FIRST LEGO League: Organizing The Junior Kit

US FIRST LEGO League - Organizing the Junior Kit

We are LEGO fans in our house, which hasn’t always been the case. When my three girls were younger, I didn’t want to stick to the stereotypes, so we loaded up the playroom with LEGO Duplos and Mega Blocks and attempted to initiate building play. There were a few glimmers of hope, but really, they just didn’t get that into them, so I gave them away. Fast forward years later and they played with some LEGOs and a friends house and suddenly “mom, why don’t we have any LEGOs?” Santa happily brought some LEGOs and so began the love affair.

One night Matt and I were talking about LEGOs and we both had heard about some kind of club. We decided to look into it more, which led to Matt starting a team of our own in the Junior FIRST LEGO League. The program is awesome and I highly recommend it! He really did all the preparation and work as the coach. I assisted him by taking care of the 1-year old (who can be a tiny bit distracting). In addition to occasionally helping get supplies, I helped Matt organize all of his coaching supplies and the kit.

When we started the team, we ordered the big LEGO kit specifically made for the league to get started. It had everything we needed for practices and to make the final competition/presentation model. I wanted to organize the stuff in such a way that we could pull it out for the practice, access everything easily during practice, and store it up to hide away until the next practice. I knew I wanted everything to fit in one bin, but we needed smaller bins within to make it easier for the kids to find pieces. This is what I came up with —

I found this wide, short bin that would fit all of the inner bins, including two shoebox size containers for the majority of the LEGO pieces. In the place next to that, the instruction manuals fit nicely.

FIRST LEGO League - The bottom layer of the bin

On top of the manuals, I put the containers of the specialty pieces like all the pulleys and gears. The kit has some really awesome stuff.

FIRST LEGO League - all the pieces separated for ease of use

The coach binder fits on top of the LEGO containers and still lets the lid close nicely. There is also room on top for any random papers that are created during practice that we want to keep until next time.

FIRST LEGO League - it all fits

That’s it – everything contained in one convenient bin! We just pull it out for the practices and put it away during the rest of the week. We wanted to make sure all of these pieces stayed in one place and didn’t get spread around.

FIRST LEGO League - the organized kit

We had a celebration BBQ at the end of the season. The kids did their first presentations to all of the families. They were so amazing!! I am so proud!!! The focus this season was on natural disasters and the kids chose tornadoes. They built two tornadoes out of LEGOs and with a motor attached, the tornadoes actually spun super fast. So awesome.

US FIRST LEGO LEAGUE - meet our team

I’m so grateful for Matt. He is such a great coach, but an even more awesome dad. This has been such a great experience for our kids and their friends.

Happy LEGO-ing!!!

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6 thoughts on “FIRST LEGO League: Organizing The Junior Kit

  1. Mary, FIRST is an awesome program that develops into a national robotics competition as the kids enter high school. I’m so happy that your family has the opportunity to join the FIRST community early! And kudos to your husband for taking on a mentoring role. My son is 31 now and was a lego fanatic for 10 years – wish I had thought to organize our collection as you have!

    1. It was between $200-300. We had the other families pay a small fee to help defray the costs, but we did pay the bulk of it since we had 3 kids involved and would be keeping the Lego set. It was a great investment.

  2. Hi Mary, Thanks for sharing your experience with Jr. First Lego League. My husband and I are starting a Jr. First Lego League at our daughter’s elementary school. Your storage bin looks just right for the start up kits and supplies. Could you let us know what the dimensions are of the “wide, short bin” you used? Thank you, Molly Greene

    1. I can see from the picture that it is hard to tell the dimensions of the boxes. The big box is the size you’d find that could slide under a bed. The two small boxes are the size of shoe boxes. Sorry I don’t have exact measurements, but I hope that helps.

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