Brick to school: portable LEGO ideas  

As your LEGO brick loving child returns to school, here are some ideas to make sure any LEGO bricks they take with them get there and back safely.

It’s a conundrum that parents have faced for many years – how do you fit LEGO bricks in a child’s backpack, making sure they are models small enough to fit into the palm of a child’s hand? In 2004, the LEGO Group had an answer. Enter the Creator 3-in-1 X-Pods, a selection of sets with 40-50 parts and a container that could be used for transporting and building. They were the perfect solution to this problem, though unfortunately, the X-Pod line ended in 2006 after two years of sets.  

X-Pod sets were the perfect way for younger children to play on the go – and a sound option for making sure the maximum number of parts made it home again. How can a parent help their child bring LEGO bricks to school and have the best possible outcome? Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, answers the call with some great ideas for some portable back-to-school fun.  

Replicate the X-Pod idea with plastic containers

If X-Pods got it right, so can you. A solid plastic container is a great option for messy backpacks filled with school lunches, loose papers, and binders. Depending on how many pieces you’re bringing, the container you choose should be the right size, (thankfully, it’s unlikely your child will be building something like 10307 Eiffel Tower during recess). Dividers can be useful, but keep in mind most children aren’t going to mind how well organised their pieces are once they’re on the table.  

Much like LEGO building itself, there’s a fine line between easy and challenging. It’s no different when talking about the containers – you want it to be robust and secure, but you don’t want removing the lid to be a gauntlet for their small fingers. A lid with a light clasp or a container with a sealable flap lid that doesn’t fully come off is a good start, but always consider your child’s age and manual dexterity when choosing a proper container.  

Use resealable plastic bags for little parts

Plastic baggies are a go-to for many Adult Fans of LEGO. They’re great for cataloguing and storing valuable minifigures and separating parts. Why should it be any different for a child? Choosing a resealable plastic bag comes easy to many parents, as they’re often used for sandwiches and lunch items as well. Focus on the ply (thickness and quality) of the plastic material, as well as the reliability of the seal.  

Small resealable plastic bags can even be put into the plastic Tupperware containers to add another level of security and lessen the chance of losing parts. It’s hard to recommend putting the plastic baggies full of LEGO parts into backpacks by themselves, unless they’re in a side pocket. They’ll get banged around and certainly dismantle the wonderous models your child dreams up.   

Upgrade your LEGO hobby! If you take out a subscription to Blocks, the monthly LEGO magazine, you’ll get each issue first and at a discount, plus other perks including a free digital subscription and the chance to win LEGO prizes every month.

Use LEGO portable containers or visit your local public library

If the ‘custom’ Tupperware or plastic bag ideas aren’t working, it may be worth trying some of the LEGO Group’s official answers. They’re practically identical to the ideas above but are good choices for those looking for a one-stop solution. 5006973 Sorting Box – Green includes built-in dividers and comes in a petite size at seven inches long, six inches wide and one inch deep. That’s small enough to fit in most backpacks. It also comes in red and blue.  

Note that there are some downsides to this – the dividers are moulded in place, so they are not adjustable and the case itself is too small to accommodate full builds or larger pieces. The next size up, 5006974 Sorting Box – Blue, can fit larger pieces, though younger children may have trouble fitting this 26cm wide case into their bags without assistance.  

Of course, if you’re fortunate to have a LEGO-themed afterschool club at your local public library, or as part of your child’s learning institution, you may be able to save yourself the hassle of hauling bricks altogether. Keep a look out for these – they’re great places for many children to learn, make friends and solve problems collaboratively – and they are often inexpensive or free, too.

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