Celebrating Mom Through Play

Every year, Mother’s Day comes around and a few days before many of us scramble to get her the perfect gift at the last minute.

This year, we are encouraging our Play-Well students to plan ahead and through play, create an amazing gift for your mom that she will truly cherish.

We have provided below ideas and tutorials on a few gifts that you can build out of LEGO® materials.  And if you need an added incentive to start building now, if you share what you are able to make with us, you could receive a LEGO® gift for your efforts.

Feel free to share your creations via one of our channels:

Check out the projects below for ideas:

A LEGOLAND Master Model Builder shows you how to make the perfect picture frame.

Here are some helpful LEGO® creations you can make to help around the house from Householder Hacker.

Layla Mom Created This Amazing Photo Pen Holder

Little Bins For Little Hands created this cute LEGO Candy Box

We Built Austin Out of LEGO® at SXSWedu

During SXSWedu, we help create a LEGO version of the City of Austin with the help of teachers, school administrators, and students.

We started with one building and watch the evolution throughout the event.

 

A high school band even came by.

Celebrating 20 Years of Playing Well!

20 years ago, our founder, Tim Bowen, had an idea to introduce kids to the world of engineering through playing with LEGO®, when the concept of S.T.E.M. had not even been popularized yet. Since then, Play-Well has been lucky enough to teach over 800,000 kids. Here is the story of how a crazy idea became an engineering program for kids that now teaches over 100,000 kids a year all over the United States.

Thanks, everyone that has ever participated in a Play-Well Program.  We couldn’t have gotten here without you.

Team Building Through Play

Back in 2009, a corporation asked us if we could provide them a fun team building event using LEGO® materials.  Well, our organization had been playing with LEGO® bricks since 1997, so we thought, why not give it a try.  Approximately 9 years later, we have now run team building events for Fortune 500 companies around the country, including organizations such as Google, Microsoft, VISA, Pixar, and Clorox.  Check out what we have done below and the philosophy behind our team building events:

Check out some of the events we have run below:

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We ran a team building event recently for Google’s Global Food Program Team. Here is what they accomplished: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/google-team-is-connecting-over-lego/

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We participated in one of Medtronic’s retreats and had them building with LEGO at a winery. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/medtronic-plays/

Clorox visited Play-Well Pleasanton and created a Rube Goldberg LEGO project that used it’s own products.

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We ran a team building event for 100 B.O.S.S. Staffers.  Here is an article describing that day: http://bit.ly/BOSSPlay-WellTeamBuildingDay

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MarkWest Energy in Colorado held their annual retreat for their engineering staff and we provided them some creative, collaborative challenges with LEGO. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/team-building-with-mark-west/

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An NCAA college basketball coach had us create a LEGO basketball challenge for their team before the start of the season: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/college-basketball-team-plays-well-with-lego/

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Amazon asked us to create a LEGO building contest for their team of engineers. Here is what they produced: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/amazon-slo-lego-building-competition-with-engineers/

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We brought millennial students and working professionals together to learn about each other, how they work, and what is important to them all through LEGO. https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/millennials-professionals-collaborate-with-lego/

Click HERE for more information about our Play-Well Team Building Events or you can complete our Team Building Interest Form HERE.

Google & Play-Well Connecting Over LEGO

We recently ran a Play-Well Team Building Event for Google’s Global Food Program Team.  The goals were to inspire creativity, collaboration, all while solving problems in a fun way.  And of course, we used LEGO to do this.  Check out some of the LEGO challenges they got to do.

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The team dove fully into the project, sometimes even standing on tables in order to accomplish their goal.

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We hope that will stay up there.

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Staff took a lot of joy in trying to knock each other’s LEGO Towers down.

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This LEGO tower was left standing though.

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Now on to the more complex LEGO build.

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One of the challenges is to figure out how to get many different contraptions to work all at a uniform rate.

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Attendees used everything at their disposal to help solve a complex LEGO build.

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Even choosing to build on the floor if necessary.

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One of the managers overseeing his staff’s work. He was quite impressed.

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Now they have figured out what they need to do and are building fast.

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We even had time for LEGO car races.

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And the competition was fierce.

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Some staff even left the build to watch the LEGO races.

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Back in the room, the large build is moving quickly.

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Once that task was done, it was time for the creative LEGO builds.

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Many different ideas were coming into play.

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This build included a pirate theme and a flag.

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This group incorporated flowers, twigs, and a wine cork into their LEGO contraption.

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This team was quite proud of their LEGO creation.

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Overall, people were having a great time.

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In the end, we had a debrief about the build and the day.

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Many people had built some impressive LEGO creations in such a short span of time.

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We reviewed some of the lessons we learned that day about the team. Overall, a really great group that worked extremely well together.

If you’d like us to provide a team building event for your organization, simply complete our team building interest form HERE.  For more information about our Play-Well Team Building events, click HERE.

