My 5-year old son is a Star Wars fan. He also loves playing with a variety of construction toys, but his favourite is Lego. Whenever he receives a new Lego set, he first builds it according to its instructions. After it is built, it stays that way for a few days. Then he takes them apart to build his own original creations, which more often than not are Star Wars inspired spaceships. I am often amazed at what he comes up with. So I thought I’d turn this into a play based learning opportunity. I put a challenging spin on it by creating this Spaceship Construction Game – Star Wars Inspired.
Spaceship Construction Game – Star Wars Inspired
What you need for this Spaceship Construction Game:
- 5 plastic tubs
- Assorted Lego (you can throw in a variety – Lego Star Wars, Lego City, Lego Ninjago, etc. And ok, I admit, there may be some Kre-O Transformers mixed in our plastic tubs)
- Star Wars character cards in pairs. If you have any printed Star Wars material that come in pairs, you could use those. What I did was take photos of my son’s Star Wars toys and printed them on paper (or you can print on cardboard paper). You can print the Star Wars cards we used for free by clicking on this link. Note: All printables are intended for personal use (you print and use it for this Spaceship Construction Game to play with your kids). Do not download the images to sell or reuse as an image of your own.
Quick Spaceship Construction Game Set Up:
- Divide the assorted Lego into the 5 plastic tubs.
- If you printed the free Star Wars printable, you should have 2 of each character. Stick one character on each tub.
- Then put the other pair/character face down (I covered this 2nd batch of pairs in contact to make it sturdy because my son loves this game and keeps re-using these cards).
How to Play:
- Start the game by picking one item from each of the 5 tubs. The youngest player starts. With these initial 5 Lego pieces, each player can start building a skeleton for his/her spaceship (like on the top left photo below).
- Then turn taking starts. The youngest player picks out one of the cards facing down. S/he finds the matching character from the plastic tubs, and gets 3 pieces of Lego from that matching tub to continue building on his/her spaceship. Then it’s the next players turn, and so on.
The game keeps going until one player decides s/he no longer needs any pieces and his/her spaceship is done!
The beauty of this game is that no one wins or loses. Creations can be wacky, unique, amazing, odd… It’s up to the imaginations of each player.
My son LOVED this game. It’s been a week since I introduced this spaceship construction game to him and he still asks to play it. Here are a few spaceships and space vehicles we came up with…
Storage is so easy as well. Just put the lids on the tubs, as shown in the photo above.
Play based learning activity
We love learning through play. So here’s why this game is such a great play based learning activity.
- Kids create from their own imagination. This encourages creativity.
- Matching pairs. When a card is picked, the child needs to find the corresponding tub with a matching pair.
- Counting skills. Young kids learn to count by 3s during each turn as they pick out 3 Lego pieces. Change up the rules to enhance counting skills! Let the kids get 5 pieces per turn or even 10!
- Construction skills. In creating from scratch, kids learn symmetry, balance and spatial recognition.
- Fine motor skills. Lego pieces are pretty small and quite challenging to put together. Picking up each piece, attaching it to another, dismantling it all exercise fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
- Enhances cognitive thinking and problem solving skills.
- Boosts self-confidence, knowing that they can create something from scratch.
- Young kids learn to wait and take turns.
Here are some of the Lego sets we used in this game (affiliate links). Don’t be limited to these though, because all Lego sets can be used for this game.
Lego is a wonderful toy for both boys and girls. It benefits both the right and left sides of the child’s brain. So encourage your child to keep going back to their Lego, to create things from scratch. And extend this even more through games like this Spaceship Construction Game.
Did you like this Spaceship Construction Game by Kidz Activities? If you did, check out some of our other play based learning activities. Kidz Activities is a site filled with kids crafts, art activities and play based learning ideas. We love sharing ideas that can help parents enjoy their kids through fun, simple, inexpensive yet creative activities.