JUN
09
2013

LEGO Education–Simple Machines Kit

Hi everyone! I don’t know about your kiddos, but mine can barely wait until summer break…

Then about five minutes into our first day of break…

They’re bored.

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Of course we do all of the normal fun summer stuff like trips to the swimming pool, bike rides, park days, and picnics. But what about those days when you just don’t feel like going anywhere?

I have the perfect solution, and best of all it’s educational!

You know.

Because I’m a homeschooler.

And I like stuff that’s educational.

Especially when it’s like “sneaky educational”, where they are learning and don’t even realize it because they’re having so much fun!

I stumbled onto the LEGO Education website a few months back and I’m so excited I could just scream.

Don’t worry. I won’t.

But seriously, these kits are so incredibly cool! I mean seriously fun, I even joined in on the fun when we received the Simple and Motorized Mechanisms Base Set for review.

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Disclosure: I am a blogger for LEGO Education and received this product free for review on my website. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by the free product provided. We absolutely LOVE LEGO Education and can’t say enough about how cool this program is!

 

The Simple and Motorized Mechanisms Base Set comes in a handy storage box like the one shown above, and inside there are two compartments for pieces.The LEGOs all come in bags like normal, unfortunately they aren’t organized together by compartment which would have been a LOT easier for us to sort.

But it’s okay, we managed to get them all separated after a bit. And they do provide you with a picture that shows where all of the pieces should go to make them easier to find during the building process. It also helps when putting pieces away later.

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When you lift out the top tray, you’ll find another tray for larger items such as motors, wheels, and wind materials.

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The kit also comes with several books on to help your student build. It contains 396 LEGO Technic elements and full building instructions for 10 principle models and 18 main models. The books are labeled as “Book A” and “Book B”. At first I wasn’t sure why this was, however after talking with the LEGO Education specialists, they told me it was so two students can build together. Each one builds a certain portion of the creation on their own, then they come together and work as a team to put their pieces together to form the final creation.

It’s a great way to work on not only individual logical thinking skills, but also helps students learn to work as a team!

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We’re actually going to use this kit with a co-op group. We’ve previously done a LEGO Club where all of the kiddos created a themed project, then came together and did a small presentation on their project. Instead of continuing with that, we’re going to get together and go through the LEGO Education Simple and Motorized Mechanisms set.

You can use the kit alone, or purchase the Simple & Motorized Mechanisms Activity Pack separately which has all of the lesson plans written out for you. It’s literally a whole curriculum if you’d like to make this program into a more formal unit which we will do for next year. Here is how LEGO Education describes this kit:

“Using the activity pack, students will investigate the principles of simple machines, mechanisms, and structures; experiment with balanced and unbalanced forces and friction; measure distance, time, speed, and weight; and much more. The activity pack comes in a three-ring binder and provides 30 lessons featuring 37 principle model activities; 14 main activities, each with extension activities; and six problem-solving activities. Also included is a CD-ROM with teacher’s notes, student worksheets, and glossary.”

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Of course Turbo was ALL OVER this kit when it got here, so there was no way I could ask him to wait until next year’s co-op! And actually since we’ve received it I’ve found him creating all kinds of cool things using the kit. I think the best part are the addition of motorized elements that make it so cool.

After going through a few of their lessons, I found him creating his own machine which was really cool. He definitely had to use some skills to figure out how to create space for the gears and motor, while allowing room for tires so the thing would actually move.

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Here is a video we made of a few of Turbo’s creations using this kit: LEGO Education Video: Simple &  Motorized Machines Base Set.

 

Here is an up close of one of the crane’s Turbo made. I don’t know if you can tell but it’s rescuing a LEGO guy from eminent danger.

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And here is his Dog. As you probably saw in the video, it moves it’s mouth and tail.

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They also sent us this fun calendar which Turbo normally updates for us.

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Want more information on LEGO Education? Click any of the links below! They have products for all different grade and skill levels!

 

Disclosure: I am a blogger for LEGO Education and received this product free for review on my website. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were not influenced by the free product provided. We absolutely LOVE LEGO Education and can’t say enough about how cool this program is!

 

This post is part of my Summer Boredom Buster Series, click below to see more ideas!

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This post is part of a 5 day long hopscotch, visit iHomeschool Network to see what our other bloggers are doing!

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Comments

  1. Erica,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this post! I had no idea that such a thing existed and am thrilled with the possibilities for our family!

