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Monday, September 3, 2012

Build a Free LEGO Set

Some boys are really into Super Heroes. Some love construction vehicles, trains, and cars. Right now my boys are devoted to Legos, especially my five-year-old. He has a sticker chart for keeping dry pants, getting dressed by himself, being a good listener, et cetera. When he reaches 50 stickers, he gets a prize. Lately, he waits until he has 100 stickers so he can get a prize from the Lego Store (since those cost more than the usual prizes we buy).

While picking up one of those prizes, I received the Lego Store calendar for August and learned about their free monthly LEGO Mini Model Build. On the first Tuesday of every month, starting at 5 p.m., the first 250 kids get to build a Lego creation in the store, and take it home. For free. August featured a shark, so we decided to check it out.

We arrived at Eastview Mall at 4:30 p.m., and used Entrance 4 - between Sears and JCPenney - and proceeded straight into the Main Court. The line was already out to Eddie Bauer. Yikes!

I stayed in line and handed the kids my iPhone so they could sit on the side and watch Looney Tunes on YouTube. Around 4:45, one of the LEGO Store employees came out with cards and handed one to each child in line. The card is your "ticket" to the Mini Build, and when they run out of cards, they will be out of free sets for the event. There is a picture of the completed project on one side of the card, and a list of all the necessary pieces on the reverse side. Here are my boys with their cards.
At 5 p.m., the LEGO Store employees direct groups of card-holders into the store to build their free creations. There are three tables that hold six builders each; once the table is finished, they exit and a new group is brought in. Each group takes about ten minutes in the store, so this means more waiting. We finally got in the store and to a table around 6 p.m.

The next ten minutes flew by, and I wasn't able to get any photos while the kids were building. Each table has an instructor and six plastic bins with the pieces needed for that project. The kids show their cards and the instructor marks each one (so it cannot be used again), and the kids get to keep their card. Then the instructor will show everyone how to make the project.

The instructor will tell them which pieces to take out and how to assemble them, step by step, until everyone completes the project. I helped both of my kids the whole time, and finally got a second to document their sharks at the very end.
When we left, the line was still all the way out to the mall entrance doors. It was almost 6:30 and those people probably still had another hour and a half before they got into the store. The store employees still had cards available, so they were not going to run out of shark sets, but it was definitely a question of time.

The next Mini Model Build set is an owl and is happening tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4th at 5 p.m. This is completely free; no purchase necessary. The owl set cannot be purchased and is available to children ages 6-14* who attend the event. *NOTE: There were plenty of kids under 6 - including my boys - who attended and built the shark without a problem. There just needs to be a parent or an adult helper with them.

I'm still not sure if we'll be attending to build the owl, since it's the first day of Kindergarten for my older son. But if you plan on going, here my recommendations:

  • be sure everyone uses the potty before heading to the mall
  • arrive by 4:30 (or slightly earlier) 
  • bring snacks (no drinks; you don't want to have to leave your spot in line to use the potty)
  • bring simple activities - crayons & coloring books, hand-held games, playing cards, etc.
Happy building! And as always, thanks for reading.

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