Dec 7, 2009

Lego and hole punching card

It's been all over the intertoobs these last couple of weeks. My mate Gary sent me a link (thank you Mr G for keeping me festooned with valuable inspiration) Lego has teamed up with Muji to offer little kits that you can use to hole punch card and fit it neatly between lego bricks to build creatures and other interesting looking bits and bobs.
It's an absolutely great idea. I love the idea. It's got so many posibilities, but the actual kits they are offering are pretty limiting when you consider what you can accomplish on your own with some lego and a hole punch that you already have. Especially if you are in the habit of pilfering paint chips from Home Depot.

Really, this sort of thing is only going to appeal to small kids if they have maximum freedom of expression with it, rather than being limited to putting together small, pre-made kits (never mind that they are only available in Japan at the moment anyway).

The very afternoon that Gary sent me the link to these intriguing kits, me and my filth wizards sat down with our lego, paint chips and hole punch to see what we could create.


They did some cutting shapes and I did the hole punching to get the holes in the right places (our hole punch happens to be a bit bigger than the circular knobs on the lego, so it was fairly forgiving as far as accuracy goes, and I could just eyeball it.



We built a whole load of structures with the punched card and lego. One ended up being a kind of multi storey car park thingy.



Then I wondered if it would be easier to punch holes in larger sheets if I dabbed a stamp pad onto one of our lego base boards to get an imprint of where all the knobbles were to punch. This worked out pretty well, so I made a print out of a letter sized bit of paper showing punching guides that you can just cut out a shape and punch away.


Here's the template to print on some card if you want to try it out. Just click on the thumbnail to get the full resolution, and remember to not scale to fit page when printing, or you might get it printing out not at the right size to fit the lego.


We made some stairs using this...

Then I began to wonder about using the lego to act as a base to stand up cardboard characters for imaginative play and the possibility of making a kind of diorama.
I sat and asked the kids what characters they wanted to colour and cut out and drew them as they coloured. We ended up with monsters, robots, animals, aliens, spacemen and princess fairies, which I hole punched for them and they stuck lego bricks on either side of to stand them up.


Then the kids became interested in drawing their own characters and that's when the fun really began for me. I have a huge love of kid's drawings.




This rather displeased robot that my five year old drew just makes me grin from ear to ear!
My five year old wanted to make a backdrop, so she drew and coloured the hill with a rainbow and I hole punched and legoed it up so that it would stand on the table.
Gradually the kids kept making more and more things to go with the back drop and they all connected together with the lego to make a really cute little diorama doodad.

Yep, that's my two girls in the front there, as drawn by the big one.


We haven't started yet, but the next plan is to make a Christmas diorama in the same way, with santa, reindeer, trees, sleigh, snowmen and all that good stuff. This would also be a great way for kids to make their own nativity scene! The possibilities for them to take the products of their imagination into reality with this technique is very exciting. Probably for kids that are much older than mine (that are only three and five)as well!
UPDATE:
Thank you for all the kind words people have left in the comments. I thought I should pop in at the bottom here that I've scanned some of the festive diorama cut outs that I drew for the kids. If you would like to print, colour and punch them yourself they are right here. Enjoy!
Further Update:
More ideas for LEGO and hole punched card:

69 comments:

Kami@Nurturing the tender years said...

You are so ingenious! My boys are LEGO lovers, and this will add a whole new dimension to their building play. Thanks for the great idea!

Kit said...

That is really cool! Thanks for the inspiration!

maryanne said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I hadn't heard about the Lego-Muji collaboration, but I love your adaptation. I'm visiting my parents and plan to bring back my old legos for my kiddos, so we will definitely be doing this at our house!

Sue said...

I haven't seen this with Lego, what a great idea. My kids are a bit older but I'm sure they'll still enjoy it.

We have school holidays coming up soon so I have filed this in Evernote under stuff to do.

Thanks

CatWay said...

Cool! I hadn't heard this around the web, my oldest is really only just old enough to use Lego - but after he gets some at Christmas I'm going to try this, what a great new use for the basic Lego blocks.

jojoebi said...

I don't have a punch that fits the holes - tried that! we do have a muji/lego kit BUT the punches are all on back order so we are still waiting for that to arrive, I can wait to see what creations my little one comes up with. I love all the characters your girls made.

Kristine said...

That worked fabulously and really gave the kids a lot of freedom. I'm wondering whether our hole punch is big enough for duplo, particularly as there is very little duplo on the market currently in Australia due to the GEC.

Sonja said...

Could I just crawl into your brain and snoop around a bit? I can not wait for my little people to come home from school today! We are going to have so much fun with this. Thank you for sharing!

