LEGO building ideas that are bound to inspire your child.
LEGO is one of the most versatile and accessible building toys on the planet. In addition to regular LEGO, you can find LEGO Duplo for toddlers, LEGO Juniors for younger children, Technic for the complex builder, and the Mindstorms system for programmable LEGO robotics.
You can build specific models using sets with instructions or you can use those same bricks, or mixed packs and boxes, to create something from your imagination.
If your child needs some inspiration, or you want them to discover builds with a purpose, then check out these 51 LEGO building ideas, complete with video instructions.
Most people are familiar with LEGO sets. They have everything you need to create a specific model, but LEGO bricks are also used in incredibly diverse ways by builders around the world. Extensive online communities exist, dedicated to the process and results of building with LEGO.
Some LEGO building projects for kids result in models created solely for the pleasure of the process, while other finished items are placed on a shelf. There are builders who enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to create or recreate a particular item, place, or person, while others like to build items with which they can interact.
Your little builder might create a figure or a useful household item, like a desk organizer. My son once made a jewelry box for me out of his spare LEGO parts.
If you or your child are looking for LEGO activities for kids, you’re in the right place. These are 51 of our favorite LEGO building ideas.
LEGO Safe With A Key
There are many LEGO safe builds out there. We have chosen this one because it is a good beginner’s build. There are no specialist LEGO bricks involved, and even builders with a relatively limited range and number of bricks can make this safe.
If the gray is too plain for you, you can take it up a notch by using different colors or making patterns with your bricks.
LEGO Puzzle Box
If there is a trickster in your home, they are sure to adore this LEGO puzzle box.
It looks just like a basic LEGO house, and when you shake it, you can hear something rattle inside. This is the treat you must retrieve. However, the door doesn’t open, so the person you give the house to must work out how to open the box.
As a variation, if a puzzle box seems too advanced for your beginning builder, start with a simple drawer that uses common LEGO pieces many builders have. As a newbie, your child won’t have a lot of pieces lying around to work with. But all they need are some mismatched pieces and a few simple drawer-building rules to get started.
This simple LEGO house is an ideal starting point for kids who want to start creating their own buildings, but do not yet feel confident in their ability to transform the mental image of their design into an actual model.
And at five minutes long, this is an easy to follow video.
A more complex model for the mid-level LEGO builder, this house does not have a step-by-step video. Instead, the video assumes a certain level of building knowledge and focuses on showing the detail of the build.
This allows you to make either an exact replica or use the unique building details on a model of your own.
Furniture For Your LEGO House
Whether you have built a house from a LEGO set, or you have created your own, you might still want to “decorate” to make it unique.
This pair of videos take you step-by-step through a total of 20 pieces of furniture and home accessories, such as a bedside table with lamp and a grandfather clock.
A Model Vending Machine
This is not a working LEGO vending machine. Instead, we have chosen this starter item for LEGO beginners because it is easy to create and requires only basic pieces.
The model will make a great addition to a store, school, or other city building. It can also be customized using different colors.
A Tiny, Working Vending Machine
Only basic pieces are needed for this vending machine. The best part is that it truly works. Any younger child will be amazed by that.
The build itself is easy. Under the video, there is even a link for you to get the decals used on the machine. This can also be upscaled, so instead of using Tic Tacs you could use Skittles or similar candy.
A Working Orange Juice And Nutella Breakfast Machine
For older, more experienced LEGO experts who have an extensive variety of pieces, plus some non-LEGO accessories to use, there is this working breakfast machine.
You can toast your bread, squirt some Nutella on top, and then pour yourself a nice fresh shot of OJ all in one LEGO-tastic spot.
LEGO Mini Robot
Robots are a popular LEGO build. They can be found in a wide range of sizes and difficulties.
So, to begin with, here is a simple, step-by-step, beginner’s robot build. It even lets you know that all of the pieces can be found in the LEGO Classic 11003 box of bricks.
