For Lego newbies, we suggest beginning with a themed set that matches a toddler’s present pursuits, whether or not that’s dinosaurs, cats, or their favourite film. A themed set will present directions and construction for teenagers to finish a mission, serving to them ease into Lego constructing and giving them the satisfaction of creating one thing they already join with. Even youngsters who don’t prefer to comply with instructions will possible nonetheless be drawn to minifigures and equipment that align with their favourite characters or pursuits.
“Kids can be very fickle. Find something that connects with them right from the start to increase your chances of success,” mentioned Bamidele Shangobunmi, who posts Lego reviews and custom Lego creations for greater than 1 million followers on YouTube. “Even if you get something that’s designed to become a specific vehicle or specific building, you can still turn it into something else.”
Many themed units value between $10 and $20, which implies you’ll be able to take a look at a toddler’s curiosity in Legos with out investing a fortune in a full assortment. Units additionally have a tendency to return with uncommon equipment, resembling wheels, fangs, minifigures, and meals objects, little one can reuse with different kits.
Disney Legos: A Frozen-themed journey
The Lego Disney Elsa’s Market Adventure set lets youngsters construct a ship and market scene the place Elsa and Olaf should buy produce or a pie. It’s a part of Lego’s Disney lineup—newly expanded to make the most of Frozen 2 frenzy—which implies the citadel items and different architectural elements are appropriate with these of different Disney-themed units resembling Cinderella’s Dream Castle, permitting youngsters to construct customized castles and different royal creations utilizing a number of units.
We initially thought of the Lego Juniors Disney Frozen Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Playground set, and it was a favourite amongst our child testers, however the set has been discontinued (at this writing, it’s nonetheless obtainable by way of Amazon). Elsa’s Market Journey affords an analogous problem stage, and we predict it’s a very good substitute. The builds are comparatively small, as you utilize the 125 items to make three totally different buildings, however we predict the boat, market wagon, and clock tower might increase imaginative play with non-Lego toys. The set additionally comes with an Olaf minifigure—one thing a lot of our child testers wished had been included within the first Frozen-themed Lego set we examined.
Ages: 5 to 12
Star Wars Legos: Hone your lightsaber expertise
Assist Rey prepare at Luke’s little mountain home, which comes full with lightsabers and a tiny cook dinner station.
Shopping for Choices
*On the time of publishing, the value was $27.
You may construct a Lego assortment with tens of hundreds of items from Star Wars–themed sets alone. We just like the Lego Star Wars Ahch-To Island Training equipment for newcomers as a result of it’s a comparatively quick construct and consists of characters from a number of generations of flicks, particularly Luke Skywalker and Rey, the protagonist in The Drive Awakens (2015) and The Final Jedi (2017). It additionally comes with a tiny porg determine (porgs are bird-like creatures from latest Star Wars motion pictures that encourage the identical love/hate response as Ewoks); in our testing, youngsters liked kits that included cute facet characters.
Ahch-To Island Coaching additionally affords some enjoyable equipment resembling lightsabers, capes, and flames. It has a couple of shifting parts, together with a spinning platform and lever, so youngsters can study a couple of superior constructing methods. The completed construction, which resembles Luke’s home on Ahch-To Island, the place he trains Rey on the secrets and techniques of the Drive, is small however purposeful; there’s an indoor space the place the 2 minifigures can cook dinner and sleep, plus an out of doors coaching space with loads of floor house for lightsaber drills.
Ages: 7 to 12
Lego Metropolis: Artistic tenting play
Our child testers liked the Lego City Pickup & Caravan set, an Amazon prime vendor that comes with directions for constructing a purple pickup truck and a caravan trailer. It’s more likely to be successful with any youngsters who’re followers of vans or tenting. The trailer opens as much as reveal a tiny range, fridge, and desk, and the set additionally consists of three minifigures outfitted with equipment for fishing and cooking. As one 6-year-old tester mentioned, “It’s a camper, but I could build a spaceship with it. You can make up your own things that you want to build.”
