Welcome back for another round of Bright Ideas! Today I'm going to share a quick and easy way to use LEGO minifigs (miniature figurines) in your class as little helpers around the room. Many of you have probably seen the recent Lifehacker post using this same idea (they totally stole my thunder /sad face). BUT no worries--I've been using these little guys along with a plethora of other toys to make my classroom go round and round (plus I've got a cool little trick to make them work better). Luckily for all these little guys I didn't have to use the KRAGLE!
LEGOS are more than just plastic blocks. LEGOS are on the Mt. Rushmore of toys. They aren't ever going away and are loved by millions of kids and adults. This is why I've begun incorporating them into my classroom as organizational objects because kids are enthralled with them and it stirs engagement and motivation. Below you'll see how I use them as cord holders (for chargers, A/V wires, and more) along with computer organization (websites, logins, passwords, etc.). This is an easy and fun way to incorporate something of high interest into the classroom.
Charging cords don't have to sit on the floor anymore. Just place a figure by the edge of the table and desk and place the cords in their hands. No opposable thumbs, no problem. It's not as good as a kung-foo grip, but it will work. Some people will super-glue the pieces together, but not me--sticky tack placed securely on the bottom of the LEGO piece is plenty.
I've also placed one in front of my class computers (along with other toys). I use a laminated piece of paper as a sign (taped on the front) then I can write logins, passwords, and URLs of sites we're going to use. Simple. Fun. Everything is Awesome.
The kids love these and when the cords are in use the LEGO figures can be played with (not by the teachers, we don't do that). Using figures like this is also a good way to make sure that kids put cords back in their place because they're sure to remember LEGOS. It might seem a little simple but engaging the kids is important.
To make this idea really stick (in their hand) you will want to carefully crimp the hands on the LEGO minifig. And I mean carefully. Once it's crimped it will hold iDevice charging cords tightly and they won't fall out. Power cords are fine as is, but skinny cords need a little more support otherwise they'll fall out every time. Just be careful not to squeeze too quickly or you'll break their hand (I've done it).
Action figures are another great choice if you're looking for sign holders and attention-getters. All you need is a little sticky-tack under the feet to make them stand or sit on the edges of computers, bookcases, and more.
I will add this final tidbit: When my 5 year-old daughter saw the LEGOS holding
the cords she wanted to make sure that he wasn't getting electrocuted.
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