Bigger LEGO Robot
This larger robot has articulated arms and a head that can spin, but it doesn’t need any specialist LEGO pieces from either Technic or Mindstorms. The entire robot is completely mechanical.
This is a challenging build for new builders, but those with more experience, including adults, will find it enjoyable.
If you have a Transformers fan, or a kid who enjoys LEGO builds they can fiddle with, this is an excellent choice.
First, you build a stylized version of the iconic yellow and black Bumblebee from the Transformers series. Then, with a deft flip of a few bricks, you have Bumblebee, the robot.
Yes, you can buy and build a LEGO set that either features a bus, or has a bus as one of the items.
However, once your child is comfortable creating with LEGO, they may want to build vehicles that are different, but still work with a regular scale LEGO town or city.
Working Gumball Machine
For kids with some LEGO Technic, this pneumatic gumball machine is straightforward enough to build, but without being overly simple or complex.
The video begins with the finished product and a demonstration of how it works. There is then a deconstruction of the machine so you can see how it was built and how it works.
This garbage truck is a mid-level build. The video uses LEGO Digital Designer software to illustrate the steps of the build, although you don’t need the software to view the video or understand the instructions.
The free software can be downloaded from LEGO and it can be used to map out your builds (1).
Fortnite Battle Bus
If your child is a fan of Fortnite, they can recreate some of the most iconic items from the franchise, in LEGO.
The creator of this video specializes in designing builds that have been requested by fans from a variety of digital universes. They even keep a public running list of their completed, and up and coming builds (2).
Large Travel Trailer
Even a LEGO mini-figure has to get away from it all from time to time, and this is how they can do it in style.
This model is especially satisfying as it is not too complex, but you do end up with a large travel trailer that has plenty of detail.
This custom Iron Man suit requires some of the pieces that are only found in the LEGO sets which feature Marvel’s Iron Man.
So, this build is only suitable for kids who already have a set that can be ransacked for Iron Man bits, or you can order the parts from LEGO Customer Service (3).
One of LEGO’s all-time most popular sets, there are endless videos showing people build their roller coasters. However, if you don’t have the roller coaster set, you can build your own using this video, but you will have to keep pausing to catch up.
You don’t need to have the Batwing set to run on it — that’s just for this video.
Although not especially complicated, this is a marble run best built by those who have confidence in their LEGO skills. The video is especially clear with navigation on the viewing bar to help you find the right points to pause and rewind.
This is also a good learning experience as the techniques shown allow you to build bigger, more complex marble runs of your own.
Hamster, rat, and other pet mazes are popular projects, but we have only seen one hamster house as good as this.
The vibrant colors of the bricks in this build come from the LEGO Friends sets, but they are the same sizes and shapes as bricks from other sets. So, you can use whichever bricks you have at home.
A Stop Motion Movie
Rather than making this list all about models, we thought we’d throw a curveball and suggest you build a LEGO movie. It is much easier than it sounds.
This tutorial will guide you through the techniques for creating a LEGO stop-motion video. The same techniques can be used for stop motion animation using anything, not just LEGO.
Again, pinball machines can be found all over the internet. However, many videos show the pinball machine working, but do not have instructions or the machines require Technic or Mindstorms LEGO.
This working pinball machine does not need any specialist parts, has all of the instructions, and is accessible for confident beginners.
We like the simplicity of this desk organizer — both the building process and the end result.
Kids do not need a lot of experience to recreate this project as it uses the most basic of techniques. The build can also be easily customized, so your child can give it the personal touch, without much effort.
A “Working” LEGO TV
Rather than recreating another of the many phone and tablet stand ideas, why not try another simple, yet fun LEGO building idea? This “working” LEGO TV is awesome for beginners who want a cool, but easy, design.
This was a popular one in our house as it is far less complicated than you would think, looking at the finished item.
Fans of HexBugs will know that half of the fun comes from watching the little battery-powered insects as they come up against obstacles.
This HexBug LEGO maze can be built by even the newest builder and for those that know their way around a brick, it is straightforward to customize.