Press Advisory: Glide & Play-Well Are Building An 8 Ft LEGO Heart

GLIDE_logoLEGO Heart

WHAT: GLIDE & Play-Well Are Building An 8 Ft LEGO Heart

WHEN: Sunday, July 12th, 11 AM – 3:30 PM

WHERE: In front of GLIDE’s Family, Youth and Childcare Center, Ellis Street between Jones and Leavenworth Streets                        

This Sunday, July 12th, GLIDE and Play-Well TEKnologies will be collaborating together to build an 8 Ft LEGO Heart for Sunday Streets.  It will be one of the largest LEGO hearts ever built by families in the United States.

“Sunday Streets is a time to celebrate the vibrant, colorful and culturally rich Tenderloin neighborhood where so many families and children call home,” added Janice Mirikitani, GLIDE Founding President of GLIDE.   The LEGO Heart represents the unconditional love and acceptance that embodies Glide Church.

For more information about the Glide/Play-Well LEGO Heart Build, please contact Dori Caminong, Manager – Special Events, Civic and Social Innovation at 415-674-6001 or at dcaminong@glide.org.

About Play-Well TEKnologies

For the past 15 years, Play-Well TEKnologies has taught over 500,000 kids about the engineering world using LEGO.  They currently teach over 100,000 students/year across the country with the goal of inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM fields. For more information about Play-Well, visit www.play-well.org.

Play- Well TEKnologies programs are not authorized, sponsored or endorsed by the LEGO® Group.

About GLIDE

For over 50 years, GLIDE has worked to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and to break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. Located in the culturally rich Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, GLIDE serves a diverse cross-section of homeless, low-income and disenfranchised clients, providing a wrap-around array of programs including:  free meals; HIV/HEPC testing and counseling; housing assistance; domestic violence counseling and abatement; substance abuse recovery; licensed childcare, after-school and summer programs for youth; a resource center for families; free legal services; and access to free primary and psychiatric health care. GLIDE has founded and sustained visionary programming, and achieved tangible results for tens of thousands of individuals and families on the margins, all once thought to be beyond the possible. Please visit us at www.glide.org.

Medtronic Plays

One of Medtronic Departments were having their annual retreat and decided to have our Play-Well Team Building with LEGO workshop as part of the event.  The projects created tried to mimic some of the challenges of the constantly evolving and competitive medical industry.

Here is what they had to say about the Play-Well Team Building workshop.

“It was fun and at the same time our specific requests to build team work in certain ways were met as well.”

“I liked the playful nature of it and the clear flexibility of the facilitators.”

“It was fun! It also brought out aspects of people’s personalities I had not seen before. We got to work closely with some functions we don’t interact with except occasionally.”

“Fun way to learn big things about leadership and team dynamics.”

Check out some of what they did here:

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Collaboration already starting to happen.

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Some people were even getting on the table to build.

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Finding a role for each person in the group was essential for the success of this team.

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There were some moments when it got pretty difficult.

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Of course, there was some racing involved.

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And some sportsmanship before the race.

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Getting close to getting the device to work.

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Constantly having to adapt with new priorities placed in front of them.

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One of the projects is completed and being transferred.

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Time to connect them all.

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Testing it out.

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Slight adjustments need to be made after a few minor failures.

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They think they got it.

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Success. A job well done!

Great group of people to work with and overall a great team.  Thanks for having us Medtronic!

 

Play-Well’s Summer LEGO Build & Tell

During the summer, we always encourage our students to continue to build, play, and learn about the engineering world through LEGO.  So, we are conducting a fun summer project that kids and parents can participate in called Play-Well’s Summer LEGO Build & Tell.

It’s easy for anyone to participate.  Here’s how:

LEGO Checklist

1. Kids build a project, either something they learned to build at a Play-Well camp or a contraption that they have been inspired to build from their own creativity.

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2. Parents, make a short video of your child talking about their creation and any engineering or architecture concepts that have been incorporated into the project.  The video should not be more than 90 seconds.

3. Post your video on YouTube, vimeo, or your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram page.

4. Submit the video link to our Play-Well Facebook, Twitter, Instagram page or email it to jeff@play-well.org.

5. Celebrate!  You are done!

Here are the prizes:

  • The first 30 submissions will receive a Play-Well LEGO Minifigure.
  • qqGYlp1 - Imgur10 submissions (selected at random) will receive a Play-Well LEGO Bow Tie.
Kid President LEGO Bow Tie

Kid President received one of our Play-Well LEGO Bow Ties and wore it recently at the Jefferson Awards: https://playwelltek.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/kid-president-wore-our-lego-bow-tie-to-the-jefferson-awards/

  • 2 submissions (selected at random) will receive a complimentary Play-Well Engineering Fundamentals Mine, Craft, Build LEGO Workshop for their child and their friends.  It has become one of our most popular new programs.

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All families that participate in this project can also be part of our Play-Well LEGO Build & Tell  compilation video, if interested.

The prizes are fun to receive, but in the end, the main goal of this project is to get kids to build more and realize what they are learning while building.  We believe that children learn a great deal through play and we hope to foster this type of learning through our summer camps, as well as at home.  If you have additional questions about the project, simply email jeff@play-well.org.

Also, check out our Summer Engineering with LEGO Camps happening near you.