Ahhh yes, what tiny, brightly-colored plastic bricks can do for a house filled with children on a rainy day! Lego’s are simply a part of our family’s daily routine. Within a week or even a day, full civilizations are built and destroyed – sometimes not by the architect, which then leads to an outpouring of tears and the taking away of said bricks. So when we decided to plan a birthday party extravaganza, merging three summer birthdays, the natural choice for the theme? You guessed it… Legoland!
With a bit of collaborative planning, we decided that they would build cars and race them as a main activity. While the birthday kids were at camp, my oldest daughter & I trekked over to the mall to scope out ideas. I had figured that each could invite 4 friends and with the cousins & neighbors, we were soon up to 20 party favors! Ay Caramba! Well considering it was a merged party, the budget could go a little further on favors, so I was still optimistic… that is, until I quickly realized that the smallest Lego kit for a basic car with 70 pieces cost $5.99 each! Keep in mind that more than half of those pieces are no larger than a pencil eraser… and as you will recall, they are PLASTIC… Let’s compute, shall we?
20 sugared up party goers
x $6.35 the inflated price of each tiny plastic kit with tax included
= $127.00, the room spinning and Mommy seeing stars at the register
WRONG!!! There had to be a much, MUCH better way of working out this madness! We purchased one 1/2 priced birthday kit with favors for 10 kids, so I could rationally inspect the value once we got home and I had cooled my jets. An in-law purchased another birthday kit, so we were good on themed invites & little LEGO people. Then after more research at home, and pulling out the creative fairy wand ~ Hey! Desperate times, desperate measures!… I had the makings of Plan B ready for action! I was on a mission!… Project LEGO Lemonade was a go!!!
Fortunately, we have a LEGO store in our local mall, where we promptly formed an assembly line: Tire! Wheel! Axel! Sort, count, hand off… and I hovered over 2 tall bulk containers filling them ever so tightly… beginning with the microscopic pieces, then the larger base plates in the middle, round pieces, fill in with more micro pieces, tip, shift and settle… next layer… All of this on a Saturday no less! Other parents probably thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care… I was in the Zone! I lost count a few times, but at the end of it all, I had 2 full buckets ~ that the kindly sales people allowed me to tape the lids over for my final layers. Once we broke it all out over the kitchen table, we had just enough for 18 cars, then completed the other sets with like parts we had in the playroom! Reassessment computation…
2 plumply filled bulk Lego buckets x $14.89 for each container with tax included =
$29.78 + Mommy’s sanity restored… priceless!
In the week following, I instructed the kids to build basic cars, so I could determine how many remaining pieces we would need. With a coupon for a local toy store, it cost another $30 for a box of 650 basic bricks in the Builder of Tomorrow Set (6177), to complete the car kits. So as the adage goes: When the toy store gives you lemons, go to Plan B!…