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Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have: 40+ New Robots, Vehicles, Contraptions, Gadgets, Games and Other Fun STEM Creations Paperback – November 13, 2018
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About the Author
- Grade Level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 1.24 pounds
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1624146783
- ISBN-13 : 978-1624146787
- Product Dimensions : 8 x 0.63 x 9.05 inches
- Publisher : Page Street Publishing (November 13, 2018)
- Reading level : 8 - 12 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #11,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I like this series of books put out by Sarah Dees. This particular one has some great ideas to build. My 7 year old son built the Wind-Up Catapult this morning with a little help from his 15 year old brother. They both problem solve when using the book. Usually we can never find the exact brick, color, or parts for the entire project so they problem solve by modifying the idea with what they can find. My 15 year old used his knowledge and created the Wind-Up part with technics but differently then how the book showed and the 7 year old made the rest with whatever color of pieces he could find. I feel these books encourage problem solving and improvisation.
I would highly recommend this book for those who are ok with improvising and problem solving to make something work when you don't have the exact pieces the book calls for. It is a great tool to give them ideas of what to build, how to build it and then watch them figure out how to make it from what they do have.
I would NOT recommend this book for those who must follow all the directions to perfection and are not able to make modifications as needed. It gives great ideas and good directions, but it can be hard to have all the exact parts needed.
One of the cons in this series of books is that the pictures of the builds are small. The author has told me that this is because the publisher wants to get as much in the book as possible, but this can create problems when you are trying to figure out exactly where some of the pieces go. On the other hand, it can bring up opportunities to learn thinking and problem solving skills.
Bottom line, if you have kids who like to problem solve, are OK with not making something exactly as shown, and have a good selection of technic pieces then this book would be great for them. It will give them some good ideas of things to make.
However, if you don't like to problem solve, want everything to be exactly as the directions say, and don't have technic bricks or the means to buy technic bricks then this book probably isn't for you.
P.S. This book keeps my 7 year old occupied for hours because he has to sort through tons of legos to find the right pieces.
Top reviews from other countries
'GENIUS LEGO INVENTIONS': There is a good range of ideas in the book, including some quite simple things that most children should be able to do independently (e.g. monkey ladder, balancing scales, mini robots). There are a few that are really quite complex, and most are in the middle. The projects introduce lots of ideas involving gears, levers and rotating parts in a fun way. My son was really excited to build lots of these projects, and has been delighted with the finished results. Normally he instantly wants to break up the finished model and move onto the next thing, but these he has kept out on display. You can see little videos of lots of the projects on the author's website.
'WITH BRICKS YOU ALREADY HAVE?: Lots of the more negative reviews express dismay that they were unable to complete the builds with their existing brick collection. This is obviously going to depend vastly on the amount and type of Lego you own. Listing your Lego sets on a site like Rebrickable is an easy way to assess this. We also reorganised our Lego into plates/bricks/technic to make it easier to find what we needed. We have around 2,500 pieces, including a fair amount of Technic pieces. My son and I have so far built the first two robots; we had to use different colours from the book, but we were able to make them with only minor modifications to e.g. the arms. My son understood the idea of finding the same piece in a different colour, but he needed help making more major modifications (e.g. joining a 2 and 4 Technic brick to substitute for a 6 Technic brick). However, we have also put in a small online order for some specialist pieces to make a couple of the more complex models at the end of the book that we particularly liked.
CAN YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS? In a word, yes. I helped with finding/substituting pieces, but my son was easily able to follow most of the instructions using the high quality photographs throughout each project.
WHAT WOULD I CHANGE? Each project has a written parts list at the start. It would be easier for children if this was photographic instead, as they could then work out for themselves if they had the parts they needed before starting. I would have appreciated the official part numbers being included, as it would be much much easier to search for and order any extras.
Overall, I think this is a lovely book, with some very inventive projects which will appeal to children and adults alike. It is not a book that most younger children (say under 8?) would be able to use independently, but it has been a great thing to work on together, and he has enjoyed looking through it on his own. You will need a certain amount of Lego, particularly Technic Lego, to build these models, we have about a dozen smaller sets and that has been enough to get going. You will almost certainly need to use different colours and substitute some pieces, but frankly one of the points of the book is to get you using your lego more inventively, so that is fine.
UPDATE: after a couple more months of use, I've upped my review to 5 stars. We've made perhaps 20 of the projects so far, and I really feel a lot of affection for this book. The projects are super fun, and there's a lot of variety. My son has spent many happy hours working away at it, and he's managed a surprising number on his own. Our projects are always very garish and multicoloured compared to the book, but we don't mind! We've spent about £10 total on additional parts, and now can make almost anything in the book. I think that's pretty good value. There's very little else on the market that has so many good projects in one book.