to open and build christmas presents

(60 Posts)
Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:12:23

My DCs will be getting lego and playmobil for xmas. I love the idea of them unwrapping an open and in tact present, however, I can see arguements as to whose I put together first.

It's not DHs strong point and to be fair he'll be in charge of making dinner, so am almost considering opening them and building them before wrapping...

AIBU to think this could spoil it for DCs, what do you do???

DCs are 5 and 3

beachyhead Mon 11-Nov-13 15:14:55

I thought the idea was for the children to build them grin or have you bought things outside their age range?

isitsnowingyet Mon 11-Nov-13 15:15:36

Yes - it would spoil it for them. Surely that is the whole fun part? I wouldn't imagine many people 'open and build' their children's toys - but I may be wrong!

KungFuBustle Mon 11-Nov-13 15:15:51

What do they enjoy about Lego the most? Building or playing?
Are the Lego sets age appropriate? What kind of Lego is it?

eosmum Mon 11-Nov-13 15:15:52

Playmobil - yes. Lego definitely not, thats the idea of it.

suziesmummy Mon 11-Nov-13 15:15:58

I'm in the same predicament. DS is two and has a fantabulous marble run that looks a bit shit in the box. He also has loads of happyland. Once he opens the wrapping it all has to be undone which takes ages. DP won't let me set it all up for him though sad

SpookedMackerel Mon 11-Nov-13 15:17:42

Playmobil, definitely yes.

But surely the point of Lego is building it ?

Lilacroses Mon 11-Nov-13 15:19:45

Agree with others, playmobil can be extremely fiddly and annoying so I bet loads of people make them before Christmas morning.

Clearlymisunderstood Mon 11-Nov-13 15:20:19

I agree that the whole point of Lego is the building of it.
I will be building my dds wooden kitchen ahead of time as it'll probably take bloody hours and it's not fun on Xmas day to open something that you can't play with

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:22:07

Yes you would think that would be the point with lego (although I'm quite pleased DS isn't bothered about the building part as I love doing it!), but the main interest is playing with it afterwards and specificaly the figures.

To be honest what would I do xmas day if I built it all before hand grin.

The only reason it had crossed my mind was because I saw an article on it and I though, a) could that be helpful and b) do I really want to do that.

It seems most think like me (apart from the buying inappropriate toys part smile)

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 15:23:28

Help the 3 year old with the playmobile. Assume its the 5 yo who has the lego?

The actual final built lego product is always a tiny bit crap compared with a toy that is ready built to look like that. So if what you want is a harry potter castle, better to buy a plastic one, than have a wobbly one made out of bricks that looks sort of OK when you squint.

The point of lego is you are so proud of yourself cos YOU made it. Not mummy, YOU.

Plus you are supposed to go off-piste a bit with lego.

So opening a lego kit that somebody else already constructed- what's the point? you just want to play with it yourself, don't you

Back in the day they didn't all come as kits that had one predetermined outcome. You got bricks and you had to work out what to build. Much better IMHO.

Our lego archive is gigantic and is the only reason I want grandchildren....

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 15:24:18

ha ha xpost with OP and I was right about playing with it

mrsjay Mon 11-Nov-13 15:26:06

maybe you should ask santa for your own lego grin

we used to build up some things for the DDs play mobile barbie shite houses and animal hospital stuff as it is fiddily and annoying so they could play with it christmas day but lego i wouldnt dd1 used to be into bionocles and it would be daft for me to make it for her

Matchthecase Mon 11-Nov-13 15:27:22

I wouldn't with Lego. No experience with playmobile. I do open things like ride ons/scooters and put them together, also dolls and things like that I take all the packaging (and those annoying twist tie things that are always held on with super strong tape) off, and wrap them so they are ready to play with. Much nicer I think.

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:28:48

See when presented with the box of mashed up lego kits and asked 'build me something mummy' I just can't, I have zero imagination. I can't make up pretend stories either, that's DHs job.

But building lego that has instructions is my idea of heaven (perhaps I should just buy it for me instead). I did consider just getting the mini figs that go with the particular set as they will be what gets played with most, but it's at the top of his xmas list so would hate to dissapoint him.

To be honest, if DD (3) was presented with the lego, she'd probably have more chance of building it, but the playmobil will be for her, and she probably will enjoy helping me put it together, I can just see myself pulled in a million different angles with 'have you finished it yet?'.

ConcreteElephant Mon 11-Nov-13 15:29:43

We unpack Happyland, and anything with ridiculous amounts of wires and packaging, remove all that stuff and pop the toys back in their box. Otherwise DC see the toy but can't play with it for another 20 minutes while we shred our fingers trying to get it out! Also means there's less rubbish on the day.
We've made kitchens in advance and a dolls house. Depending on the age of the child I'd do the Playmobil but I wouldn't put Lego together, isn't making it 99% of the fun?