Jillian said...

I absolutely ador this, my two boys (5, & 8) will go crazy with this idea. Thanks so much for sharing I love your blog, you are just one of the most creative people I have ever come accross. I pilfer paint chips as well, I love that your crafts are always so inexpensive and recycle what we have. Thanks a ton!

Zonnah said...

I Love, Love, Love this! Thanks for the idea :)

Wendy Leow said...

Hello from Singapore!! I love your blog!! Thanks for all the great amazing ideas!!! My two girls are great fans..Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic!!! I can't wait to try it!

Vone said...

Love it - what a great idea. I will have to remember this idea when my kids start playing with small lego.

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

You are always so awesome & innovative. Everyone has been talking about how awesome the lego + punch idea is, but you're the first person to make it happen outside of Japan!! You rock!

amy said...

Awesome. We are absolutely trying this one out right away!

Jerri said...

Wow, you are amazing. This one won me over from enjoying your blog, all the way into impressed. Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas!

Sarah said...

This is AMAZING.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Wow, that is taking it to a new level!

:)

Shea said...

My kids and I wanna come live at your house. You have the coolest ideas!

amida said...

That is ingenious!

Erin said...

Wow, I never would have thought of this... Thanks!

Anonymous said...

WOW. This is the most awesome thing I've seen all day!! Such creativity -- makes me want to go out and buy LEGOs right now!

Stacy said...

Wow! That is the coolest idea ever! My head is spinning with all the possibilities in my preschool classroom....

Jimmie said...

How clever! I think that DIY is almost always better than purchased kits. For me, the whole point is creativity. Thanks for your freebies too.

Katherine said...

Thanks so much! This is one of those brilliant obvious ideas that is so great. We got out our hole punch right away, and it worked great.

M for Short said...

Still continuing with the brilliance. ANd again, it may not have been your original idea, but you take it to a whole new level. Keep it coming!!
PS: bought my girls the laces at Ikea last weekend. They are going to love it.

Cassi said...

This is brilliant! I was wondering if you would be able to make your own after I saw the Japanese version and now you've gone and done it!! Great job as always!

Donna said...

You are seriously the most imaginitive person I have run across! What a cool idea!

Jacqui said...

What a brilliant idea! I haven't heard of the Muji version so you get full credit in my mind :) We're just contemplating moving to the Lego proper for our 4 year old daughter and I think that the ability to have flowers etc. would really appeal to her. We have a Duplo set with flowers and leaves but I love the idea of just using paint chips and your hole punch much much better. That's the brilliant thing about Lego, well it used to be anyways, that it doesn't constrain your imagination by proscribing what things need to look like!

Wonder Mom said...

You are such an INSPIRATION for me! I have visited your site numerous times to gather ideas for my kiddos and their creative play.

We are giving our kiddos some legos for Christmas this year- I do believe I will now have to your templates for their play too!

Keep on being creative!

Sam said...

Wow! I'd seen this (on Craftzine?), and thought of trying it with a hole punch, but hadn't quite got round to it.
As I read your post, I was more and more excited - my boys will love it.

And then you mentioned a Nativity diorama! Brilliant :-)

Your festive drawings/printout is wonderful too. Thanks for sharing.

greeblygreebly said...

Brilliant! Thanks so much, we are snowed in here this week and I think we'll have a lot of fun with these.

Alisa said...

You are absolutely brilliant! I saw these kits and thought they were perfect for my Lego obsessed son, but your idea is even MORE perfect for him!
Thank goodness for creative and sharing people like you!

paula said...

Thank you for the inspiration! It's one of those epiphany moments that opens up a whole new creative venue! Awesome!!

Amy's Stocking Stuffers said...

This is fantastic! Thank you!

Decomom said...

Brilliant!! Simply brilliant - thank you for sharing this!!

uccellina said...

Ye gods, you're brilliant. I love it.

Marisa@make*happy said...

You're a genius! All we have are DUPLOs around here, but I think I have a big hole punch...

I'm so excited to try it!
I'm going to link to this on my blog, if you don't mind. :)

Lydia said...

thanks for the ideas - my son loves this and we are sharing your link with friends who love LEGO too

catinanapron said...

oh my gosh. this is really fantastic! my son is a HUGE lego builder and this will make it more fun for ME to play with him!!

thanks!!

photoJENic said...

This is probably the MOST fantastic and creative Lego idea I've ever seen! I'm telling ALL my twitter and Facebook friends to come read this post. FAB-U-LOUS!

Alison said...

Fantabulous!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My children use to just put paper on top then added legos to hold in place. No holes needed.

Anonymous said...