If you and your child are not averse to pulling the head off of a mini-figure or two, then this could be the build for you.
Using the head from any mini-figure, it’s easy to make these tiny bobble-heads which can be displayed as part of other builds or on their own.
Moving Prairie Dog Sculpture
While this LEGO building idea is fun, the best thing about this video is that it explains how to build items that move with an uncomplicated crank system. These techniques can then be applied to create your own moving models.
The build does assume some basic understanding of how to build with LEGO.
Coin “Eating” Pug Money Box
Rather than making a large but pedestrian Pug-shaped money box, confident beginners can try their hand at this building idea.
Turn the crank and the pug’s tongue comes out. Place your coin on its tongue, turn the crank again, and it “eats” your coin. Money can be left inside or removed via a drawer.
An extremely satisfying build, this LEGO infinity cube is far easier to make than you think. Kids who think “I couldn’t build that” will get an instant confidence boost when they discover that, yes, they can.
As a bonus, the fidget spinner stands up to hours of use.
A Working Trebuchet
This trebuchet not only looks fantastic, but it has a range of approximately 20 feet.
The video shows the trebuchet in detail as well as demonstrating how it works. For confident builders this will be enough, but for those who want a little more information, there is also a link to detailed step-by-step instructions.
Fans of spinning toys and Beyblade, in particular, will enjoy building these LEGO spinning tops. Each one has a different design, and once you master the basic build technique you can move on to designs of your own.
For the “arena” you need a sheet of poster board as well as the LEGO.
Although overly simple, we included these targets for four reasons:
They are a great first “freestyle” build if your builder lacks confidence.
Begin by tying one end of your line higher or lower and trying different angles to discover how to make the zipline carriage speed up or slow down. Then you can use different “rope” materials to learn about friction.
Duplo Shadow Theater
Younger children deserve some LEGO building ideas of their own, and we are huge fans of this LEGO Duplo shadow theater.
Not only is it a fun build in itself, but once finished, your child can learn about light and shadow before moving on to enjoy exploring storytelling and performance.
You don’t need to have an extensive collection of Duplo bricks to make these basic animals.
Each is an uncomplicated build in itself. Then, once they have learned which bricks can be combined to create the shapes of various creatures, your child can move onto making some of their own.
This mini project is for children who find it easier to learn when they are doing something active, with their hands.
Not only does it help some children learn their alphabet in a way that works for them, once your child has built the letters, you can use them for spelling and reading.
A Magic Show
This tutorial provides all of the steps for seven easy magic tricks, using LEGO bricks, as well as the building instructions for each of the props used.
Now your child can spend the morning putting these straightforward creations together, the afternoon rehearsing the tricks, and the evening entertaining the family.
Duck Pull Toy
A cute project in itself, this pull toy will be especially appealing for die-hard LEGO fans who know about the history of the company.
LEGO founder Ole Kirk Christiansen was a carpenter, and this is a recreation of one of the most famous wooden toys his company made many years before the LEGO brick.
LEGO Boost: Chocolate Egg Pooping Bunny
LEGO Boost is a line that allows children to build models with premade motors and sensors. The free LEGO Boost app then walks children through the process of making their projects move through simple icon-based coding.
This bunny is a cute introduction to building and coding with LEGO Boost.
Useable, Hinged Gift Box
Rather than make little model LEGO gifts that will look pretty in a LEGO scene, why not build an actual gift box made from LEGO?
This video shows you how to create a hinged LEGO gift box that is as much of a gift as the item it eventually holds.
Narnia Wardrobe Book Nook
An incredibly complex looking LEGO build, this Narnia Wardrobe “book nook” can sit neatly between the tomes on your shelf where it will harbor two secrets.
The first is the miniature Narnia scene inside the wardrobe, the second is that it is relatively easy to make for the confident LEGO fan.
For the times when you need a LEGO building idea that will baffle all those who look at it, there is this amazing LEGO tensegrity sculpture.
It is straightforward to build, fascinating to look at, and you’ll have the bonus of watching everyone’s face as they try to figure out how it works.