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:30:39

Oops x posts mrsjay I think you're right.

LEMisafucker Mon 11-Nov-13 15:33:24

make the playmobile but not the lego - am so with you on the lego wiht instructions, tis my idea of heaven smile

Lavenderhoney Mon 11-Nov-13 15:37:06

Lego, it is meant to be fun to build- so your 5 year old, if its for him, will want to build it with some help.

Play mobile - I would build that as a 3 yr old ( assuming its for them) will just watch anyway as its quite fiddly. It says on the box how long it should take. What one is it?

I would also get something that is done already, like a truck or fire engine as if your dh will be busy in the kitchen, its just you.

However, if gp are coming, they might want to help, so leave it for them to put together with dc and you.

kiriwAnyFuckerwa Mon 11-Nov-13 15:38:01

OP - what you need to ask Santa for is this grin

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:39:36

LEMis I'm so glad it's not just me grin

Right I will consider the playmobil when it arrives and prepare DDs doll so it comes straight out of the box, but will leave the lego for DS (me obviously) to build on the day.

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 15:40:03

ahhh I still have photos of DS1 aged 4 I think with a massive lego funicular railway we made running from the kitchen table right down to the floor, based on a seaside holiday.

Another time we made a lego machine to transport flour from a pot on the floor up and over into a bucket, based on something he saw in a playground on London (they have posh playgrounds in London).

It took him AGES even with help but he still remembers it.

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:42:23

Oooh kiri yes that would be perfect, I will add it to my list, along with spa days and home gel nail kits (just to add I'll probably get none of these, but some walking boots instead!!)

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 15:42:53

Now kiri that is exactly the kind of lego kit that, to me, sums up what has changed since my time. What I am used to it this

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 15:43:21

beast was that without instructions (shudder)!!

passedgo Mon 11-Nov-13 15:45:19

YABU. Get your own lego kit!

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 15:49:40

That's the whole point...


drool... am feeling a nostalgic stocking gift coming on....

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 16:02:13

but aren't they still instructions of sorts? I could work with those, I can't work with a box and guide at all!!

SaltaKatten Mon 11-Nov-13 16:05:31

I had this same argument last year about dd2's playmobil pirate ship. I did build it in advance and it took a whole evening. It wasn't the kind of building that a 4 year old would have enjoyed.

iheartdusty Mon 11-Nov-13 16:10:48

on top of Beast's excellent Lego books I suggest this one Lego PLAY Book as perfect for a 5 y/o and his mum

Aquariusgirl86 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:10:50

Not Lego no that's the point? Other stuff tho yes. Fil has bought the kids a wooden kitchen, it says assembly 2.5 hours......he seems outraged that I'm going to put it together soon and house it in the spare room ( kids don't have access) don't get why......they are 1 and 2 and won't be impressed with a load of flat pack wood and screws!

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 16:22:20

Aquarius we built the kitchen that we got them a couple of years ago. I agree with flat pack furniture toys.

iheart I think that will definitely have to go in his stocking grin

chillykitty Mon 11-Nov-13 16:22:42

No don't build them will spoil it
That is the fun of Xmas day the building

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 16:39:51

they are instructions. But really the point is, they are techniques and inspirations, so you can go off and make something different.

As opposed to making one pre-determined aeroplane, for instance, you can make a range of things that ping other things across the floor at your sister

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 16:44:51

beast I might see if I can improve my imagination with one of your books. Thank you. Although I shall try keep both children in tact and not being pinged at for the duration of the day grin

5Foot5 Mon 11-Nov-13 16:54:03

With everyone else on Playmobil. I don't think these are meant for small children to build - at least not the bigger ones. When DD was 5 we got her the fairy tale castle and decided it would be better to build it in advance and then hide it until Christmas Day. It took DH and I 4 hours and 2 bottles of wine to build it so it is just as well we didn't wait until Christmas morning.

Beastofburden Mon 11-Nov-13 16:54:15

have fun! <jealous>

I may give DS1 a lego book if he not too cool now (aged nearly 22)

I would say put together the play movie, but not the Lego. I gave my kids all the Egyptian and Ran sets a couple of years ago... I set it all up on a huge dining table I had removed the legs from and covered in sand colored textured pleather fabric to look like sand. We even set up a river on one edge for the roman and Egyptian boats. It looked fantastic and made a huge impression under the tree... There was still plenty to unwrap, but playmobil can be a pain to build so wetter done before Christmas.