'twas brillig of you to get creative with this idea and run with it. So hard to believe we've all lived with Legos for so very long and not come up with this until now!

from snowy-bound in VT,
the Vermonster

Pollyanna said...

Wow! This is awesome!! My boys eat, sleep and dream LEGO! I am thrilled to have found your post. I am totally impressed with your creativity.

Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!!!!!

Anjenaette

tiziana said...

all of you are genius!!! i whant to remember this post when my baby will be grown up! excuse me for my bad english ... i'm from italy!!!

Angie said...

I'm going to have so much FUN with this.....hoping the kids will as well!

Tina @ Squirrel Acorns said...

I saw a post about these Muji kits a few days ago and was lamenting that they could only be purchased in Japan. I was having creative block with how to do the hole punching part to make our own. Thanks for the great inspiration!

Kristi_runwatch said...

what a FABULOUS idea!! Thank you so much for sharing your genius! :)

ModMomMuse said...

What a fantastic idea, and amazing adaptation. Love all the projects you all did together--thank you for the inspiration. We'll all go wild with this one!

Wish I'da thunk it up meself! ;-D

Tom. said...

That is a great idea! I think we will have a good time as a family art project.

Cheers.

mary said...

amazing, so simple and so cool. the kids artwork is great. so perfect for my girls.

Wife of the Pres. said...

Someone just sent me a link to this through my blog! OH MY GOODNESS! this is amazing!!! I can't wait to show this to our boys, They are lego fanatics! LOVE, LOVE this idea. Truly ingenious. We love to do dioramas as well. What a great way to actually get things to stand up. Amazing!!!!!!!

Wife of the Pres. said...

OK, I am totally blown away. I am inspired!!!! Raisin boxes, no way!!!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

What fantastic ideas for extending lego play, great work!

Gift of Green said...

THANK YOU!!!!!!! This is wonderful!!

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

I'd not yet seen this so I was totally blown away! :>) My brother and I could have built the world with this method when we were kids... I linked to this on my weekly roundup - thanks for sharing!

Care said...

Just had to let you know we created a little diorama at our house using this idea. Here's a link if you're interested:
http://obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com/2009/12/mini-christmas-scene.html

Thanks for sharing yet another genius idea!

Elizabeth said...

I am so incredibly amazed by this post and the other two you linked. I have forwarded the ideas on to another friend who is a Lego fanatic, and can't wait to try this with my son. He is a new initiate to Legos, and I think this is going to get us all excited to play with them. Thank you for such great creativity!

Regina said...

I'm teaching a "Lego Art" class for my city youth art festival. The kids have to leave their blocks at class for two weeks and I wanted something simple they could take home the first day. This is perfect thanks for sharing!!!!!

Clinton said...

Thanks for showing us that we could do this, and for the template. I just wanted to mention that I have made .pdf files of a LEGO (and DUPLO) hole grid for ease of printing at exactly the right size.

alljoinin said...

Hi I have made these and have popped a link to your blog on my blog http://alljoinin.blogspot.com/2010/04/lego-people.html

Anonymous said...

THIS IDEA IS BEYOND AMAZING. WE HOMESCHOOL, AND THIS WILL BE GREAT FOR WHEN WE STUDY DIFFRENT PERIODS OF TIME, OR OTHER AREAS. WE CAN MAKE PEOPLE AND OTER THINGS FRO THE TIME WE ARE STUDYING AND THE KIDS WILL HAVE AN INTERACTIVE PLAYSET TO GO WITH IT.THE HISTORY COLORING BOOKS ARE GOING TO TAKE ON A WHOLEN NEW MEANING. ALSO, YOU CAN DO WHOLE STORIES FROM YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS. LEENA

aurore said...

Hello,
I'm french, and I really love what you do ! You have really good ideas for children !
Kiss

Ms. Huis Herself said...

Oh, this is so cool! We did some today, but I just wanted to mention we took some full-length photos (including one in costume from dance class!) and did the whole punch in the bottom so that we could have REAL PEOPLE as playthings. They're stiff enough & the wallet-size photos are just the right size for playing. Thanks for the awesome ideas!

Granola Funk Mama said...

Wow, how neat! thanks for the inspiration!

Jo-Anne said...

Hi, I love this and would love to use it with my Son in the future. I have a lot of trouble with hard drives and I now use Pinterest to save all the pages I want to find again. Would you be OK with me pinning your Lego Post?

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful and it adds a new dimension to lego play.Thanks a ton...and keep up the good work.

Elaine said...

Thank you, this is just fabulous! I can't wait to try this out. Can you tell me what size hole punch you used? And please could you post patterns in A4 too, for the UK?