyler age 7, and Josh age 5, Minnesota, USA.

"The blue bin is filled to the rim with your general legos. The Creator or Star Wars or other lego packs are in there own bin. My 5 year old still loves to put the Creator series (the 3 in 1) together by following directions. We have the blue three ring binder that has plastic sleeves inside to hold all of the individual instructions. Sometimes they do get mixed up, but for the most part they are in the correct containers. I still am heavily involved in finding the pieces for my 5 year old so I don't like having them all mixed up. I have had visions of little drawers with all of the pieces stored by size, color, etc. but I know that they would all wind up on the floor and leave me even more frustrated."

Simon, age 7, Saskatchewan, Canada.

"We use 4, three drawer 8x10 paper compartments. As you can see, one for each color. One of the drawers is used for building manuals, one for people and misc. strange parts, one for wheels and windows, the rest sorted by color. On the top we use two vintage suitcases to store all the Bionicle parts. We used to have it all in a pile, or one large container, but it overwhelmed Simon and he didn't ever feel the urge to create. Once we organized it all, it was like he could finally see how easy it was going to be to do what he wanted to."

Jonathan age 6 and Nathan age 10, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

"We store our LEGOs in drawers by model and keep our finished models on shelves."

Phoenix, age 8, Coastal North Carolina, USA.

"Here is our new Lego storage-- super simplified and our best toy solution yet! Everything goes into the 14x14 green box with smaller containers inside to hold the sets lil man want to keep separate (but mostly everything gets thrown in together). The box is bigger than it looks and holds a lot. A big ziplock bag for instruction booklets stores inside, also. When not in use pushes straight into shelf for a less cluttered look (makes mom happy)."

Reece, age 8, Nova Scotia, Canada.

"This is our Lego system. Reece likes to have all of his kits completely assembled. He stores them on his shelf in his room. The additional, non-kit, Lego is stored in Ziploc baggies according to colour. There is also one bag for odd shaped pieces. This system works fairly well except for a certain sibling who constantly removes these items and takes them apart!"

Keira age 4 and Finnegan age 6, Saskatchewan, Canada.

"We have two bins that are ostensibly for the storage of the lego-duplo-quatro. There is no other sorting of any sort. It is a rare occasion that more than 50% of the lego is actually IN either of the bins - it is most often spread out throughout the house (mostly on the floors or in beds!!) as part of one partially built project or another or mixed into bins with other toys (and usually the "lego bins" are half full of assorted and sundry playmobil items... this is a rare sight indeed - bins of purely lego products - but that is because we just had one of our semi-annual toy sorts last week)."

Aaron, age 5, Tucson, Arizona USA.

"I have a Lego table in the kitchen. I have 4 bins for my Legos and 3 small drawers. The drawers are for men, wheels and black fences. I sometimes sort the rest of the legos by color and size."

Jackson, age 7, Georgia, USA.

"Jackson stores his Legos in a rolling scrapbook cart. We originally stored the Legos in a plastic bin, but soon outgrew that. A friend of ours was using a scrapbook cart for workboxes in her homeschooling and I knew when I saw it that it would be perfect for our Legos. We bought ours at Michael's craft store when we had a 50% off coupon. We like that it rolls, the bins are clear and small enough to sort through, and each box has a snapping lid. Funny enough, we were on lego.com the other day and we saw they are selling their own version of same thing for about $55.00."

Evil Mad Scientist Organization of 1x8 flat plates.

Check out the Evil Mad Scientist website on how to organize your LEGO bricks. It's pretty amazing stuff and they show how to organize every type of LEGO piece! (thank you Alex!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Storage System

What kind of storage system do you have for your LEGO?

Is it organized by color in separate compartments?

Is it organized by type of piece?

Is it in a huge pile all over the floor, so there is nowhere to walk without damaging your feet?

What works for you and your building style?

I have been interested in seeing photos of how other kids keep all their LEGO and recently got an email asking if I wouldn't mind posting this question so her and her kids could get ideas.

I would love to see all the different styles of storage and I'm sure everybody else would like to see too, (even if it is strewn from wall to wall all over the floor).

Send photo submission, with name, age and location of child to lego.quest.kids@gmail.com and be sure to tell me why your type of LEGO storage system works for you!

Submissions due Monday, July 12th, no later than 6pm PST.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Display Your Art Photos

by Nathan, age 10, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

"I made a origami dog. I decided to display him in front of a dog house and yard."

Fantastic origami dog, great brown markings on his face and nose! This is a very cool house and yard for him to play in. I love all the little details like the ball, the shrubs and flowers and the random other things that dogs drag into their space to play with. Wonderful scene you've created.

by Lucy, age 4, Wisconsin, USA.

"I made a giraffe frame and a picture to match."

I love how you used a large green base and attached all sorts of interesting LEGO bricks onto it to make your frame. You made the perfect space for your artwork to sit in. The 3-D effect created by having varying heights of brick on the outer edge of the frame is so interesting! Great choice of colors to compliment your awesome water-colour Giraffe!

by Finnegan, age 6, Saskatchewan, Canada.