A Working Nightlight
This nightlight is built from Duplo, but it might be too challenging for a little one to build themselves. Instead, we used this as a LEGO building idea for one of our sons to build with his little brother.
This also provided an opportunity for our son to practice the art of explaining a process to someone else.
These vases are simple to build, but they are also a useful teaching tool.
When your child has built one, ask them to build another but in different colors or with a specific pattern of stripes. Then have them list the parts they will need, using only what they learned from the first vase build.
Children may like a variation with LEGO flowers included.
Some LEGO building ideas provide a kind of meditative therapy, and this is one of them.
Making coasters may not be the dynamic project that will appeal to high energy kids, but the more sedate child in your life may enjoy the challenge of putting together a coaster with pleasing color combinations, or a repeating pattern.
This Battleship-style game is not only a fun build, you also end up with a cool, portable game. If the idea of sinking battleships doesn’t appeal, no problem. One of our children recreated this game, used flowers on the “ships,” making them into gardens to dig up instead of ships to sink.
We have an admittedly, extremely specialist build which unlike our other building ideas, is not intended as an instructional video. Instead, this video introduces you to David Aguilar who built his first prosthetic arm when he was nine.
See, you can create almost anything with LEGO, even a functional prosthetic arm. It’s a great message to share with your young builder — that anything is possible with a little imagination.
Benefits of LEGO for Kids
Building with LEGO is not just about clicking bricks together. LEGO builds have tangible play benefits for both children and adults.
Fine Motor Skills
Using LEGOs requires us to pick pieces up and click them together to build our creations. That means playing with LEGO can aid in the development of your child’s fine motor skills.
For smaller children who are too young to play with regular LEGO, there is Duplo. This is a range of larger-scale bricks that allow your child to build, create, and develop their fine motor skills, without the choking hazard of the regular line (4).
Spatial reasoning, in simple terms, allows you to create a mental image of an object and apply that knowledge in a practical way (5). LEGO helps to develop strong spatial reasoning skills.
When you build a model from a set, you use these skills to look at the instructions, choose your LEGO pieces, and put them in the correct place. When you free build, you must be able to visualize what size and shape of pieces will fit in your models.
Building a model is part of the fun. Playing with their creations provides an opportunity for children to flex their imagination.
LEGO allows your child to take something that exists in their imagination and create it in the real world. This is incredibly satisfying. Children who are successful in creating LEGO models can experience the boost in confidence and self-esteem that comes with success in any activity.
What Is the Age Limit for LEGO?
Each of the different LEGO brands has a recommended age range. LEGO also has a dedicated page on their website specifically to help you choose the right bricks or set for your child(6).
In general, the age ranges are:
LEGO® DUPLO®: 1 to 5 Years
These sets contain large format figures, bricks, accessories, and special, pre-formed and shaped bricks. Some bricks have printed elements such as animal faces.
LEGO® Juniors Sets: 4 to 8 Years
These sets contain regular size LEGO elements as well as some larger pre-formed pieces such as walls. They are designed specifically to be more simple builds for children who are new to LEGO.
All Other LEGO®: It’s Complicated
Basic boxes of LEGO bricks are rated as 4 years and older. This is a safety guide since the size of the bricks makes them a potential choking hazard.
Beyond the “minimum safe age” element, LEGO sets are labeled with age range guidelines that reflect the size and complexity of the build. So you will see sets with 4 years and older, 8 to 12 years, and 16 years and older.
This doesn’t mean that an 8-year-old cannot be given a set rated 12+. Instead, it is an indication that the 12+ set will require a particular degree of experience with LEGO building techniques. An inexperienced builder might find the set too difficult or frustrating.
Build a Family Hobby
Building with LEGO presents an opportunity to boost your child’s creativity, self-confidence, and brainpower. Not only that, LEGO is available for kids as young as one year and there isn’t an upper age limit.
Creating with LEGO is a great way to bond with your child. And it is a fabulous pastime that adults can enjoy independently.
Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.