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7 ways to use LEGO bricks to bond as a family this summer

If you have a box full of LEGO® bricks, we’ve found some great ideas to inspire the entire family to play together.

By Gemma Wilcock | Last updated Aug 18, 2023

LEGO bricks for summer activities

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When it comes to planning the summer holidays, you can easily spend a fortune on expensive days out. However, the best days are often the ones spent doing activities as a family. LEGO® bricks can be enjoyed by all ages and allows you to get super creative with it too. So, if you have a LEGO® fan in the house, those boxes of bricks can be used for enjoying fun activities and creating memories that last.

Remember what playtime meant for you growing up - the feel and joy of a real, tangible thing in your hand. That’s why LEGO bricks are great for encouraging children to engage in imaginative play and you can make time to get playful and explore your own creative side, too. It is a wonderful way for families to bond and - while there’s loads of great new sets and characters to choose from - once you have some bricks, it doesn’t have to cost a thing.

We turned to our forums to ask our Mumsnet users what ideas they have for fun activities this summer. Here’s how you can use LEGO® bricks to spend time together as a family.


LEGO Romantic Valentine Picnic
Romantic Valentine Picnic


Buy now
Creative Monkey Fun
Creative Monkey Fun


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LEGO Majestic Tiger
Majestic Tiger


Buy now

1. Team up to build a marble run

All you need for this activity is some marbles and LEGO® bricks and you’ll get hours of fun. Using smaller bricks in different shapes and sizes and flat elements for the ramps, you can work together to make your own LEGO® marble run.

The children can have fun using their imagination and encourage them to be as creative as they like. You could even include little doors that open and spinning parts. Parent blogger Frugalfun4boys has some great tips for creating a fun LEGO® marble run.

What Mumsnet users say

"She has recently created a 'Marble Run' with her LEGO® along with a Hamster Maze!" 80sColourfulChristmas

2. Go on a LEGO® scavenger hunt

This is a great idea for a rainy day at home or if you want to plan a low budget but fun activity you can all do together. If you have a collection of LEGO® minifigures, scatter them around your house and garden then write down some clues on pieces of paper so you can all search for them.

You can make the clues into fun rhymes and make some of them a bit challenging (which will make the activity last longer!). Just make sure not to make them too difficult as they might give up!

Need to add some more characters to your collection? Check out LEGO®’s Minifigures - when you choose a Minifigure mystery bag, you never know who you may get!

What Mumsnet users say

"LEGO® bricks are actually the best toy for helping my DCs use their imagination. My DH has never grown out of it, either, and loves nothing better than spreading all the Lego on the table and asking the DCs what they’d like him to help them build. There have been all sorts of creations from car garages to mansions to jungles." Summergarden

3. Enjoy a yummy LEGO® picnic*

With the warmer weather, you’ll no doubt be planning some picnics at the park. As well as packing some yummy treats to eat when you’re out, add some LEGO® bricks into your bag and have fun playing together outdoors.

Try making a picnic basket or hamper to hold other LEGO® bricks - it’s harder than it looks! You could even buy this LEGO® Romantic Valentine Picnic set, featuring two minifigures enjoying sandwiches, cakes and beverages on a heart-shaped lawn.

*But don’t eat the LEGO® bricks!

What Mumsnet users say

"We like to build pillow forts and play picnic. We have a tea set and they cook us a picnic, normally using LEGO® bricks as food and drink! Sometimes we build the fort and read stories or play camping!! Kids love a fort!" Beckham19

Don't forget to share these ideas with your friends and family! 

4. Embrace poolside play

If you’re heading away on holiday during the summer, you’ll spend most of your time playing in the pool. However, there may be times when you need a break and, even on holiday, children can still moan about being bored.

So pack some LEGO® bricks and their favourite characters and see what you can build together around the pool. You can even take the LEGO® characters on adventures while you’re on holiday, taking snaps of them in different places and making up stories about their travels as you go.

What Mumsnet users say

"Going for a walk always sparks ideas, building dens, climbing trees, making things from twigs, acorns, pine cones and the like, setting up scenes for lego mini figures, treasure hunts, photo challenges etc. We try to go every day." queenoftheschoolrun

5. Create your own LEGO® zoo

Children love going to the zoo but it’s far from a cheap day out for the family. So why not make your own zoo at home using LEGO® bricks? Head to the website and you can download instructions for building animals or you can go crazy with your imagination and see who can come up with the best creation.

You can use bricks and elements to build pens for the animals and LEGO® characters for the zookeepers, then act out stories together. All of this can be done easily if you have a good supply of LEGO® bricks. If you want to buy some new sets to add to your zoo, you could get this Creative Monkey Fun set or make a Majestic Tiger.

What Mumsnet users say

"They do like LEGO®. We built the models but they ended up taking them apart and build their own things. Often based on the books we’ve been reading." MumC2141 

6. Who can build the biggest LEGO® city?

This is as simple as it gets, but it will certainly bring out the competitive side of your family. Pull out your box of LEGO® bricks, set a timer and start by seeing who can build the tallest tower. If you have younger children in the family you may want to work in teams or you can take on the challenge alone - just be prepared for the ultimate family battle.

Then, once the tower challenge is complete, keep it going and expand your city together. Not only will it be a fun competition to begin with, but it will also become a fun bonding activity for the whole family that could last the entire summer. Keep adding to your city - who knows what it might look like at the end of the summer!

What Mumsnet users say

"LEGO® bricks are a huge hit. My DS built his own pyramid to re-create some of his favourite scenes from one of the Ninjago series. It took a few attempts to get the right structure but he preserved to build it to last." starlight36

7. The big LEGO® car race

Master the art of making vehicles and then race them against each other. This can be easily done if you have plenty of car parts leftover from LEGO® sets. You can all go wild with your imagination and see what vehicles you can come up with.

Then, once you’re all finished, set up a starting line and see whose car is the fastest. This activity is a great way for you all to practise your building skills while adding a fun bit of competition. If you want to upgrade your vehicle, there’s plenty of sets to add to your collection.

What Mumsnet users say

"LEGO® battles. DS makes crazy vehicles. I do too. We battle with them with made up weapons (ie this one has a potato gun- here it comes firing Maris pipers). Sometimes we smash each others vehicles up." GalOopNorth

About LEGO®

At the LEGO® Group children are our role models. Their curiosity, creativity and imagination inspire everything we do. We strive to inspire, build and develop a global culture of creative play where everyone feels included. And we love seeing and reading feedback on how builders of all ages are having fun with LEGO® bricks and building sets.

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About the author

Gemma Wilcock is a freelance writer and copywriter. At Mumsnet, she creates content providing useful parenting advice, information and top products to make life easier – as a mother of two children herself, Gemma knows how important it is to get the right advice.

After working on women’s weekly magazines for nine years, Gemma turned to freelance writing to fit around family life, writing for a range of online and print publications, charities and small businesses. She loves writing about subjects that will be helpful to the reader – and herself! - including recommending top products and helpful ideas on Mumsnet that assist parents in their day-to-day life. Mum to two LEGO® fans, she has plenty of bricks and tiles around the house so is always looking for new fun ways to play with them. She also knows how important it is to have plenty of low-cost ideas for keeping children happy during the summer holidays.