At 344 items, the Pickup & Caravan set is likely one of the largest kits we examined. It isn’t more durable to construct than the opposite kits we tried; it simply takes longer to make. We predict it’s an important dimension as a result of it supplies a number of hours of construct time and a big completed mannequin. Nonetheless, for youthful kids, it most likely is sensible to interrupt the construct into a number of classes to keep away from frustration.
The Pickup & Caravan equipment is a part of Lego’s bigger City collection, which features a police station, a hospital, a doughnut store, and different city scenes. Most of them are timeless, they usually all work properly collectively for creating your personal little Lego universe.
Ages: 5 to 12
Lego Creator 3-in-1: For the dinosaur lover
It’s simple to see why the Lego Creator 3-in-1 Mighty Dinosaurs set, at a common value of simply $12, is a favourite—it consists of directions for constructing a pterodactyl, a triceratops, or a T. rex with its 174 predominantly inexperienced Lego bricks. It additionally comes with particular items like tooth, horns, and claws. Children who like a simple, fast mission will discover any of the three dinos manageable. And in contrast to a set pegged to popular culture, triceratops by no means exit of fashion. “I like dinosaurs and I like that you can make a dinosaur model,” one 8-year-old tester mentioned. It’s so simple as that.
Lego has many extra Creator kits labeled as 3-in-1, which implies you’ll be able to construct three totally different initiatives with the identical items. Some youngsters will refuse to interrupt aside one thing they’ve constructed and like to maintain the completed mission on a shelf, however for a kid who doesn’t thoughts beginning over these units are a cheap solution to lengthen guided constructing time. The total line of 3-in-1 kits is particularly in style, with choices resembling Mythical Creatures and Deep Sea Creatures. They’re additionally impartial sufficient in theme that we might see them enjoying properly with different Lego units; a shark might assault a ship, or a T. rex might storm a citadel.
Ages: 7 to 12
Lego Buddies: A dollhouse-style playset
With 622 items, the Lego Friends Stephanie’s House equipment is likely one of the largest and most intricate units we examined. However the payoff for sticking with the construct is a dollhouse-like set the place a household of three figures and their pet rabbit can sleep, cook dinner, work, and calm down on a swing set.
Stephanie’s Home is a part of Lego’s Friends line, which incorporates thematic units resembling a restaurant, a pool party, and a dolphin rescue; they provide one thing totally different from the extra archetypal automobile, rocket, and pirate ship kits that many individuals affiliate with Lego. Once we examined Stephanie’s Home with greater than 50 youngsters ages 5 to 12, they mentioned they appreciated the set’s brilliant pink and blue colours, and that it comes with bigger characters as a substitute of conventional Lego minifigures (although its items are nonetheless appropriate with different Lego units) in addition to stickers and weird equipment resembling meals objects and a staircase. “That was game changing for our now 16-year-old who always complained there weren’t sets she was interested in,” mentioned Jared Sadowsky, a STEM instructor at Kamiakin Center Faculty in Kirkland, Washington, who makes use of Lego within the classroom.
Many of the kits within the Lego Buddies line revolve round a central constructing mission like a home or a ship and embrace feminine characters, animals, and activity-focused equipment. Though you’d most likely need to get solely one of many a number of house-like kits the road affords, we like the concept of including destination-themed units—Stephanie’s Gymnastics Show or Olivia’s Mission Vehicle, for instance—to reinforce the actions obtainable to the characters.
The primary grievance our testers raised about Stephanie’s Home was how tough it may be to search out the merchandise you want among the many set’s 622 items; it’s a good suggestion to interrupt the constructing course of out over a couple of days to keep away from frustration. Open one bag at a time within the order the directions recommend and dump them into separate bowls for simple sorting. (We additionally suggest some Lego-appropriate group instruments under.)
Ages: 6 to 12