Tuesday, October 16, 2012

project completed. well almost.

My house is quiet except the kiddy chit chat. My house is staying relatively tidy. My house got the vacuum it needed rather then the quick sweep. I miss the helping hands. Pirates of Penzance soundtrack is replaced with kids songs. Lunch time was quiet. The dogs have to have their morning snoozes by themselves again. My fridge and pantry are full again. Routine is back. My house was a home for 2 weeks; the holidays went too fast. Thankfully it is a short term till the next holidays.

But here is one project that I had started before the holidays that I managed to get completed. Not crocheting I know, but something that is part of our families day. I thought I would share it with you, as we are very happy how they have turned out, and maybe you have issues with your lego instruction books too.

I am not going to take credit for the idea, because I don't have very good brainwaves like this. She knows who she is and if she ever does a post I will link it to hers. This is also why I love (limited) browsing in blogland. Ideas are abundant!

Ever since our children were little, we have invested in lego. We both had it as children, and for some reason our parents didn't want to part with it, so we had to start our own collection. A few years ago Lego was dying out, but thankfully they decided to keep making it. We started with a small tub of duplo when our first was little. That basket has grown over the years, and still gets played with by all four. Towers to reach the ceiling, and traintracks under and around chairs and table legs.

Then we moved on to smaller lego when they were old enough not to put small bits in their mouths. They learned to follow picture instructions and build creations of their own using their imagination. For some time our son had it in his room, and he would play it before bed and as soon as he would wake up. Now that our youngest understands and doesn't put lego in her mouth, it has all moved to the play area, and enjoyed by all four.

But with each lego set, there comes a set of instructions, which aren't printed on the thickest of paper, and easily damaged if not kept well. I have tried various ways to keep them in the past, but now I think we are sorted.

What I thought would be a rather simple job, turned out to be not so simple. 37 instruction booklets of various sizes laminated, cut down and punched, with a ring-clip thru the corner.

cutting the spine off or removing staples
making sure we unfolded any dog-ears and flattened any rips. 
the small instruction books were nice, 4 pages fitted to a page and there was not much wastage. lined up correctly also limited the amount of trimming up cuts needed.

my poor little laminator did well. I think we chewed through approx four 100per-pack of laminating sheets, and with each sheet taking 1min30sec, that was a long time that it was on.

trimming pages to size

 in correct numerical order
 awaiting their corner punch, all in their right order.
The kids were banned from touching any of the instruction books till they were passed over with a silver ring. I had a pile of unlaminted, spineless instruction books that would have been a disaster to try and figure out where they belonged if they were messed with.
In the end I enlisted my oldest's help, trusting she had an eye for putting in the sheets straight, and she did a fantastic job, and caught up on some reading while patiently waiting.

and, ah yes, there is crocheting in this post! I crocheted while I patiently waited for each sheet before trimming.

the bigger instructions: you could only fit 1 page per laminating sheet, and there were two of 73 pages in total (37 laminating sheets). Slow process when they take a minute and a half just to heat thru...

A job done!
31 of the boys lego books

6 of the girls lego

And when you have a boys birthday in the holidays, I can now add another 10 to the now-to-catch-up pile. (Thankfully they are small instruction books...!)  Need another box of laminating sheets first.
Not a cheap project, but we all agree it was worth the time that it took us. Placed in the same size starmaid boxes as the lego, I think we have given these instructions a long life span, free of page folds, rips and dog-ears, and missing covers.
And the children were busy building their sets during the holidays too. With the lego all still sorted by colour in boxes, they managed to make a good dent in the sets, even with some help from Mum! Now we just need a good spot to display the childrens effort. The wooden shelf above my sink is fine at the moment - out of little fingers reach, but with inview that they can still grab and play with it - but oh, who's going to dust that shelf with out breaking the lego constructions?
I didn't do it all in one day either. The box of 'stuff' sat in the corner of my kitchen, and while I was waiting for veggies to boil, or for half an hour after lunch, I would focus on it, whether it was putting thru the machine, or cutting spines off, or placing them in the laminating sheets.
How do you store your lego instructions?

1 comment:

  1. Such a great idea, I think I will have to borrow Mum's laminator!