  2. I just found these over the weekend. They are amazing! What a great idea from Lego to encourage science, engineering, and creativity. I plan to purchase these for my son when he gets a little older as he is just starting to enjoy Legos. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Andrea Gardner says:

    Great post! We love Lego Education also!

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Erica. My 8 year-old has been asking for Erector set stuff… but I actually think this sounds like a better fit for us! So nice to get you’re email about it this morning.

  5. Lizzie Ater says:

    These are so cool and I was excited to see Duplo sets too! My son is five so he still has some trouble getting the small ones together. I just wish priced cheaper, but it seems that is my wish with most things!

  6. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! My son is turning 9 next week and I’ve been stumped as to what gift suggestions to give the grandparents. He loves Legos and these are PERFECT!!!! I can’t wait for him to open them. :)

  7. Sabrina L says:

    I just discovered Lego Educational at the Florida Homeschool Convention a few weeks ago. Way cool! I can’t wait to use these with my kids one day. Right now they are too young for the machines kits and stuff. They have younger stuff too but still need to wait another year maybe.

  8. Thank you so much for the thorough review! I have been wondering about getting these for my 7 year old son. We have the calendar too! It’s always nice to review the month and play with legos at the same time.

  9. As I make our list of summer activities, I’ll consider adding Lego Education products. Thanks for this post and thanks for this blog.

  10. Lego is the most fantastic product ever made – according to my children anyway. We have recently been exploring the ‘WeDo’ and ‘NXT’ robotics sets with great success. I’m constantly amazed by the creativity which is shown by my children when they are mixed with lego!

  11. My little guy will be 4 in a couple of months. Recently there has been a Lego craze in our house! We have been to LEGOLAND twice (we have a Preschool Pass) and he has started to make his own creations. I don’t mind buying Legos for him, because I know that it is a great investment and will be used for quite a while.

    Now, if I can just figure out how to organize these Legos to keep this Momma sane! It’s a work in progress! Thank you for introducing me to LEGO Education. That is a great program and they have some products that I have not seen before!

  12. Patty Deiters says:

    I was all about this until common core was mentioned. If you do not know about common core please look into it. Even with our kids out of the school system it is getting into homeschool and private school systems

    My boys will still love to do this

  13. Hello there I have a couple of question for whom ever to answer I am praying about what to use with my son next year he will be in 4th grade very smart child and could be challenged. Is this a core cirrculum or is it something to add to your science or math cirrculum. I need some help ladies .
    Thank you cathy

    • Beth Fleming says:

      Hey i would add it to something. It is a great add on or just extra for science and thinking. Have you looked at Apologia for science? Hands down it is awesome. They also have a notebook that goes along with the textbook for the activities. Great great resource for science.

  14. This kit has been on my wishlist for awhile. Hoping to be able to purchase it this year. I was curious about using it in a co-op setting. It doesn’t seem to have a lot of parts. Would you mind elaborating on how you were hoping to use it? Would every child have their own set, or do you think it’s possible to somehow share in the creation?

  15. I’m curious about you using it in a co-op setting as well. I’m looking into it and it looks like you’d need one of those sets for at least each group of 2 kids, am I right? That would put it out of our price range a bit. :)

    • Beth Fleming says:

      I have been in a co-op as a helper when they have used the sets. It was the duplo size blocks for that group as I think it was K5. There were 2 groups of kids and each team had 4-5 kids in it. They had to work together as a team. It does get a little dicey but part of the benefit of slightly larger groups is more the team work. You WILL have 1 or 2 who just get it and take over….they have to learn they cannot. you will also have some who are quietly lost…..the other kids have to learn to pull that child back in. There will be ones who can always see what it wrong with how it is built and not working…but they are too quiet to speak up….. the helpers need to observe all of these things and step in and teach the kids how to work together as needed. THEN you will have the creative souls….who chuck all the directions and want to come up with something different.:0 Usually if time permitted once it was built and “working correctly” and checked by the teacher…….then we let them build something creatively. I hope that this helps. PS Mindy…even if you can only afford 2 sets go for it. You guys could treat it like a center with fewer kids rotating.

  16. Suzanne Pace says:

    Hi There. Looked this up again remembering it for a possible Christmas gift. Do you need access to a computer to be able to use this kit?? Thank you.

  17. What age would you recommend for these types of legos? My daughters are 4 and 6.

    • Hi Summer,
      I would say elementary ages are appropriate. As long as they can follow your normal LEGO building instructions they should be okay to do these kits. Your 6 year old might be okay, but probably not the 4 year old yet.

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