kids

ROAD TEST: The parent-approved app that'll turn your child into a mini LEGO master.

LEGO
Thanks to our brand partner, LEGO

The box of LEGO has been a feature in our play room for 20 years now.

My eldest daughter is nearly 25, my youngest is 11 and for two decades I’ve watched them sit legs folded on the carpet in quiet contemplation mid construction – either reading instructions or innovating their own bespoke creation.

Five children and many hours of building later, our collection has grown from a tiny shoebox to three or four plastic containers.

In fact, if you were to choose just one toy to take anywhere anytime for any gender of child, you’d choose LEGO.

I know because LEGO has saved me on many rainy weeks shut inside with kids climbing the walls, eventually distracted and calmed by the worlds they can create with dragon, fire trucks, giant invading robots and other masterpieces.

So, I was excited when my youngest had a play with the app for LEGO lovers, called LEGO Life.

lego life
My daughter Ivy with her stash. Image: Supplied.

Watching LEGO Masters on TV last year, it occurred to me that part of the thrill of making anything is the thrill of showing it to others. That's the nature of making art – it's about the thrill of creation AND the thrill of sharing.

LEGO Life captures that thrill. It's a free, safe social network for kids and families to share their creations, and get ideas from kids just like them.

There's fun challenges for kids to do on the way. Image: Supplied.
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You don't have to be a LEGO master to belong to a LEGO community - our kids' creations are humble, but still impressive to me and their grandparents.

And the app comes with all the safeguards you need to ensure that this is a safe place for kids to share inspiration, create connections and have positive screen time.

My daughter's first upload - more on that later. Image: Supplied.

To start with, there are thorough verification processes for the parent that are built into the app.

This was such a relief for me because I have to admit I am just not that tech savvy and I don’t really have the time to be constantly monitoring what my 11 year old is doing online.

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There's even a character in the app called Captain Safety to ensure it's a virtual playground you can feel good about letting your kid enter. Captain Safety pops up to remind you to "Be kind - stay positive, avoid words that can hurt others." and other messages of respect and kindness.

So once you’ve set up your profile, the child can create their own nickname and 3D avatar - they can even build themselves as a LEGO mini-figure!

Meet HappyJumpyBluebell, my daughter's creation. Image: Supplied.

From here, you can start uploading pictures and videos, and doing quiz challenges. They also have videos for favourites like LEGO Harry Potter, Star Wars and Minecraft.

It’s fun to look at what other kids have done, and after Ivy saw a few she was keen to see if she could make something similar to upload under her profile. She’s only new on the app – but since she discovered this was a way to chat online to other kids she was straight into that box of LEGO.

But really, it's just about having fun and doing your thing. My daughter was more than happy creating her mini house and carousel she created, and then uploaded onto the app:

It's a virtual playground you can feel good about letting your kid enter. Image: Supplied.
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lego life
It even has flowers. Nice touch. Image: Supplied.

As you can see, it's all about the details. At one point though, she was missing a window... which Mum happened to find on the floor.

"Ivy, I found your window!" 

Voila - it was all she needed to complete her mini house. Complete with pizza (she's a girl after my own heart).

In the current climate where children have lost their playgrounds, their school and their neighbourhood of friends, LEGO Life offers a safe place for children with shared passions to connect and engage.

Download the LEGO Life app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

LEGO

LEGO Life is a creative and social space, designed with kids in mind.

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