"Four-headed monster. We did a 'weaving' artsy-craftsy project at the Summer String Experience this morning - the kids decided to build displays for their projects."

Fantastic weaving! I love how tangled together the twigs and ribbons are. It looks as though the yarns actually grows on this tree. The DUPLO display you made for your sculpture seems like a vase, proudly displaying these interesting branches.

by Keira, age 3, Saskatchewan, Canada.

"Originally it was just called 'weaving', but since Finnegan started referring to HIS as a four-headed monster, Keira has started referring to it as a 'princess'."

I love this sculpture, it looks as if it was made from found objects. The twigs and various ribbons remind me of a birds nest. The DUPLO bricks are a cool juxtaposition in their brightly colored plastic next to the naturalness of the sticks. Do you have a dog? Are those teeth marks I see on the one green brick?

by Sophie, age 5, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Who lives in a pineapple, under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! I love this painting, I see SpongeBob holding his net, Patrick with a funny hat also holding a net to catch jelly fish with, Gary and SpongeBob's pineapple house. The blue LEGO frame makes it feel like water and all the accessories on the frame tie the artwork together with the mounting perfectly.

by Lennon, age 10, Ontario, Canada.

"Lennon framed a picture of various water Pokemon he drew."

Those are quite superb Pokemon drawings! This clean, straightforward construction of your frame keeps the viewers attention on the artwork. Interesting how you used flat pieces every now and then to hold the frame together for added strength. Very smart.

by Faenin, age 5, Ontario, Canada.

"Faenin framed a picture he drew of the Pokemon Zapdos."

Beautiful drawing of Zapdos! You've captured the spiky wings and your color choices make him even better. Your framework colors are eye-catching and compliment your drawing so well pulling the viewers eye back and forth between the art and the frame.

by Phoenix, age 8, North Carolina, USA.

"The picture frame has two hinges to hold the photo. It has a hinged prop on the back to help it stand up."

Brilliant! This looks like the back of a digital camera. I love how the whole creation is propped up at the back, like a tabletop picture frame. There is some ingenious designing going on here. The two hinges on front are so smart as picture holders. Great portrait, is it you by any chance? I bet you could sell these creations! Everyone loves frames and this one is very unique.

Aaron, age 5, Tucson, Arizona, USA

"The art is behind the door. You open the door to see it. I made the picture just for this project. There are two guards guarding the art."

How fabulous that you have to open the LEGO door to see your artwork. This has a whimsical feel and reminds me of 'lift the flap' books with their hidden pictures. Very smart to size your artwork to the specifications of your LEGO design. This must be an important coloring, since it is being guarded so well.

by Tyler, age 7, Minnesota, USA.

Clever picture holder! Is the painting being pinched between two LEGO bricks? This creation seems to be a sculpture and a frame all in one, both equally artistic. I am loving your painting, and wish I knew more about it, the bright happy sun, the hint of the sky. Is that a tree and a house?

by Grace, age 11, Southeastern, USA.

"Grace loves to draw dragons, so she picked one of her drawings and framed it with a frame that looks like a castle."

This is a super cool connection made between your artwork and your LEGO design. They compliment each other perfectly! The castle construction alone is awesome, a great fortress. But putting the picture of a dragon inside the castle makes a rich, interesting, unexpected story.

by Ronin, age 4, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA.

"A shadow box made from LEGO with a tiny picture of a rainbow inside."

Simply perfect. This tiny treasure is charming and helps to highlight the cute little rainbow artwork you made. Reminds me of a keepsake because of it's miniature size. Adorable.

by Hunter, age 6, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA.

"LEGO magnets which are displaying his Wall-E and EVE picture on a metal strip in our living room. He built small blocks and then attached adhesive magnetic strips to the back."

Awesome drawing of WALL-E and EVE. The green embellishments around the drawing are a nice addition. Your LEGO magnets are so smart! I'm impressed by your process of attaching adhesive magnetic strips to the bricks making your own magnets. The black and while color motif of your LEGO design are like the Yin-Yang symbol, and describe WALL-E and EVE's complimentary opposite relationship perfectly!

by David H. age 10, London, Ontario, Canada.

"I made the string art at our homeschool co-op. I have police officers guarding it because it's worth 4 million dollars and it's very special!!"

What a fantastic, high security barricade you've made. It frames your art creation perfectly and makes an interesting, intense story of expensive art and the protection of it. I love that the guards are on the first level and the string art is elevated, showing it's importance. Your string art looks very complex, like a spider's web.

by Eli, age 6, Dayton, Minnesota, USA.

"This is called 'the boat man' (a boat/ship for Captain Jack (paper art))."

Your LEGO art display is not only displaying your lovely paper art, but is also an important part of your total creation of 'the boat man'. It all works together so well. Captain Jack looks like an interesting fellow.