It is also like those old fashioned Chrosas cards with trains, dolls and rocking horses... It is just nice for some toys to be set up with just a bow on.
But Lego is something they should build themselves on b

boxing day

PinkStarStuck Mon 11-Nov-13 17:48:05

We have also done the playmobile castle experience 5Foot5 ! Even some of the smaller playmobile 'self builds' comes in so many pieces that we do them the night before every time inc for birthdays.

GoldenGytha Mon 11-Nov-13 17:56:16

My DC were never much into lego or Playmobil, but isn't building it themselves part of the fun?

Only thing I ever built was a Barbie Picnic Van for DD1, took me most of the evening of Christmas Eve!

Oldraver Mon 11-Nov-13 18:31:33

No leave Lego and Playmobil for them to build...that os the whole point of it.

I do go over some toys (like the ones that come in a 'show' box) and take off all the ties and unscrew the little bits of holding plastic

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 11-Nov-13 18:35:06

If it was a dolls house I would see your point, but that's a crime against Christmas to pre-build Lego.

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 19:09:32

Thanks everyone, to be honest that's what I thought, but didn't know if other people were much more prepared than I and saved trauma on the day when DCs have to wait for things to assemble.

I may well look at the playmobil when it arrives and build that, but will definitely leave the lego alone, which suits me as that's my xmas day sorted grin

mrsjay Mon 11-Nov-13 20:05:15

I remember when i was 15 my parents were building some my little pony castle for my 4 yr old sister there was swearing and banging into the wee hours I was traumatised so when i was doing the building for dds I made sure i did it a few days before christmas eve to avoid any tantrums from me

ImaginativeNewName Mon 11-Nov-13 20:07:48

I did this last year and set the fiddly things up on the coffee table. Saved loads of time and faff as they were ready to play with and still wrapped the smaller, boxed presents that looked quite easy.

mrsjay Mon 11-Nov-13 20:10:23

do these toys still come with the stickers that you need to stick everything that used to drive me and he up the wall and those bloody plastic ties that you cant get off the boxes

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 11-Nov-13 20:54:54

Plastic tie tip use nail cutters smile

mumofweeboys Mon 11-Nov-13 20:59:42

Bloomin play mobil farm took 3 nights to build, so would def pre build

mrsjay Mon 11-Nov-13 21:00:18

20 bloody years I have been doing christmas NAIL CLIPPERS jeez why didnt i think of that 20 fecking years grin

bigbrick Mon 11-Nov-13 21:03:05

Build it before and wrap. Playmobil needs lots of building depending on what it is - same with lego. I unpack all gifts that are in boxes etc like this to avoid building hassle and so I can relax and the kids play

Hulababy Mon 11-Nov-13 21:08:24

Lego - I'd live unbuilt as isn't building the whole point of Lego.

Playmobil - I'd posibly make up. Its desgned more to play with as a built set ime.

I have built Sylvanian families, Babie, Polly Pocket, etc in the past and then wrapped them. If Father Christmas ever brings something like those he leaves them built and ready to play with.

St the very least I try to remove al thos elittle wire twisty things and put batteries in things, esp those needing a screwdriver.

FortyDoorsToNowhere Mon 11-Nov-13 21:11:20

MrsJay my DH is to thank for that.

mrsjay Mon 11-Nov-13 21:12:42

he is a genius i always used big scissors or my teeth and the scissors always seemed to ping them everywhere or I did that unwinding nonsense

ChaffinchOfDoom Mon 11-Nov-13 21:18:17

just do the major build on the playmobil and leave all of the little bags of extras for your dd to help you with on the day

which set is it? considering the camper van this time for dd

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 22:53:41

Thanks all, I think I might have to have operation playmobil in force as there will be a couple of sets between them. A knights castle, the childrens pony ranch and the animal clinic.

Lego I'm definitely saving for the day and will encourage DS to help me.

Elouie Mon 11-Nov-13 22:54:01

And I love the nail clipper tip. Thanks

DumSpiroSpero Tue 12-Nov-13 00:19:31

I think you'd be perfectly justified in building the Lego beforehand to check everything is there wink , but would then break it up so your DS can do it at Christmas.

Elouie Tue 12-Nov-13 07:08:38

Dum what a genius idea. Then I could do it a relaxed fashion one evening ha ha.

Having said that it would be nice for DS to learn the fun if actually building so with I'm going to check the contents and then build with DS on Xmas day but build the plausibility so they can have immediate fun

Oh I'm getting so giddy for Christmas this year which is unlike me so early!

DumSpiroSpero Tue 12-Nov-13 23:09:24

DD had the Apple Tree Cottage for Christmas a few years ago.

There was no way I was waiting to get my mitts on it - have fun! grin.

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